Last week we tried out some new liquids in our soaps. That is, we used liquids other than just water (or my only other deviation--goat's milk) for the lye mixture in a few batches of soaps. We learned a lot both by doing and in-the-moment OMG!! internet research, and now I'm not sure if I can ever go back to soaping with just plain ol' water again!
Our first alternative liquid was an alcohol, frozen first of course. My favorite for several years now has been hard apple cider, and we recently picked up a new brand we'd never tried before called Angry Orchard. The packaging was really "gnarly" and fun, and the bottles were a bit bigger than the brand I usually buy. And it was yummy, so we soaped it. :)
The fragrance we used was a mixture of cedarwood, apples and spices to mimic a non body safe Cider Barrel fragrance. It smells like sweet cider soaking into an aged wooden barrel, mmmm. Not sure if it was the fragrance or the alcohol, but this soaped moved pretty quickly and we ended up with some air pockets sadly.
Next up, we made a 100% heavy cream lye solution. We were a little freaked out by how the lye/cream mixture actually started to saponify as we mixed it, getting very thick like accelerated soap batter. But a hastey internet search told us that this was normal since the heavy cream is actually so fatty. It ended up stick blending in quite smoothly. I expected this soap to trace really quickly, but it actually didn't. After a good bit of stick blending the batter was still fairly thin and creamy. However, when we added the fragrance--holy moly, did I have to start moving fast! The fragrance was Woodland Elves from Bramble Berry, and I'd heard mixed reviews from other soapers about the way it behaved in cold process. I can tell you from my experience, that it was a real mover!! It's a really strong fragrance too, so I think I could've gotten by with a little less than my usual half an ounce per pound of oils. I also wasn't able to pick up on the fruit and floral notes in this FO so much. I mainly just smell evergreen, but it could just be my sniffer! Still a nice choice for an evergreen scent I think.
|I made up an unscented batch of soap using a spoon swirl technique|
in Christmas colors a few weeks ago for these tree cut outs, soap balls,
curls and a few bars left over for shredding but wasn't quite sure what I
wanted to do with it all.....
|....but kudos to Heather from Winberg Bathworks for the design idea!|
After heavy cream came coconut water. My honey loves all things coconut (the coconut milk shampoo bars I made months ago are still his favorite of all soaps), so he was pretty excited. Like the heavy cream, we froze the coconut water first because of it's sugar content, and still got a slightly yellow final lye mixture. This didn't affect the color of the soap batter at all though, and I had no problems with acceleration. My honey wanted to use a tropical sort of fragrance because of the coconut water, but I picked Frosted Cranberry from WSP instead. I fell in love with it when a soap forum friend sent me a sample piece a while back and just had to buy my own bottle. :) It really is a beautiful, beautiful fragrance in soap! The website shows it having a 1.00% vanillin content, but almost two weeks into cure I haven't noticed any discoloration in the soap at all.
|I topped this soap with Opalescent Bourdeaux mica from BB.|
It's always been one of my favorite micas.
And last but not certainly not least, I soaped what I think might just be my new favorite fragrance using the usual water lye mixture, but with a little frozen heavy cream and a tempered egg yolk added in to the warm oils before adding in the lye mixture. I am really excited to try this one out soon! Such a nice and creamy texture, I think I may be addicted to egg and cream in soap now. I bought this new favorite fragrance Spicy Apples & Peaches from Rustic Escentuals after reading about it on a couple of fantastic soaping blogs recently, and boy was I not let down! I am head over heels in love with this one y'all!! Mmmmm. I did an ITP swirl for this soap using four different colors: natural soap, orange oxide, burgundy pigment and gold mica. I'll admit I probably overcolored with the gold because I really wanted it to stick and shimmer, and that it did! I was very pleased. Even though the soap got a really good gel, the tops still ended up a little ashy (probably because I peeked while it was abed!), so I steamed the bars this morning to help get rid of some of it.
|It actually kinda looks a little spicy, don't you think?|
|I think I am happier with this ITP swirl than any I've done before.|
What's your favorite "alternative liquids" to soap with and why? I'd love to try them out, so do share!!
Thanks for reading.... now I am off to stick my nose on some spicey soap!