Friday, August 24, 2012

Talking S.O.A.P. with "Jenny from the blog"

Today I met (for the first time) and had lunch with the lovely Jenny from I'd Lather Be Soaping blog to get a second soaper's opinions on the mystery S.O.A.P. fragrances from Bramble Berry.  Jenny lives a couple hours away from me in Shreveport, and we'd sort of tried to meet up once before while I was in town and missed each other, so this was definitely a great opportunity to give it another try! I know Jenny is a FO addict like me (no really, she blogged about it!), so I contacted her last week to set up a sniffing date. I must admit, I was excited all week! Every time I mentioned my plans for Friday to my honey, I referred to Jenny as "Jenny from the blog" (because he reads it too and it was easier than saying, "You know, Jenny who blogs at I'd Lather Be Soaping?"), and he was taken with my accidental J. Lo nickname.

Wasabi and Orange Clove soaps from
Jenny, can't wait to use them!!!
Of course, we both brought soaps for the other person, like good little soapers do, and there was much discussion of favorite FOs and the wonders of sodium lactate. (BB would be proud to know their name came up a lot!) After a little squee-ing over our gifts, I broke out the bottles and also the soaps I've made so far (1 through 8, just 9 and 10 left to go!) for Jenny's sniffing pleasure. The restaurant we met at was packed, and I'm sure everyone wondered what the heck we were passing around and giggling and writing about, before eventually deciding that we were both just plain crazy. 

We were so intent on inhaling fragrances, that we didn't notice it was coming a torrential downfall of rain until we stepped outside again after lunch. We actually had to float to our cars on FO bottles using little soap slices as paddles, true story!

Naturally we did have some differing "first impressions" of some of the fragrances, which is good because after soaping them I already knew some of my original guesses were dead wrong. For example, one I'd called holiday/evergreen, Jenny smelled as pink bubblegum.... what a difference, haha! After smelling that particular fragrance (number 2) again after my previous blog post, I'd changed my mind a little already, and changed it a lot after soaping it. I changed from holiday/evergreen to I haven't a clue but it discolors. :) It's always interesting to find out what extra notes another person's nose picks up! 

Jenny sniffing crack--err mystery fragrances!

I didn't refresh her on my first impressions because I didn't want to influence what she might be smelling, and I wrote all her opinions down too, because I knew you guys would want to know. :) Here are Jenny's impressions, compared with my original ones from my previous post, as well as notes on how the fragrances behaved in cold process soap: 

Jenny:  coconut, vanilla, sugar, almost like cologne
Laura:  Without a doubt, a warm vanilla sandalwood scent. Very much like all the sugar fragrance types (i.e. Pink Sugar, Blue Sugar, Warm Vanilla Sugar)  
After soaping it:  I am still thinking Sugar type. It's very nice in soap and has discolored a good bit after only 3 days.

Jenny:  pink bubblegum
Laura:  I am unsure of definite notes in this one. It smells slightly Holiday-like, maybe a little menthol and evergreen. My mom said manly, but I am not sure about that. (I am wondering now if I was smelling the wrong bottle, or if perhaps I should have my nose checked. I hope it's not really bubblegum, because I definitely colored this soap with a beige mica, which Jenny said made her eyes tell her brain that this was not bubblegum soap haha!)
After soaping it:  It seems to have faded some in the cut soap, and I still can't pin it down. I can just pick up some sweetness. It is also discoloring, but not as much as #1.

Jenny:  orange-tangerine
Laura:  This one was also hard for me to identify. It's pleasant and light, for now I am saying fresh greenery, maybe snow. 
After soaping it:  This was a slight mover when I soaped it, so I'm still thinking greenery/floral, but I was able to do an ITP swirl with two separate pours. The scent is very strong after cutting! No discoloring.

Jenny:  pear tart, dessert
Laura:  Love love love this one! Very tart and fruity, maybe a bit of spice. I am thinking pears. It's very sweet, but in a good way! I wrote "possibly dessert fragrance?," but I think I am going to rescind that. It's pretty complex to me. (We've both decided this FO is to be called Pear Tart, even if it's like Snuggle Bunnies or some such thing, so remember that BB!!)
After soaping it:  Smells absolutely wonderful, just the right amount of sweet, fruity, and slightly tart. Has discolored, but no acceleration was noted at all.  

Jenny:  very light, powdery floral
Laura:  Fresh, perfume, floral. This seems almost spring-like.  
After soaping it: It almost smelled a little like a sexy man while I was soaping it. Was a bit of a mover with slight to moderate acceleration. To me, the cut soap has a light, clean floral almost perfume scent. No discoloring. 

Jenny:  cherry-almond, coconut
Laura:  Amber, musk, vanilla, slightly powdery.  (Another big difference. It's funny though, because after I cut the soap, I noticed that it smelled faintly like suntan lotion, but in a good way!)
After soaping it:  Plenty of time to work with it, no acceleration at all and no discoloring.

Jenny:  pear, green
Laura:  Apple for sure! Very yummy and fresh, but still not in-your-face apple. (I am sticking by apple, but I can agree there are probably some other fruity notes in the background.)
After soaping it:  I love it even more! I was so afraid it would fade, but it has stayed strong and true and yummy. Slight acceleration, no discoloring.  

Jenny:  lemon-lime, maybe eucalyptus or thyme
Laura:  I initially wrote LIME (because I love lime!), but after resniffing I can pick up other citrus notes too, with something else in the background, maybe some sweet spice or herbs? 
After soaping it:  To me, it's lost some of those puzzling background notes, but I was having a hard time identifying them anyway so it could just be my broke sniffer. It's still a strong sweet citrus at any rate! Slight acceleration, no discoloring.  

Jenny:  perfume
Laura:  Masculine, old-fashioned barber shop cologne. Vetiver? Moss? Earthy.

Jenny:  sugar cookie, vanilla
Laura:  Definitely a dessert fragrance! Caramel and/or cake. Buttery, but not overwhelming buttery which I usually pick up from some dessert FOs. My mom said it smelled like creme brulee. 

I also sent a slice of each soap home with Jenny so that she could, um, "help me watch for fading and discoloration." ;) Hope that's not against the S.O.A.P. team rules! Here are a couple of photos of the eight mystery fragrances I've soaped so far, so you can get an idea of the discoloration since Tuesday (three days). I apologize for how dark and out of focus the photos are, I don't own a real camera! I did make a couple of unscented/uncolored bars to include for comparisons but forgot to add those in the photos. You can see the natural color of the soaps in the uncolored portions of soaps 3 and 5 through 8.

1, 2, 4 and 3 (oops, out of order for photo!)

5, 6, 7 and 8

And don't forget to vote on the poll in my previous post to decide what second (third?) medium I will also be testing these fragrances in. So far candles and melt-and-pour soaps are tied for the lead! I've received an overwhelming number of votes since I posted the poll, and it's so exciting to watch the numbers keep changing! You have until this Sunday, August 26th to get your vote in. 

Be sure to check out Jenny's blog too, for some gorgeous soapy eye candy and tips and tricks for some awesome soap making designs and techniques, along with her YouTube channel!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more S.O.A.P. results!


  1. Oh my gosh, I bet you guys had so much fun! It's so interesting to read the different impressions you both got from the fragrances, what a good idea to get someone else's opinion! Love the soaps you made, they are all so visually beautiful and unique, and I bet they smell fantastic!

  2. Nice to hear you had fun :).Good to have a 2nd opinion about the fragrances,it helps a lot!

  3. I'm jealous that you guys got to have so much fun! (And that Jenny gave you a Wasabi soap-my fave!) Laura, your soaps are lovely! Can't wait to see the other two. :)

  4. I live in DFW Texas! I want to come to a sniffy party! Looks like you guys had a great time!

  5. I had a great time meeting you, Laura, and it was fun talking soap and sniffing the BB mystery fragrances! It was interesting to see how two noses can smell totally different things, although I think we kinda agreed on a couple of FOs. :) I plan to do a write-up of our afternoon on my blog soon, too. Thank you for the soapy gifts, and thank you for the shout-outs!

  6. Thanks ladies!

    Come on over Nikki!!

  7. A soapy/sniffy get-together--it sounds like my kind of party! I look forward to the BB reveal. They sound awesome!

  8. OMG, what fun you ladies had! And what gorgeous looking soaps, I super love how you used #7 (it's one of my favorites)

  9. I was just over at Jenny's blog..had to come here and look at your lovely soaps! I can't wait for the BB reveal either..I'm really curious about #8. I would love to have a get-together like this, that would be awesome! If you're ever in South