Posts Tagged ‘soapmaking’

Apple Pie Scent

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

apple pie scent Apple Pie Fragrance Oil (Our Old Version) - Fragrance Oil Spotlight

There is nothing like the scent of apple pie.  A true American classic, Apple Pie scent is the aroma of fresh crisp apple intermingled with warm and mouthwatering spices.  This delicious scent in products is a big seller too.  This apple pie scent is fantastic for lovers of food type fragrances, or anyone who just enjoys an all around good apple aroma.  According to our clientele this great dessert scent is addictive, and they find their clients always craving more.  This strong and delicious scent is a wonderful addition to any product line and makes for truly yummy and scrumptious smelling homemade products.

What does Apple Pie Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is one that although we have had many apple scents to choose from, this apple pie has been with us since we started making candles.  This scent is not the same as our Hot Baked Apple Scent, as this one has more of a cinnamon “kick” to it.

How Do Our Customers Use Apple Pie Fragrance Oil?

For those of you that are candle crafters, this scent comes highly recommended!  A perfect apple pie scent for anyone looking to add bakery type scents to their line; Apple Pie Fragrance Oil smells just like apple pie fresh out of the oven.  Our customers use this apple pie scent in their soy, WOW, Pillar of Bliss, Joy, and paraffin waxes.  With an all around amazing scent throw, this fragrance is wonderful in both the hot and cold throw.  As for home scenting ideas to make your house smell good, this apple pie scent works phenomenally well in tart and oil burners, smelly jellies, liquid potpourris, sachet beads, room sprays, and reed diffusers.

For the bath and body crafters, this delicious apple pie scent is so realistic you can even smell the crust.  The usage rate for this fragrance is 1% in bath oils, soaps, and bath gels; and carries a .5% usage rate for lotions and perfumes.  Apple Pie Fragrance Oil also has a .5% vanillin content, so vanilla white color stabilizer is highly suggested to help stabilize discoloration in finished products.  This mouthwatering fragrance can be used to scent: body scrubs, body butters, perfumes, bath bombs, melt and pour soaps, salt bars, lotions, whipped body butters, and foaming hand soaps.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is great.  Here are the official testing results:  Very slight acceleration.  No separation.  Discolors to a tan color.  Yummy scent!

If you are interested in using this apple pie scent in a candle recipe, please click on this link to view Natures Gardens Independence Day Candle Recipe.

Cookie Scent

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Cookie ScentPeanut Butter Cookie Fragrance Oil-Fragrance Oil Spotlight

The peanut butter cookie was invented by a gentlemen named George Washington Carver.  In fact, George came up with over 103 recipes that included peanuts.  The first peanut butter cookie was rolled thin and cut into shapes, just like your sugar cookies of today.  Eventually by the 1930’s they were “dropped” into balls and pressed with fork tines in a crisscross pattern.  Technically, there was no real reason for this additional step but it became the style peanut butter cookies became known for.  And, just like a freshly baked platter of peanut butter cookies, there is no denying the authentic aroma of this cookie scent.  It is so unbelievably real you may just think somebody baked a large batch of cookies.  This cookie scent is comforting, inviting, and so yummy; leaving quite the impression.  Peanut Butter Cookie Fragrance Oil is a very true scent to the real cookie.

What does Peanut Butter Cookie Fragrance Oil smell like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is simply amazing!  Peanut Butter Cookie fragrance is a rich, buttery, freshly baked aroma of real peanut butter cookies! You will not believe how true to name this scent is! A Best Seller!

How do our customers use Peanut Butter Cookie Fragrance Oil?

For candle crafters and home scenters this bakery delight is a huge hit.  Our customers use this cookie scent in their soy tarts, tea lights, Palm Container wax, WOW wax, Joy wax, and soy.  And, Peanut Butter Cookie Fragrance Oil has great throw too.  As for other home scenting ideas; this scent has been used in oil diffusers and electric burners.

On the bath and body end of products, the usage rate for this fragrance oil is 5%.  This cookie scent does contain a vanillin content of 1.6%, so using Vanilla White Color Stabilizer is highly recommended to offset discoloration in your finished products.  This wonderful cookie scent is used to make:  melt and pour soaps, bath bombs, lotions, and body butters; all with a delicious buttery scent.  And, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this cookie scent soaped beautifully.  Here are the official results:  No acceleration at all.  Scent sticks.  Soaps great.  Discolors to a caramel color.

Insulating Soap

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

insulating soap In an earlier blog post, we discussed how insulating soap to promote gel phase was a matter of personal choice. Whether you insulate or choose not to, your soap will still be soap.

When it comes to whether you choose to insulate or not, really there are only two factors that will change. The first is the amount of cure time. Due to the fact that the saponification process is slowed down by the prevention of gel phase, your soap may need extra cure time before use. On the other hand, promoting a full gel phase for your soap means an accelerated saponification process with a normal cure time. And, the second difference is an aesthetic one.

The finished look of your soap will differ slightly based upon whether you choose to prevent gel phase or encourage it. By preventing gel phase (sticking your molded soap in the fridge or freezer), your finished soap will have a matte look to it. By promoting gel phase, your finished soap will have a slight translucent, shiny look to it. Again, however, please remember regardless of which method you choose either method results with finished soap.

When making soap, it is important to remember that the gel phase occurs during the saponification process. While your soap is in the mold, the various soaping ingredients react with the lye mixture, and heat is used to help the acceleration of the whole saponification process. When choosing to promote gel phase during saponification, it can be accomplished through means of insulation.

Insulating your soap means wrapping the soap with various layers in an attempt to keep the heat within the soap. Because the saponification process is endothermic (meaning the process pulls heat from its surroundings), keeping the soap insulated is the best means to successfully promoting gel phase throughout your whole soap. It will also help to prevent a partial gel. If you remember, a partial gel is where the center of your soap achieves gel phase, but the outside areas do not. This typically occurs because the outside of the soap looses heat in a quicker fashion therefore inhibiting the ideal environment for a full gel phase to occur.

Through the means of insulation, you can provide your soap with its ideal environment (heat wise).  And, when it comes to insulation for your soap, there are many different items you can use.  These items would include: newspaper, cardboard, blankets, towels, etc.  Practically, you can use any layer type material that will keep the heat in the soap (but never aluminum foil).

Many soapers will use various items in combination such as: wrapping the soap with saran wrap (especially if the soap has a decorated top), then covering it with newspaper, surrounded by towels, and finally placed under a box. There really is no limit for insulation. And, many believe that over insulating can never be done. Remember the key to insulating, if you are choosing to promote the gel phase; is to keep as much heat in the soap as possible.

However, please note: If you are soaping a recipe that does contain sugar or dairy products, you may want to go a little on the lighter side of insulating due to the fact that these items in your recipe will increase heat during the saponification process. Extreme insulating in these examples may cause the ingredients to “burn”, possibly resulting in discoloration and an off smell in your finished soaps.  It can also cause your soap batter to begin to bubble out of your mold.  You do however have the choice of preventing the gel phase for these types of recipes, and sticking your molded soap in the fridge or freezer.

Gel Phase

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

inhibited gel phase soap In an earlier blog post, we briefly discussed insulation of cold process soap. Through insulating your soap, you are encouraging the best environment for the gel phase to occur during saponification. Keeping the soap evenly heated using insulation will prevent a partial gel from occurring. But, still there are no guarantees. Even with the best insulation, you may still end up with bars of soap that have partial gel evident.

So, what if you prevented the gel phase in your soap?

Although this is possible, it is still not guaranteed. It can be very tough to prevent the gel phase. But, there are some factors that need to be noted to help you in your quest to stop the gel phase. These factors are: the size of your mold, and the various ingredients in your recipe. The saponification process involves heat; it is the nature of the soaping beast. Choosing to eliminate the gel phase will change some elements to your soap and soaping process.

But, before we get to that information, let’s look at some specific reasons to prohibit the gel phase.

First, since you are decreasing the amount of heat that is in your soap, this will allow you to introduce certain soaping ingredients that normally would be finicky. Examples of these heat sensitive ingredients would be: dairy products, heat sensitive colorants; prone to morphing, and fragrances or essential oils with a low flashpoint.

Dairy Products
Soaping with ingredients such as creams, milks, and butters for example will provide your finished bars with rich, extra moisturizing elements. However, soaping with dairy products can be tricky. With the heat that is involved with the saponification process, there is a chance that dairy products will burn. This results in both discoloration and an off smell in your soap. By preventing the gel phase from occurring, you allow these ingredients a fighting chance in soap. And, you can even produce a creamier bar of finished soap.

Colorants
Whether you are deciding to go the natural route with herbs, or using colorants that you worry may morph; preventing gel phase allows the window of opportunity to stay open. Certain herbs discolor or darker from the saponification process. The same is true for some colorants that completely alter like deep purple to brown.

Now, for the colorants in the finished soap when the gel phase is eliminated: the bar colors are bolder and more vivid. Even if you choose not to color your soap batter, the elimination of the gel phase stops the darkening of the fats and oils in your recipe, allowing for a “whiter” finished bar.

Scenting Options
If you do not want to rebatch your soap recipe, preventing the gel phase in your cold process soap may allow you to scent your soap with low flashpoint oils without worrying that the saponification process will eliminate the scent. It is also possible for fragrance or essential oil scents to come through stronger in the soap because of the reduction of heat.

As for what preventing the gel phase means for your soaps, there are key points you should know. First, you must keep your molded soap chilled for the full 24 hours. Depending on your recipe, you may have to keep the soap chilled for an additional 24 hours as well.

Now, when you are ready to unmold your soap, it is crucial to let your molded soap reach room temperature before trying to slice it. Not allowing your soap to be at room temperature before cutting may result with your bars being brittle, and breaking apart as you slice them.

As for the saponification process, since you inhibit the gel phase, it will take your soaps longer to complete the saponification process. What this means is that the soap will need additional cure time before it will be ready to use.

So, whether you choose to insulate or prevent the gel phase, it is really up to personal discretion. Regardless of the method, the result is the same; a finished bar of soap. The only variables that change are the molding environment and the cure time.

Insulate Soap

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

insulate soap As soap crafters, there are hundreds of variances allotted to us that allow our soaps to be special. Maybe it is the combination of oils in your recipe, the process to which you soap, your unique scents, your particular decorating method, or really any number of things that makes your soap exclusive. Well, in this blog post, we are going to throw a new option into the mix.

To insulate or not to insulate that is the question.

As with many aspects of soap making; when it comes to insulation, it is really a personal preference.

Being new to soap making, a lot of research is involved. You read, read, and read some more in order to learn everything you can about soap making. Well, as many of us found, insulating is always advised.

The insulating step involves taking your freshly poured, molded soap, and surrounding it with layers. These layers help to keep the soap at an even heat while the batter goes through the saponification process. During the saponification process, as the lye reacts with the various soap making ingredients, soap (and glycerin) is produced. The process itself is an endothermic reaction, meaning that it absorbs heat from the surroundings.

This “heat stage” of soap making is commonly called the gel phase. During the gel phase, saponification works at an accelerated rate, hardening the fats of your recipe. This phase will also be the time where any discoloration of ingredients or colorants will occur from the heat.

Keeping the soap uniformly heated will prevent a partial gel from occurring. Not keeping the soap uniformly heated allows for the soap that is in the center of the mold to stay hot, while the soap on the outside loses heat rapidly. And, since the saponification process is endothermic, it needs to be able to draw heat from its surroundings. What this results in is an off colored look in the center of your soap, usually in an oval like shape. This shows that the center of the soap gelled, and the outside of the soap never reached gel phase.

Speaking in terms of soap, gel phase or not reaching gel phase does not harm the soap itself. The soap will still function after cure; it is only an aesthetic issue. So, it is for this reason that it is often believed that insulation is vital to an amazing looking bar of cold process soap. But, there is an alternative.

Lets look at the flip side.  If you do not want to insulate the heat in the soap, what would happen if you chilled the soap instead?

Chilling your molded soap would prevent the gel phase from occurring. This would be a handy trick of the trade for a few reasons. It should however, be noted though that in order for the gel phase prevention to occur, you need to be able to control the area. Operating out of a loaf mold for example, still allows enough soap in the middle for a partial gel to occur. You want to keep the size of the soap easily manageable for temperature reasons. Remember, because saponification deals with heat, while the lye and fats are reacting, heat will be present. To completely increase your chances of preventing the gel phase, you must minimize the area that needs chilled, aka use smaller molds.

Not insulating your soap, and instead placing your freshly molded soap into the fridge or freezer for 24 hours will help to prevent the gel phase from occurring. But, please note the size of your soap will directly determine whether the gel phase will occur or not.   This also rings true for the soaping ingredients that are in your recipe. Chilling your soap is not a guarantee, partial gelling can still transpire.

In closing, there is another option if you choose not to insulate your soap. There are benefits and drawbacks to chilling your soap. Stay tuned for a future blog posts discussing preventing gel phase and what the outcome will be.

 

Brittle Soap

Monday, April 14th, 2014

soap that has too much sodium lactate
Warning, the following pictures may disturb some soapers!

Here was the scenario:  Using a Hot Process Recipe, we made a soap batch that we thought would work.  However, we got a little too sodium lactate happy.  As a result, our soap bars were not functional.  And, to be completely honest, some of our soap could not even be classified as a bar.

Can you feel the soaping life lesson coming on?

Our hot process soap was molded and ready to be removed and sliced.  The end was trimmed off, and we went in for our first cut… that was when the slice fell, and broke into two pieces.

brittle slice of soap

Again we tried, but to no avail…

crumbly soap

That was when we thought to slice the bars thicker.  Still the same result, a broken bar of soap.

high amount of sodium lactate

Heart broken, we came to the conclusion that there was too much sodium lactate in our recipe.

Yes, sad but true; we have brittle soap.  And, a 4 pound batch at that!  Even though the soap was brittle, we still wanted to find out how it performed.  So, we washed our hands with the bar pieces.  This action made the finished bars completely crumble as we rubbed them together under the running water.

testing the processed soap

The original recipe was a failure, but not a complete one.  We were able to see first hand what happens to soap when too much sodium lactate is added.

soap that needs a rebatch

In one of the earlier Natures Gardens blog posts, we wrote that using too much sodium lactate in your soap recipe will produce finished bars that crumble or are brittle.  This soap is the perfect example of exactly how this worked.

The recipe that we used contained 1 ounce of sodium lactate per pound of soaping oils in our recipe.  We thought that this would help harden the bar, especially since the soap was made from very soft oils.

Well, we were wrong.  This is why testing is highly suggested when dealing with soaping additives like sodium lactate.

Tie Dye Soap

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

cup column swirl soapWatching all of the cool Youtube videos on making column swirl soap, we had to give it a try.  We thought that the column concept would make a great tie dye soap.  This soap recipe was our attempt at doing a column swirl soap.  Since we did not have wooden columns at our disposal, we thought we would improvise and try disposable cups.

To make this recipe, the majority of the ingredients and supplies can be found at Natures Garden.  You will however have to have water, lye, and your disposable cups- these items can not be purchased there.

For this soap, the scent that was selected was cannabis flower.  Now, since this scent has a vanillin content of .2%, we also included vanilla white color stabilizer in the recipe.  This decision was made after checking the cold process soap results for discoloration in this fragrance.  We saw that naturally without this additive the bar would discolor to a very light beige.  Considering we did not want our tie dye soap colors affected by this, it was a smart choice.  Also, since the mold that we are using is the 18 bar rectangle grid tray, we also decided to add sodium lactate to our recipe.  Not only will this allow the soap to be removed more easily from the mold, but it will also provide our finished bars with additional moisturizing aspects.

As for the colors in this soap, you can add as many or as few as you want.  Any of Natures Garden FUN Soap colorants will work!

So, lets get started in making tie dye soap.

Here is the recipe:
582 grams of water
215 grams of lye

413 grams of Shea Butter
306 grams of Coconut Oil 76
153 grams of Safflower Oil
107 grams of Rice Bran Oil
245 grams of Olive Oil pomace
184 grams of Meadowfoam Seed Oil
122 grams of Fractionated Coconut Oil
96 grams of Cannabis Flower Fragrance Oil
48 grams of Vanilla White Color Stabilizer
63 grams of Sodium Lactate

Now, if you would like to use the same colors shown in the steps, below are the weights.

Tie Dye Soap Colors:
6 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Neon Red
6 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Neon Yellow
6 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Neon Orange
6 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Neon Green
8 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Neon Blue
12 grams of FUN Soap Colorant Ultramarine Violet

If this is your first time making cold process soap, please Click Here For Basic CP Soap Making Class. Also, before attempting to make any cold process soap, please become familiar with Soap Making Safety Class.

Step 1:  Put on your safety gear:  This would include your safety gloves,  apron, safety mask, and safety glasses.

cp soap making safety gear

Step 2:  In your mold, space your 6 disposable cups equally apart from one another.

prepping your mold

Step 3:  In a small bowl, weigh out your lye.  In a separate bowl, weigh out your water.  In a well ventilated area, slowly pour the lye into the water.  Use a spatula to stir slowly.  Avoid breathing in any of the lye water fumes.  Keep stirring the lye water until there are no lye granules are left in the water.    Allow this to cool to 90-100 degrees F.

stirring the lye water

Step 4:  According to the recipe listed above: in a pot weigh out the Shea Butter and coconut oil 76.  Melt these two ingredients down on low heat until each one is in a liquid state.  Stir.  Then, add the safflower oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and fractionated coconut oil.  Stir again.  Remove from heat.  Then, transfer all of this into a large mixing bowl.

mixing your oils

Step 5:  Next, get your 6 mixing bowls.  Assign each bowl a color.  Then, weigh out the appropriate color amount for each bowl.

colorants in bowls

Step 6:  Using your thermometer, check the temperature of the lye water.  When it has cooled to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, add your Sodium Lactate.  Stir carefully.  Now, once the temperatures of the lye water and the soaping oils and butters are within 5-10 degrees of one another, it is time to move on to the next step.

adding sodium lactate to the recipe
Step 7:   Now, slowly pour the lye water/sodium lactate into your oils and butters bowl.  Use a spatula to get all of this out and into the other bowl.

adding lye water to the soaping oils

Step 8:  Using your stick blender, carefully mix everything together.  You will notice your batter will begin to look creamy and thicken slightly.  Now, stop blending.

blending the soap batter

Step 9:  Next, add the fragrance oil.

scenting the column swirl

Step 10:  Then, add the Vanilla White Color Stabilizer.  Once added, stick blend to incorporate.

adding vanilla white color stabilizer
Step 11:
  Now, place 405 grams of the soap batter into each bowl.  Stir each bowl with a spoon.  This will help slow down trace.

spoon stirred colored soap
Step 12: 
Starting with any one of your colors, begin to pour about half of the batter over 3 cups.  Repeat with a second and third color.  Then, using a new color, pour about half of the batter over the 3 cups that do not have soap over them yet.  Repeat this with your two remaining colors.  Then, with the remaining batter, keep covering different cups.  While you are doing this step, if any cups move, use your spatula to put them back into place.  When all of the pourable batter is out of your bowls, use your spatula to scrape the soap from the cups.  Then remove them.

column swirl pour
Step 13:  Now, using your spatula, scrape the colored bowls.  Then, splatter this soap over the mold.

splattering the soap
Step 14:  When all the soap is in the mold, insulate it and allow it to harden for 24 hours.

insulating your soap
Step 15:  After 24 hours, remove your soap from the mold.  Carefully, using a knife or a mitre cutter, slice the soap bars.  Once all of the soap is sliced, allow it to fully cure.

cutting your soap

After the cure time has elapsed, enjoy your Tie Dye Soap!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

 

 

Great Food Scent

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

great food scentBlueberry Muffin Fragrance Oil - Fragrance Oil Spotlight

A true classic, Blueberry Muffin Scent is so dead on it will literally make your mouth water.  In products, this scent perfectly balances notes of rich blueberries, sweet cake, and butter.  In fact, our clients say this fragrance is the key ingredient for a great selling product year round.  Many even consider Natures Gardens Blueberry Muffin one of the best in the market.  This scent is adored by everyone, but is fantastic for lovers of food type scents.  According to our clientele this great food scent is addictive and beyond amazing.  This strong and delicious scent permeates and is a must have in your stock.

What does Blueberry Muffin Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is the aroma of a freshly baked blueberry muffin. Top notes of juicy tart blueberries with orange zests, middle notes of butter cake, and base notes of vanilla and almond. One of the strongest fragrances that we carry!  A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Blueberry Muffin Fragrance Oil?

For those of you that are candle crafters; this scent is highly suggested; especially if you are just starting out.  Our customers use this great food scent in their soy, Pillar of Bliss, Joy, paraffin, and palm waxes.  This fragrance is amazing in candles, and has tremendous hot and cold scent throw.  Blueberry Muffin scent also works well in tart, oil burners, and reed diffusers.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil smells like fresh muffins right out of the oven.  The usage rate is 5%, and this fragrance has a vanillin content of 6.3%; so vanilla white color stabilizer is highly suggested to help stabilize discoloration in finished products.  This yummy fragrance can be used to scent: body scrubs, perfumes, bath bombs, melt and pour soaps, lotions, whipped body butters, and spray lotions.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is so worth the discoloration.  Here are the official testing results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration, discolors to a dark chocolate.

The Handmade Industries

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

starter-kits copyOver the years, the home scenting as well as the bath and body industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.  And, even better yet market analysis data report that these industries are still on the move.

When it comes to candles, chandeliers are using more than just paraffin waxes.  There has been an influx in quite a variety of waxes for candles including soy, gel, and other natural based waxes as well.  But, besides the array of candles available, many candle makers are marketing other products with their candles too.  Companies are creating complimentary scented products like incense, cosmetics, soaps, home scenting mediums, pet products, and even cleaning products to be sold with their candles.  The same statement can be made for soap makers.  Rather than just marketing bath and body products like soaps and scrubs, many soap makers are also making candles and tarts, room sprays, reed diffusers, and aroma beads in matching aromas too.  And, this super smart marketing strategy equates to higher sales and happier customers in the end.

The common denominator for success in both handmade industries is superior quality products that smell good.  We live in a world today where consumers are very aware of quality.  Because handmade products are far more superior to mass produced machine made products, consumers will seek out quality.  Even when it comes to the soaps that they use in their homes, shoppers are now realizing that going the handmade route with their purchase is the wisest choice.  Not only do natural soaps have a longer life in the shower, but also handmade soaps are healthier for your skin.

Besides the superior quality of handmade products, the good smell of your products also increases sales.  Consumers are spending more on products that smell good.  People want everything to have a good smell whether it is their homes, automobiles, clothing, or themselves; there is a huge niche for this.  Many perfumists in the industry realize this and are diligently working harder than ever to formulate scents that fulfill the unique wants and needs of the consumers spending habits.

Even when it comes to gift giving, many shoppers are going the homemade route instead.  Homemade gift baskets are becoming more and more popular because homemade gifts mean more to the recipient than store bought gifts.  Handmade products are sentimental.

If you are interested in making your own soaps, candles, cosmetics, or home scenting products for your small business or even just a gift basket, Natures Garden is here to help.  We are truly passionate about helping you turn your creative ideas into something beautiful in this exciting and prosperous industry.  Our informative and experienced staff can be reached by calling our HUG Line (1-866-647-2368) or you can contact us via email at info@naturesgardencandles.com.

Adding Beeswax to a Soaping Recipe

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
beeswax

Adding beeswax to your cold process recipes provides a harder, long lasting bar of soap.

So, we had a brilliant idea, and we ran with it.  But, as we learned having a brilliant idea does not always equate to a brilliant end result.  Instead, our brilliant idea was a learning experience!

The Scenario

It all started out with the scent Nectarine and Honey, which by the way happens to be a fabulous scent.  In true Natures Garden form, we wanted to take this fragrance oil and kick it up a notch.  So, to the brainstorming mobile we went- hello think tank!  Back and forth the creative ideas started flowing- anything that was related to nectarine and/or honey was noted.  What resulted was a cold process soap recipe focused around the scent Nectarine and Honey that would incorporate bee products; Honey, Beeswax, and Bee Pollen Powder.  Once we knew how luxurious this soap was going to be, the clever name Royal Honey Bee Soap seemed to be the perfect match.

The Special Bee Ingredients

Honey was an easy choice.  We know that honey contains awesome skin loving benefits.  It is a detoxifier, loaded with antioxidants, and it’s very moisturizing.  After using body products with honey your skin feels extremely soft and supple.  Through our research we found that even Cleopatra herself bathed in honey and milk to supplement her natural loveliness and beautiful, soft skin.

Bee Pollen Powder was also chosen for the benefits it provides to the skin.  Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.  Products with bee pollen powder leave your skin feeling naturally soft and smooth.

Beeswax was selected as our warrior.  Although this ingredient is commonly used to help harden soaps, (making them last longer) we wanted it for a different reason. It also brought another element to the table- it locks in moisture for your skin.  Besides helping to keep your skin moisturized, after using products that include beeswax- a thin protective layer is left- a shield for your skin against the harsh outside elements of your environment.

We were set.  Super excited about how magnificent this recipe was going to be, we happily plugged our ingredients into Soap Calc, double checked our values, and moved on to the testing stage.

The Creation

Everything was set.  The lye solution was cooling.  The beeswax, butters, and oils were melted.  We were just waiting on the green light (temperatures).  The excitement was thick in the air.

Finally, the time had arrived.  The soaping procedure was normal.  Really, the only changes were: honey was added at light trace, and the bee pollen at trace.  This was easy!

The soap batter was beautiful- thick, creamy and smelled divine.  There was no denying it; you could just envision how great these bars were going to turn out after cure.  Seeing this gorgeous masterpiece coming together was intoxicating.  The anticipation of molding this batter was building, and we couldn’t wait to get started.

Since Nectarine and Honey fragrance oil naturally discolors to a creamy peach and the addition of bee pollen powder will add somewhat of a yellow hue, we thought this final color would be perfect.  So, really the only thing we wanted to accomplish was a heaped loaf with peaks.  Easy, right?

Yes, it was… so easy!  The batter was poured and heaped through the center of the mold.  We felt like Pablo Picasso working on a yet to be viral masterpiece.  Everything was going as planned.  Once we started peaking with a spatula, it was perfection in its finest hour.  Each peak held to the spatula and gracefully formed the most breath-taking, stunning crests.  The playful batter was alluring, begging for more peaks, and we did just that.  We peaked and played until it was perfect.  The soap batter was not only enchanting, but also captivating visually.  It was quite possible that we may have just stumbled upon a divine soap recipe- one to go down through the ages. 

After waiting the 24 hours to remove the soap from the mold, it was almost too much to handle.  We couldn’t wait to get these beauties out and cut; let alone the rest of the cure time.  But, we did- that’s soaping 101; it comes with the territory.

Finally- the Cure is Over

The first day that the soap was finished, we couldn’t wait to give it a try.  The bars were angelic.  The color was flawless, the bars were nice and hard, the scent retention was amazing!  We just had to try them out.  To the sink we went, and this is where our demise met us.

We soaped, and we were heartbroken.  Although everything seemed to be perfect throughout this whole process, our soap bars were crumbly.  Too crumbly!  We were defeated, and it was the beeswax that was the culprit.  The same ingredient that memorized us with its playful nature in the soap batter was now our arch enemy in the final product.  We felt as though we were victims to the sirens of the soaping world.  Back to the drawing board.

Analysis

After reviewing our notes and recipe, we found that the percentage of beeswax we used in the original recipe was too high (10%).  Investigating further, we found that the normal usage rate for this ingredient was a mere 1-2%.  Yikes!

honey soap

This is a finished and cured bar of Royal Honey Bee Soap by Natures Garden.

We did recalculate and remake the Royal Honey Bee Soap Recipe.  However, this time we decided to leave out the beeswax.  The bars were still gorgeous, soothing, and the scent retention was phenomenal.  After using it our skin did feel soft, supple, and nourished.  The honey added an extravagant element of luscious royalty.  The soap bars were still a win even without the beeswax.

In hind sight- we will try again to create a soap recipe that includes beeswax just not at 10%.  Sometimes, the most memorable lessons in life are the ones that you have to see for yourself- even if they result in less than desirable outcomes.