A rose by any other name


As you can see, I am back to making soap.  The temperature is rising and I have a rule: I won’t go outside when the temperature is above 30°C.  Well, that is my preferred option but, over summer, garden maintenance requires that rule be broken almost on a daily basis.  At least, as the temperature rises, the garden chores pull back somewhat.  This means I have more time to make soap!


I have been dreaming of making a rose perfumed soap for ages.  I wanted the soap to be pink but I didn’t want clear pink.  I wanted a more old-fashioned rose look.  I am really happy with the result.  It is exactly what I had in mind.

I divided the batter in three.  In one jug, I added some titanium dioxide.  In the second jug (the darker pink colour), I added some titanium dioxide, Bordeaux mica, ultramarine pink powder, ultramarine violet powder and neon pigment fired up fuschia.  In the third jug (the light pink), I put a bit more of the titanium dioxide and the other colourants (except the Bordeaux mica).  The only problem:  I have no idea what quantities I used to get the effect.  I, literally, kept adding this and that until it looked right.  The surface decoration is Bordeaux mica and a dried rose bud.

Once the colours were right, I added the fragrance oil (Brambleberry’s English rose fragrant oil).  Maus was there as a helping hand because I had read it accelerates trace but… no drama.  We poured the batter from the three jugs into a bowl and then, without mixing the colours, I poured the batter from the bowl into the mould.

I didn’t insulate the mould as floral fragrances have a tendency to heat up.  Lucky I didn’t!!  I was admiring my masterpiece for the umpteenth time when I noticed cracks forming.  Maus and I very quickly pulled the soap out of the mould and released it from its liner to let it cool down.  As it turned out, the crack was superficial and easily fixed.  All was well.


Flushed with success, I decided to try a similar soap but in a mint colour (with 5 variations) and fragrance.  For the fragrance, I chose Brambleberry’s spearmint eucalyptus fragrance oil which I ordered from the States.  My five colours were made from various combos of titanian dioxide, chrome green oxide, sea clay, ultramarine blue and neon pigment lime sherbet.  The pattern on top was created with white pearl mica and white, silver and green glitter.  I decided to pour the batter into the mould in thin steams to create a tiger stripe.  All went well until …  I had just poured the last of the batter into the mould when I realised I hadn’t added the fragrance oil!!!. Shit!

I made a quick executive decision that people would prefer a fragrant soap over a nicely striped soap and poured all the batter into a bowl and stirred in the fragrance oil.  Luckily for me, I was able to keep a slight swirl happening and the mixed colour ended up a nice minty green.  In the circumstances, I am very happy with the result.  Lesson for next time: DON’T FORGET THE FRAGRANCE OIL!!



26 thoughts on “A rose by any other name

  1. I started humming the ‘Milton the Monster’ song when reading your laboratory addition details. These look and sound stunning! Have you planned selling strategies yet? Maybe Etsy?.. You could always sell the fragrance free one as non-allergenic and charge double! 🙂

    • You have hit on something there Maree, I always smile when people advertise their soap as ‘all natural’. The fragrance is the most expensive ingredient yet ‘all natural fragrance free’ soaps are never cheaper the perfumed soaps. BTW Amazingly I have sold a few soaps – its coming up to Christmas.

  2. Your soaps are very beautiful, Glenda, they’ll make such fragrant presents. I wonder if it’s possible to make Christmas soaps with, say, clove oil, sweet orange, or some such – although a holly leaf on top could prove a tad tricky in the bathroom!

  3. You’ve really outdone yourself this time. The rose soap is just so beautiful to look at & since I love the smell, I’m betting it’s just perfect. For a ‘mistake’, I’d say the other batch still came out looking great.

  4. They look good enough to eat. I admire your skill and dedication.
    I also have a similar rule with regard to the heat, but there are too many jobs to finish and not enough cool hours in the day to get them done. I ask myself ” who is the task master here” and the answer is ‘me’, only me.

  5. This looks beautiful! (I imagine it smells awesome as well) I really want to try soapmaking, but it will be a LONG time before it looks anything like this. Lovely!!!!

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