Love Needs to be Blind
Today in the soap studio (aka, “the basement”):
I feverishly cranked out loaf after loaf of soap over the last couple of days in preparation for Valentine’s Day. My latest adventure involved adding sugar to the soap batter. “They” say it makes for a bigger, fluffier lather. I’m all about Hollywood-glam-style bubbles, so I nabbed the sugar canister from the kitchen and plopped it on the work bench.
The fragrance I’m using is called “Silver Sparkle”. According to the manufacturer, “It starts with notes of clove, berry, orange, tonka, and ylang ylang. The blend finishes with notes of creamy vanilla, myrrh, and resin.” I really need to google “tonka”, because I doubt they’re referring to the little yellow, steel, tetanus-laden dump truck I played with as a kid.
I was going for a pewter/silver/white/red swirly bar with a couple of bands of solid color. It’s a style that Sage Gold Soaps makes beautifully and I keep trying to emulate it with often disastrous results.
I figured I’d just keep the name “Silver Sparkle” for the soap because I lack creativity.
What “they” failed to mention in the articles I read about adding sugar to soap is that it discolors the soap to an almost neon shade of mango-flesh yellow-orange. I mean, if I’d planned for it, it would’ve been stunning. Alas, I wasn’t going for an 80’s neon aesthetic.
Naturally, the fragrance oil, when added to the soap batter, “accelerates” the batter. That means it turns it from liquid to solid in minutes rather than in hours. The batter “swirled” about as well as cookie dough. I plopped, slammed, fenagled, and cursed to try to get the batter in the molds and looking somewhat presentable.
- pewter and neon-mango make baby-shit green
- white and neon-mango make neon-lemon
- silver and neon-mango make light-baby-shit green
Raw, uncut loaves of soap can be a little rustic, for sure. This train wreck has morphed a bit, the yellow is less yellowy in spots. It could change to be the colors I’d originally intended. Or just morph into a new disaster. I guess that’s what makes soapmaking “fun”?
For the visually impaired, it’s a fabulous bar of soap — nourishing, bubbly, fragrant. It’s everything I love about handmade soap. I guess if you’re in prison, a few slabs of this in a sock would be excellent protection from ne’er-do-wells and misguided romantics.
But man it’s ugly.
I think I’m going to name it “Love (should be) Blind”.
This sucker’s going in the “cheap soap” bin!