Fresh Verdant Soap

Lipids
Lipid Amount
in oz
Percent
Coconut 76° 13 20.97
Palm 12 19.35
Soybean 10 16.13
Olive 8 12.90
Hemp 5  8.06
Castor 5  8.06
Green Tea Butter 3  4.84
Shea Butter 2  3.23
Meadowfoam 2  3.23
Rosehip 2  3.23
Total Weight 62

Fluid (mint tea) needed:
17.36 - 22.94 fluid oz

green coloring, rosemary for preservative and lilac and sage scents

Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
0 9.01
1 8.92
2 8.83
3 8.74
4 8.65
5 8.56
6 8.47
7 8.38
8 8.29
9 8.20
10 8.11

Handmade Fragrances

Metaphysical Farms Lavender FieldThe use of flowers as perfume dates back too far to be traced by man. At one time diseases were thought to be transmitted through bad odors, which led to the use of flowers and scents to purify the air. Religious ceremonies using herbs and resins have been used since Egyptian times. Over the centuries flowers have taken on a special meaning. In soap making, these fragrances are prized and often times hard to come by when looking for the perfect scent.

Today, most of the fragrances you buy are synthetic and do not come from flowers themselves. If you do find a pure flower extraction, it is often times very expensive. But using a technique known as enfleurage you can extract some of the scents of flowers right in your own home. To begin this process you will need to melt down enough solid unscented oil to cover the bottom of at least two large shallow plates. Each plate should have approximately 1/2 inch of the melted substance. The plates need to match so you can place them upside down on top of each other without any gaps. When the fat has solidified, score it in crisscross patterns and fill the space between the plates with the petals of highly scented flowers. If you would like you can add a bit of citrus peel, herbs or spice to accent the scent. Be very careful not to allow any of the plant parts to drop on the plates since they can introduce fungi that will spoil your perfume.

Honey Mask

Metaphysical Farms SoapHoney has a long history in human societies around the world. It is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. What is more interesting is that it also has a role in religion and symbolism sometimes being called the nectar of the gods. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. In fact recent studies of honey have indicated that these traditional uses actually have scientific merit. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, high acidity, and the antibacterial activity of methylglyoxal. Because of all of that honey makes an excellent face mask.

Lip Balm Emulsions

Lip Balm

There are a lot of different things you can do with the various oils that are used in soap making. One of the easiest things is to turn a few of the best oils into an emulsion for a lip-balm or body moisturizer. The process really is simple and actually has fewer steps than making your own soap.

For anyone who has made a salad with an oil and a liquid, you know how oil and water can be combined into a new product. The basic process is to melt the solid oils and add them to the fluid oils. Once you have combined the oils then you can start adding different flavors or sweeteners (like honey) which have water in them. If you just want the lip balm to be plain, just add water. At this point you need to stir the fluid/water vigorously as you slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture. This should create the perfect emulsion and you will be able to chill the emulsion to form an even more solid lip balm.

Here is a simple olive oil and beeswax recipe:

  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Beeswax
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Shea Butter
  • Any Flavored Oil To Taste
  • 2-3 drops of Vitamin E (as a preservative)

Meditation Changes the Brain

Lavender FragrancePractitioners of meditation have long believed that the centering and calming ways of their life were directly related to their mindful meditations. A recent scientific study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging shows that subjects who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable increases in the amount of grey matter in regions of the brain associated with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking. The other surprising aspect is that the meditation not only increased grey matter in areas of the brain associated with positive aspects of our society but it also showed that grey matter was reduced in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.

What we can find from this study is that mindfulness as slowing one's self down, while not necessary to life, would improve brain function. Who knows to what limits we could achieve if we just spent 30 minutes a day meditating?

Simple Castile Soap

Lipids
Lipid Amount
in oz
Percent
Olive 43 66.15
Palm 11 16.92
Coconut 76° 11 16.92
Total Weight 65

Fluid (water) needed:
18.2 - 24.05 fluid oz

Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
0 9.40
1 9.31
2 9.21
3 9.12
4 9.03
5 8.93
6 8.84
7 8.74
8 8.65
9 8.56
10 8.46

Castile soap is just another name for an olive oil based soap. The major feature of these soaps are the moisturizing qualities attributed to the olive oil. When you make this recipe, be sure to use a stick-blender, otherwise it will take a very long time for the soap to reach trace. I've added some palm oil and coconut oil to harden the bar a little bit.

Saponification of Oils into Soap

The processes of making soap are all centered around the chemical process of saponification. Soap makers have for years had huge lists of SAP (saponification) tables that describes the basic process of converting fats into soap. For new soap makers, the process may seem almost like magic because of all the mathematical formulas and conversions. Really, what every soap maker is doing when he or she makes a batch of soap is stepping into an organic chemistry lab and forcing a chemical reaction to take place.

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Woody Suspend Soap

Adding Fragrance to Homemade Soap

In a lot of my soap making videos, I simply show myself adding a particular fragrance to the soap without explaining much about the different options there are to making your soap smell like it just came out of a designer spa but at a far cheaper price. In this article I hope to explain some of the basics to adding fragrance to your soap so that you can feel more confident to experiment with your own scents as you join the wonderful community of soapmakers.There are basically two chances you will have to add fragrance to your soap. The most common way is to add either a fragrance oil or a pure essential oil to your soap. The second way in which to add scent to your soap is to use various aromatic liquids like tea or coffee. There is a third way that is sometimes suggested by adding herbs or flowers to your soap but I have never had much luck with this method and if the cuttings are not heat safe, you will find most of the time they end up being burned by the saponification process.

Crazy Woody Soap

Lipids
Lipid Amount
in oz
Percent
Coconut 76° 15.2 24.72
Palm 15 24.39
Soybean 12 19.51
Olive 8 13.01
Hemp 6  9.76
Castor 3.3  5.37
Shea Butter 2  3.25
Total Weight 61.5

Fluid (water) needed:
17.22 - 22.755 fluid oz

Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
0 9.14
1 9.05
2 8.95
3 8.86
4 8.77
5 8.68
6 8.59
7 8.50
8 8.41
9 8.32
10 8.22

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