My SOAP Panel results are in!

I was chosen recently by Bramble Berry to test some fragrance oils that they would like to see join their line. I had to sniff them as soon as they arrived, but it took me a little longer to actually use them in soap.

While Bramble Berry wanted their mystery fragrances to be tested in whatever we wanted (soap, lotion, perfume…), I stuck with what I’m most comfortable with: cold process bar soap.

I made little 1 pound batches and then added 0.7 ounces of each fragrance oil (FO). Specifically, I was looking for several characteristics for each FO:

  • Did the FO cause the soap process to speed up, causing the soap to get thick before I was able to pour it? Frankly, I was expecting that they would (floral fragrances are notorious for this), so I kept the temperatures of the oils and lye on the cool side to try to minimize it.
  • Did the FO cause the soap to curdle or “rice”, resulting in a chunky appearance? Again, this is common for this type of fragrance, so I was ready to blend a little extra if I had to.
  • Did the FO alter the color of the soap? This can be unexpected.  So for each batch, I always left some of it uncolored so see if the color changed because of the FO.
  • Did the scent of the FO change? Unfortunately, cold process soapmaking can be really hard on FOs. The high pH of the process can chemically alter the scent to something unexpected or even unpleasant. That’s why I made notes on how each one smells both in the bottle and in the soap.

And here, in slideshow form, are my results!

(You may notice that some of the embossed soaps look a little orange. That’s the color of the rubber stamp that stained the soap. The unstained soaps were embosssed with clear acrylic stamps. Those look great. I’ll have to get more of those!)

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This was a lot of fun! It felt so good to just do whatever I wanted with each batch. No expectations. That can feel so liberating! I really appreciate the opportunity.

Be sure to see the list of all the other panelists and check out what they decided to do with their opportunity.

12 thoughts on “My SOAP Panel results are in!

  1. I really like the detail you put into this analysis. Interesting side affects with the stamp staining. Does that happen with EO’s? You can tell, I never really emboss anything and the only stamp I ever used was made of metal. #4 is my favorite looking one. I like the blueberries.

    • Thanks, Janice! This is the first time that I’ve used these embossing stamps. They were actually in the mold when I poured and then I peeled them off after unmolding. So it could be the FOs, or maybe the pH, that made the color leech out. I like #4, too. But I think #5 is my favorite. I love the warm colors.

  2. Hi there,

    Wow! You came up with some beautiful soap. I admire how you just jumped in and just did what inspired you without knowing what they are called. I am in love with the slideshow captions. This is my favorite kind of show! Lovely work. 🙂

  3. Neat!!! I love how you used color and left parts natural to see what the fragrance would do. The slideshow feature is an excellent way to present your results. So professional!

  4. Pingback: A Lovely Surprise « The Sirona Springs Blog

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