I normally like to make swirls using a spoon, but for this batch, I simply poured the colors alternately. I believe this technique is called Drop Swirl even though the batter is not physically swirled like a Celine Swirl, Swirl within a Swirl (Holly Swirl), or In-the-Pot Swirl (ITP).
It’s the first time I’ve achieved this kind of look, and I’ve also departed from my usual flat surface. I’ve always admired the fancy domed tops that many soapmakers create, but since I wanted to wrap my soaps with paper, a flat surface was the practical thing to do.
After much pondering on the direction I wanted to take my soap-making this year, I decided to have two kinds of packaging: paper for all-natural soaps, and plastic for the ones with design and fragrance oils, or what I call “fun fragrant soaps.” I still have a lot of things to iron out, so I won’t be fully implementing this any time soon. More on this when things are in place.
I used my standard yogurt soap recipe with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, rice bran oil and cocoa butter. Knowing that the fragrance would turn the soap tan, I used black and brown oxides, and took my chance with yellow (fluorescent yellow pigment and yellow oxide) to have a lighter contrast.
The soaps below looked much lighter and brighter when I made them last Jan. 6. The brown part was supposed to be light brown but it turned into reddish brown, and the yellow darkened to an olive-mustard shade. The discoloration makes the soap appear like a shadow is cast over it. While I prefer the lighter version when it was newly cut, I think the darker colour adds depth and mystery, which goes with the fragrance – a blend of frankincense, myrrh and warm spices. I was on the fence about the scent, and I am not sure if it will appeal to many, but it is really growing on me.
After going through so many names, I finally settled on Desert Dune. Frankincense and Myrrh are resins from trees that grow in the desert or in the harsh conditions of the Middle East and Africa, and I’d like to think that the swirls of the soap resemble the undulating silhouette of sand dunes.