Working with Fragrances

Fragrance CollectionTodays topic is Fragrances. We love some dislike others and all probably have a couple of our absolute favorites. One big factor in deciding on which ones to purchase is how they react in the products you are making. Some work perfectly and others not so much. They can rice,which is exactly what it sounds like, looks like rice granules in your batter. It can accelerate which means your batter will thicken faster. It can seize, which means once you add the fragrance to your batter it becomes hard almost instantly. With ricing, a lot of the time you can use your stick blender and smooth it out. Acceleration can be dealt with, it may just mess up a specific design you were planning on, seizing….well that just sucks!

Another factor is whether or not your fragrance has vanilla in it, if it does it is going to discolor to some extent. The more the vanilla then the darker brown it will eventually turn. There are several things that you can do in this case. You can just plan on the color change and add the fragrance to only part of your batter,although I am not so sure that the brown won’t eventually spread into the uncolored part. You can use a vanilla stabilizer,which i have not yet tried, but have heard that it is also just a temporary fix. Or you can just go with the flow and let the color turn and embrace the brown. I have found that some fragrances are worth it!

Some fragrances,like any florals tend to move pretty quickly so you should prepare your batter accordingly, soaping at a lower temperature, maybe not using a water discount,and being prepared to have to plop it into your mold if it comes to that.

My best advice is to go to the site you are planning on buying your fragrance from and research that fragrance. There will be good descriptions and reviews,and some sites will have pictures of the color the fragrance may turn in cold process soap.Some sites like “Be Scented”have videos on youtube that show you what happens when you use any of her fragrances and that is a Huge help! I also like “Vibrant Soaps”. He has videos too and sometimes will show you the color change several weeks after he has cut the soap. So really, if you do your research there shouldn’t be too many surprises in using fragrances in cold process soap. Although when using them for other products like bath bombs, there usually isn’t much to worry about although I have found that some bath bombs work better than others even when using the same recipe and color so i suspect that there is a difference in the fragrances there as well.

So far I have tried fragrances from Brambleberry, Be Scented, and Mad Oils. I have not had one seize yet,although a few have accelerated pretty quick. I have had a couple that have riced and some that discolor but I have researched and planned ahead for every fragrance and so far I have not had any really bad batches or been unhappy with any I have purchased.So once again my best advice for you is to do your homework because all the information you need is out there for you to be able to use any fragrance that you really want!!

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Let’s Talk Bath Bombs

I would have to say that the thing I have struggled with the most so far is bath bombs. I have read so much about making them and how so many others have difficulty with them so I was really not surprised at all by my failures. I started with a Brambleberry recipe and used some small amounts of micas, having read horror stories about people having their skin change after using a bath bomb. Although I think a lot of that is because they used food colors in them. I made a few that smelled wonderful but hardly had any color. Sometimes they would hold their shape and sometimes they wouldn’t. I had read that humidity played a roll in that but there really doesn’t seem to be anything in particular as far as I can tell as to why they sometimes fail. But it is soimagefrustrating when you work so hard to make them just right and they fall apart as you unmold them. I can see why so many soapers say they dread making them.

Eventually I started trying new recipes to see if that helped, trying several I found on youtube that used different oils and butters that should help them to hold better. I would say that maybe half would hold together. And everyone that I gave them to loved the fizz and the fragrance how the oils left their skin feeling but to get a decent amount of solid bath bombs was difficult. Recently I have discovers two things, first a whole new world of color has opened since I have tried bath bomb colorants from Be Scented.com They are specifically made to use in bath bombs and I am not afraid of adding too much and the colors are Beautiful! The even offer sparkly colors now which I will be buying soon. The second thing I have discovered is a book called “Make it Fizz” by Holly Port. I bought it and tried a recipe in it for bath bombs and tweaked it just a smidge because I wasn’t comfortable with an ingredient in it ( although I do use that ingredient in my homemade laundry soap) I also switched out one oil for another because I used what I had on hand. And I have to say that they held together beautifully! I have not had anyone try one yet but I absolutely love this new recipe and I hope and pray they feel as good in the tub as the others I have made and gotten great feedback on. I will post updates for sure and hopefully if you are having issues with bath bombs you will keep trying and not give up because I think it is possible to make them with a fairly decent success rate and everyone Loves bath bombs!!

Happy Blogging!!

Getting started

I guess this should have been my very first post but since I am new to this blogging stuff I am going to screw up a lot ūüôā Anyways, I thought I would just say to all of the people that are wanting to try soaping but may be scared or unsure of working with lye and find everything a bit confusing, you are soooo not alone. Just like canning which I had wanted to do for years (and do all the time now) I read every book I could find at the library and watched all the youtube videos and then researched the different types of canners. I also gathered any coupons or discounts I could find ( they are out there) then finally bought a water bath canner and started from there and now I use my pressure canner like a pro and without fear of blowing things up in my kitchen lol. It was the same way with soaping for me. I was afraid of working with the lye since I have chlidren and pets in the house not to mention brand new counters in my kitchen. So I read and read and read some more.I think I read every article on the Brambleberry and Soap Queen pages. Also YouTube is an incredible source of learning as sometimes reading about how to do things isn’t always as helpful as actually seeing it. I started by subscribing to the Soaping101 videos and watched all of those. Then the more I found the more I watched.All of the Soap Queen videos are extremely informative and once you get going you definitely need to check out the A&N Suds and Such and Be Scented videos. So after all of the studying and more studying I just started slowly buying some of the items I would need. It is a fairly expensive hobby so I would suggest buying small amounts of the things you need to be sure you want to continue, but if you are anything like me you will find soap making almost addictive. I have to admit that I was shaking when I made my first attempt.The lye was scaring the crap out of me thinking I was going to get burned or inhale fumes and keel over. I decided that I would do my soaping in the garage where I could open the door while stirring the lye and water ¬†and also because there would be no two or four legged critters out there besides me. Anyways I screwed up my courage and made my first loaf of soap and…….it was a total fail! All the oils rose to the top after a couple of hours and it was small and didn’t fill the mold and I was so upset I thought well that was a total waste of money!!! So I went back to all my notes and videos and studied to see where I had gone wrong. It turns out I didn’t stick blend it enough and it never got to trace of any kind. So I felt pretty good that I could be successful if I tried again. My second loaf was much much better. I even managed to make a frosting top and used some melt and pour balls I had made.It was so exciting to get it out of the mold and cut it into bars ( which I am horrible at) I could not make an evenly cut bar to save my soul.But with that little success I was hooked. I think about making soap and bath products all day and night and even dream about soap LOL! ¬†I have made quite a few different soaps using different techniques and every time I cannot wait to cut them and see how they turned out. My family and friends now have me shoving soaps and bath bombs and bubble bath bars at them all the time (whether they want them or not ) So if you are thinking about soaping I say do your homework about the safety issues when working with lye and then just do it! You will either be hooked or maybe just find out that it isn’t as much fun as you thought but either way Don’t be afraid to try things just because you have heard bad things about making them. ¬†There is so much help out there on the internet or even at your library that you can do anything you want to do and do it safely.

Black raspberry Vanilla is the fourth soap I made
Black raspberry Vanilla is the fourth soap I made
Rainbow Sherbet this is the second soap i made after my first attempt was a huge fail
Rainbow Sherbet this is the second soap I made after my first attempt was a huge fail

Have Fun!!! And Happy Blogging!

Loo Loo Shampoo

Loo Loo Shampoo fragranced soap
Loo Loo Shampoo fragranced soap

Okay……this is by far my favorite fragrance so far (although I have only used maybe 10 as of right now lol)

This is from Mad Oils and they had great shipping and sent along some little extras which are much appreciated.

I have used this fragrance in soap and bath bombs so far and will be making some bubble bath bars and lotion with it soon.I could use this every single day and never get sick of it. It behaved beautifully in my cold processed soap and this was my first attempt at making layers. I love everything about this bar of soap and cannot wait for it to be done curing so I can use it!!

Dragons Blood

IMG_5928IMG_0725This is my Dragons Blood soap. The fragrance is from Brambleberry.I really really love this fragrance but not what it does to the color of the soap. If it had stayed like this picture it would have been great. I purposely did not add any fragrance to part of the batter and the colored it with some titanium dioxide in the hopes that it would swirl in and create a nice contrast with the part that I knew would turn brown over time. I even added some red mica to part of the batter and just crossed my fingers.

Unfortunately ¬†the whole freaking thing just turned ¬†that crappy brown color I was expecting and even the white part has been consumed by the brown, it even makes for some brown suds at first use. The smell is amazing and ¬†everyone that ¬†has used it in my house or that has been given a bar to just loves it ¬†so much that they aren’t put off by the color. I am doing a lot of research and will be trying again with this fragrance and see if I can’t come up with something that isn’t quite so …. ugly!!

Man Cave 2

Drakkar type fragranceThis is a Drakkar type fragrance from Brambleberry. It is a really nice masculine scent. I wasn’t really happy with the colors. I was trying to have a red and gold kind of royalty colors and it definitely did not come out the way I was hoping. I used 14k gold mica from Bescented and a red mica from Brambleberry. I think maybe I am just too scared to add too much color at this point…….oh well I will keep trying. It sure smells good!