30 August 2011

The Low Down on S.O.A.P. Scents 1-3

I tried to look at Bramble Berry's S.O.A.P. Panel testing from a scientific perspective. My control was my favorite soap recipe. Yes, it is a bit of a fast tracing recipe (cocoa butter and I do water discount); however, since this is the main recipe I use, I know it well. I soaped at room temperature, stirred with a whisk and added a one color swirl to each batch so I can see any discoloration while still having a bit of color. My fragrance load was ½ oz. per pound of oils (what I normally do) and I am making sure all soaps go through gel. Since I need variety, each swirl is a different color and I opted for a soap pop mold (I’ve longed to make cp soap pops).

Scent #-1 Holiday Berry Sangria (These names are of my own imagination)

Initial reaction- a sweet, spicy candy with berries. While soaping, I was getting hints of cassis and stronger berry notes- sort of like a berry wine.

Moderate acceleration during trace.

After thoughts-  There is a bit of discoloration (yellowing), but not too bad so far. The scent has held pretty well. I am getting more of the spice notes now and still lots of berry. Some of the higher sweet notes have taken a back seat.

Scent #2- In Flight

Initial reaction- a cleaner floral. There’s a top note that doesn’t sit well with me, but there are middle and base notes that are pleasing. I’m sitting here with an empty open bottle and it is rounding out nicely

This fragrance thinned my soap out. I’m thinking this one would be great for multi-colored swirls or the currently popular spoon or column swirl.

After thoughts- I poured this one thin so you can see how liquidy it actually was. See how the swirl is more of soft gradations? Some of the top notes have faded on this one, but I think that is a great thing. There is a soft loveliness about this scent that I think a lot of people will like. No noticable discoloration at this time.

Scent #3- A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Rose

Initial reaction- at first all I was getting was rose, rose, rose, but there are also sweet notes and maybe palmarosa? I’m now thinking it smells like sugared grapes with rose.

I was thinking this one would accelerate trace due to the floral notes, and sure enough it did.

I have all three in the oven and when I open the door, the combination is amazing! And I’m smelling sweet patchouli- ha!

After thoughts- See how craggy this soap is? It must have super heated. (I put all three batches in the oven at the same time for the same amount of time. While it appears 17 min. is too long before turning the oven off, you can see the other two soaps still look somewhat respectable). Much of the complexity of this scent has disappeared. I am still getting rose, though :) There is a medium amount of discoloration thus far (yellowing).

**side note- BB's neon colorants really need to be mixed in oil or glycerin. I tried alcohol and I'm sure you can see the speckles in Soap #3 and that was with straining! We just moved and I haven't unpacked (found) my mini-mixer yet, so I thought I would try another way. Bad idea.

Calise Soapworks & Such is online and on facebook!

22 August 2011

The SOAP Fragrances Are Here

Sometimes being a neighbor to Washington makes my day. My mystery scents just arrived for the Brambleberry S.O.A.P. Fall Team- a soap-aholics delight! 

Of course, I had to stop all other activity to open and smell these divine bottled delights. I won't mention about the fragrance specifics yet, as I'm sure the other testers are still waiting on their fantastic mystery fragrances. I will say smelling straight from the bottle, I am quite partial to 1, 5, 7 & 8.

The next step is figuring out what medium to test these lovelies in. Cold process soap will be a given, but I need to ponder the other possibilities. Yay!

Calise Soapworks & Such- we make soaping fun!

11 August 2011

Brambleberry Fall S.O.A.P. Panel

I am shamelessly plugging one of my favorite suppliers in hopes of being part of their Fall S.O.A.P. Panel. Brambleberry www.brambleberry.com is great place to get all sorts of soapy supplies. I even went to their Soap Intensive Weekend this year, so Brambleberry really is near and dear to me ;)

One of my favorite items is their 36 Bar Baltic Birch Mold http://www.brambleberry.com/Baltic-Birch-36-Bar-Wooden-Mold-P4708.aspx . They do make this mold in smaller sizes, but the 36 bar mold is the perfect size for me.

Here's a picture of one of the lovely swirls I have done using this mold:

I would love to be a part of the fall panel because I'm in love with the sights and smells of fall- from the crunching of leaves beneath your feet during a brisk walk to the smell of molasses cookies wafting through the house.