Well, this is what it looks like made up into soap.
I looked at piles of sites on the web to work out how much powder to use and decided on two teaspoons per pound (450g) of soap. For my taste, this may have been a bit much – I would have preferred the soap a little paler. Of course, it could have been the recipe I used (the oils were a bit yellow) and discolouration from the fragrance oil. I will have to try a few alternatives of each, and see what happens.
The soap is speckled, as I added the powder at trace. If you don’t want the speckled look you need to infuse the powder in some of the oil you are going to use to make the soap and then strain the oil through a coffee filter. There are lots and lots of soap making sites that discuss natural colourants for soaps and infusing oils. I particularly like this post on infusing oils.
I used a recipe from Anne Watson’s Smart Soapmaking for this batch.
- 10.5oz (298g) coconut oil
- 10.5oz (298g) olive oil
- 9oz (255g) shea butter
- 8oz (227g) distilled water
- 4.2oz (119g) sodium hydroxide (otherwise known as lyre or caustic acid)
At trace I added:
- 5 tsp olive leaf powder
- 11 tsp Bramble Berry’s Arabian Spice Fragrant Oil (I used Bramble Berry’s fragrance calculator to work how much to use.)
I used exactly the same technique as I used in my first foray into soap making. I now have 13 bars of soap curing in my back bedroom with the added bonus of the fragrance drifting through, and scenting, the whole house.
Arabian Spice is described in Bramble Berry’s blurb as being:
Filled with the aromatic scents of a romantic time past, Arabian Spice is a blend of Myrrh and Orange, with middle notes of Ginger, Cinnamon and Cloves. It is then rounded out with Caraway Seed and Vanilla to give it a warm, tranquil feeling.
Sounds all right, doesn’t it? Smells all right, too!
My soap can only be described as rustic but I think this may be the type of soap I am going to like making. I like the muted colour that natural colourants give. I also like the speckled effect. Overall, I am pretty happy with the leaf powder. I will definitely use it again, although I might infuse it next time to see what that looks like.
You may be wondering what it is with the frangipani flowers.
There are three reasons for their presence. Firstly, I was outside trying to enhance the rustic look and was brushing the fallen frangipani flowers out of my photo (they are all over the backyard at the moment.) and then thought, what the heck. Rustic looking cakes of soap are not the most photogenic subjects.
Secondly, whenever you see ads for Bali or other tropical ‘paradises’, there are always photos of frangipani flowers in the brochure, especially in the bathroom shots. Clearly, they are thought to conjure up relaxing, luscious indulgence, just like my soap 🙂
Thirdly, judging from some of the photos I have seen from northern hemisphere bloggers lately, they need a bit of sunshine up there and frangipanis, more than any other flower, epitomise the tropics, bathed in sunshine.