Soap time

For years my husband and I have been making lye/oil soap. We were gifted a recipe from my sister Angela that includes a ton of super luxurious oils like avocado, kukui nut, olive, coconut, and palm oil, along with apricot kernel, grape seed and shea butter. The soap always comes out pretty much the same in terms of the consistency and the richness but depending on where we buy the oils from it has slight variations. We also blend our own essential oils to scent the soap. Over the years we’ve tried a dozen or so combinations – everything from rosemary and peppermint, to vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli. We’ve also mixed in flowers and other textural elements. The first time we made it we had to mill the soap because the first cure didn’t set at all (we didn’t use a stick blender so the lye and oil didn’t mix properly). We learned our lesson quickly. One Christmas we had a part where we gave out about 6 varieties of soap to all the friends who came over. It was super duper. Generally though, we keep half the soap for us and give half away as presents to friends. So be nice and you might get some of our next batch.

Because of our move from the UK back to the states, job shifts, Brian finishing his PhD, family stuff, and getting a dog, we hadn’t made soap in quite a while and were actually buying soap for the first time in maybe 8 or 9 years… but finally… we’ve made a new batch! This one is scented with blood orange, frankincense, and clary sage and it has a swirl of turmeric in it to give it a lovely color (plus turmeric is great for the skin). As someone with skin issues, this soap is always a miraculously rich savior to my troubled skin…so I can’t wait for it to finishing curing. We cut the soap last night so only four weeks to go!

Here are a few snaps of the bars in various states of cutting:

Soap in the Box Just Poured
Soap in the Box Just Poured
Soap out of the box ready to cut
Soap out of the box ready to cut
A few bars have been cut
A few bars have been cut
Cutting in process
Cutting in process
Soap laid out to cure
Soap laid out to cure

Counting the days until we can use these beauties. In the meantime, the house smells glorious. We’ve also ordered more essential oils so that we can make another batch – this time cedarwood, palmarosa and ylang ylang.

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