Alkanet is a plant in the borage family and the dried, ground root is used to color soap, fabric, lipstick and lotions. Typically the color ranges from reds to blues to purples depending on the item being colored and the amount of alkanet being used.
Here is the first color right after I mixed my alkanet infused oils and lye solution together:
The infused oil was a deep plum, but it changed to gunmetal grey when mixed with the lye-water solution. This is because the soapy solution is at a low ph, but it was still a bit heart dropping as a grey lavender soap would not go over so well.
After a few minutes, another color change occured. Cornflower Blue still wasn't the color I had in mind.
When it was time to add the lavender essential oil and plop the soap into the mold, I had an unsightly, dark gelatinous soap to work with.
My heart was slowly sinking, but I still had hope that I would get the beautiful purple I was looking for once the soap cooled.
Luckily, after cooling I ended up with a color somewhere in the realm I had initially intended.
Making soap is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you're gonna' get!
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