29 March 2011

Peeling back the layers

I was sitting here this evening, relaxing, and suddenly got soapy withdrawal symptoms.  You know the kind of thing, I am fidgety, and I have to go and make some now! So, off I trotted to the kitchen, put on my pointy hat and weighed everything into my cauldron.

I wanted to do something a bit different. All my soaps to date have been  plain. Some have had a sprinkling of botanicals on the top, but that has been as far as I have allowed my creativity to go.

I had decided that I was going to fragrance my soap with lavender and patchouli, a combination I have not used before, and I wanted to colour it to match. After I weighed out the liquid oils, I decanted some into a small glass dish, added alkanet and warmed it a little to help the infusion. I let it sit while I melted the liquid and solid oils together, mixed the lye solution added the two together, and brought it to trace. After adding the essential oil blend and mixing well, I separated out some of the raw soap and added my alkanet infused oil to the main part of the soap batch then poured it into the prepared mould. When I thought it had set enough, I very slowly ladled the uncoloured soap on the top and put it to bed.

I will be surprised if this is a successfully layered soap. Everything I have read suggests that you make a half batch of soap, and then while this is setting you make your second half batch, but I like to bend the rules a bit, partly because I never bother to read instructions. I can't wait until tomorrow when I am able to unmould it and see how it looks. It is certain to be interesting. It will either look lovely (pink pigs overhead) or the top layer will have dripped down into the bottom layer and it will look a complete mess. All will be revealed.


  1. Or it could be some amazing effect you never thought would happen.. can't wait to see!!

  2. Yes I know the feeling you speak of when you have that urge to soap. Only once have I made my layers with separate batches. Usually I just make layered soap all at once and let the first layer set up a bit or bring it to a heavier trace and pour the second layer on top. I'm looking forward to your cut version.