Tag Archives: Goat’s Milk

Luxe Naturals

Citrus Cypress – This is the same as the Japanese Indigo Soap I made earlier this year, minus the indigo, and with the addition of Australian red clay and bamboo charcoal for a new look.  I still plan on doing more experiments with indigo but using clear-colored essential oils.  This soap has cypress, petitgrain, lemon 5-fold, orange 5-fold, cajeput, and basil – too yellow to use in an indigo soap, but perfect with the current look.  I really love the smell – so fresh and uplifting!

Citrus Cypress _1

Citrus Cypress

Orange Ylang Ylang – I was a little bit apprehensive when I made this.  Ylang ylang is known to accelerate trace or even seize soap.  Luckily, everything went smoothly.  Pure ylang ylang is so strong that a little goes a long way.  I blended it with lavender, orange 5-fold, copaiba balsam and ginger, and anchored them with kaolin and French pink clays.  This soap has olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, orange wax, fresh yogurt, and goat’s milk.  If this soap were a woman, she would be someone confident and sexy, yet down to earth. 🙂

Orange Ylang Ylang 3

Orange Ylang Ylang

Shikon and Bamboo Charcoal – This is a remake of the one I made last February.  The only difference is that I lessened the amount of shikon.  I found the first batch too dark; I think this new batch looks better.  But knowing me, I will probably continue to tinker with the recipe.  This has lavender, rosemary, cajeput and patchouli for their restorative properties.  The smell is herbal, a bit camphoraceous, and earthy.

Shikon Charcoal

Shikon and Bamboo Charcoal


Job’s Tears and Calendula Soaps

As much as I enjoy making soaps with fragrance oils and pigments, my first and true love has always been natural, therapeutic soaps. I get really excited discovering and experimenting with new ingredients that may offer any kind of skin benefit.

I have been soaping like crazy since I came back from Taipei two weeks ago. I made mostly fragrance oil-scented soaps, but I managed to make two all-natural ones using some of the ingredients I stuffed my suitcase with.

With so many choices, it was hard to pick which ingredient to use first. I finally settled on calendula, a very popular herb among soap makers, but it was my first time to use it.

Dried Calendula Petals

Dried Calendula Petals

Instead of steeping the petals in oil, I made a concentrated tea and let it steep overnight. Since we don’t have calendula in the Philippines (maybe we do, but I am not aware of it), I didn’t want to throw away the petals.  I wanted to use everything so I separated most of the liquid and proceeded to blitz the remaining calendula with reconstituted goat’s milk powder.  I mixed all the liquid with the blended petals into my oils – coconut, olive, palm, rice bran and cocoa butter – before adding my master-batched 50% lye solution.

To intensify the yellow color, I used 2 parts blood orange e.o. and 1 part litsea cubeba, totalling 4.2% of my oils. Next time I will increase the essential oils to at least 5% because at 4.2%, the scent is barely there. I wanted to add some interest so I tried doing a pencil line for the first time. I really like the effect but I think I was a bit heavy handed with the activated charcoal.

Calendula 2

Calendula and Goat's Milk Soap

Calendula and Goat’s Milk Soap

The second ingredient I decided to use was Job’s Tears powder (coix lacryma jobi). It is also known as Chinese pearl barley, but it has nothing to do with the common pearl barley that most of us are familiar with.  In China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, it is eaten as a grain or cooked into a drink.  It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine for its cooling and anti-cancer properties, and for its stimulating action on the spleen, kidneys and lungs. Beauty-wise, it is reputed to remove blemishes and make the skin softer. (Click here to read more on the benefits of Job’s Tears)

Job's Tears powder

Job’s Tears powder

Job's Tears in Chinese

Job’s Tears in Chinese

I still have some lard that I carefully rendered with salt and water a few months ago. I plan to just finish what I have and no longer use it in the future. It is just too tedious to make and I don’t think it would appeal to people even though it makes for a gentle and hard bar of soap.

I needed the extra hardness for the facial soap I had in mind, so I incorporated a little bit of lard into my recipe containing coconut, olive, avocado, rice bran, pili and castor oils.  I also added 2% salt and 1.5% sodium lactate, less than what I used for my Charcoal Neem Soap.  For a richer and creamier soap, I used coconut cream, and to keep it all natural, I used essential oils of blood orange, rosemary and tea tree. I mixed the essential oils with Job’s Tears powder along with kaolin clay and turmeric powder to anchor the scent, before adding everything into the soap batter at light trace.

Job's Tears & Coconut Cream

Job's Tears 2

Job's Tears 5

Job’s Tears & Coconut Cream Soap

I love that the soap is completely ash-free and the texture is so smooth and creamy.  I think the powders, partly acting as anchors for the essential oils, worked, because I could smell the blood orange amidst the strong tea tree. I hope the scent stays after cure!

Going Sweet and Fruity

Never say never.

When I started making soap, I thought I would never go into the sweet and fruity direction.  Citruses yes, but not the whole fruit basket and bakery scents.  But with the numerous delicious looking and sounding soaps that I see in other people’s blogs, I found myself slowly getting lured into this realm.  It does not help either that I got addicted to shopping for scents!

Before I got sick earlier this week, I made 5 batches of soap last Sunday and another 2 on Monday, using new fragrances.  I thought they all smelled great and I just kept on sniffing them whenever I had the chance.  But when I got sick, I was totally repulsed by the smells, most especially Monday’s 2 carrot batches scented with cranberry marmalade and orange peel/kumquat. It appears to be that I got some kind of stomach flu which is going around. I am much better now and I can’t wait to be able to fully enjoy my fragrances again!

I was able to take pictures of the soaps from last Sunday, but not the ones from last Monday.  I don’t know when I can bring myself to go near them to take photos because even from afar, I smell them. Everywhere! The spatulas, containers, notebook!

So here are the 5 that I was able to photograph.  If they appear hazy, it’s because I accidentally turned on a filter feature which my husband found out after I took the photos, and I just didn’t have the inclination to do a retake.

1. Orange Raspberry Sherbet – made with coconut, olive, palm and avocado oils with powdered goat’s milk, and scented with wild raspberry and tangerine f.o.’s.  I really like the fresh, tart scent.  It reminds me of childhood summers spent with cousins eating Baskin Robbins’ orange sherbet.  I wanted to do a Celine swirl but right after I added the raspberry f.o., the soap was setting up fast so I had to ditch my original plans.

Orange Berry Sherbet

2. Pear Almond Tart – This and the succeeding soaps below are all yogurt soaps with coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, and cocoa butter. The smell reminds me of a pear frangipane tart that I make and love. The bottom part is scented with an almond pastry fragrance, and the top part with bartlett pear.

Pear Almond Tart

3. Apple Almond Tart – scented with tart apple and almond pastry fragrances, this smells strong! I think I will like it better when it has mellowed out. I’ve noticed that yogurt warps certain colours like blue, but I didn’t feel that it did with green chrome oxide.  However, this one turned bluish green, so it must be the tart apple fragrance.

Apple & Almond Tart

4.  Honey Bee – I finally got to use the bubble wrap design for my honey soap! This is certainly one of my favourites!


5.  Peppermint Vanilla Noel – It’s the first time I’ve achieved rich vibrant colors and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  I used brick red and green chrome oxides, using a scant 1/4 teaspoon per cup of soap batter following Amy Warden’s colouring guidelines. Of the 5 batches, my husband and I like this scent the best. The red, green and white top is scented with peppermint e.o., and the bottom part, which I left uncoloured thinking it would turn a darker brown, is scented with sweet smelling vanilla noel. This really smells like candy canes!

Peppermint Vanilla NoelWith this soap, I learned it is not a good thing to pre-empt soda ash.  Originally there was much less soda ash than what you see in the photo.  It was really just a slight sprinkling, so I thought I would arrest its development by steaming it.  It became worse instead!  I will have to observe if the soda ash thickens, and I will steam it again.

What are your favorite sweet and fruity scents? 🙂