Tag Archives: Honey

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? 🙂

Oatmeal Yogurt & Honey Soap

I have made oatmeal & honey and oatmeal & milk soaps, but never the OMH trinity.  Since I have a lot of yogurt and I am on a yogurt soap ride, I decided to make an OYH instead of the classic OMH.  I also don’t have OMH fragrance, something that seems to be a staple in most people’s f.o. collection, so I just concocted my own blend of lavender, lemongrass, neroli and honey.  I know it sounds confusing but the result is actually very nice, light and fresh.

Breakfast: Inspiration behind OYH soap

Breakfast: Inspiration behind OYH soap

My husband just gave me his old Fuji X100 (love you! 🙂 ) Wow, I am just having a blast using it!  I have always enjoyed taking photos for my blog, but with my old point and shoot, sometimes it was really a challenge especially when it’s dark and grey outside.  With the “new” camera, I am inspired to take photos more than ever.  The weather too has been very cooperative!


Oatmeal Yogurt Honey Soap


Surface view. Very little soda ash.

OYH soap on top of plain yogurt soap.

Homemade yogurt and OYH on top of plain yogurt soaps.

OYH and plain yogurt soap

OYH and plain yogurt soap, side by side, up close.

Making Soap Beyond the Books

This is my second batch of soaps, made about a month ago.  By that time, I had a better understanding of soapmaking.  I made these formulations with less water (33% lye concentration) and a lye discount of no more than 5%.  Actually, it bothers me that I can’t be very accurate with the lye discount because the SAP values available on the internet are simply averages.  For now, I will have to live with this and pray that my lye discount is not very far from the actual one.

1.  Honey Cocoa Butter (Unscented) – I made this with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, and honey. I mixed the honey into the oils, but I think I should have thinned it out with a little warm water before adding it to the oils.  With 10% cocoa butter, I expected this soap to be harder than the rest from this batch, but it’s the opposite. I suspect it’s because I did not insulate this due to the honey. I will give it 2 more weeks (or a 6-week cure) before using. It has a nice chocolate smell.

honey cocoa butter

2.  Charcoal and Oatmeal – I wanted to make a swirl pattern, but ended up with this instead.  I could not wait and started using a bar after just two and a half weeks of cure.  It has held up remarkably well.  I can imagine some might find this soap too rough or scrubby, but I like it.  I added the oatmeal and charcoal at trace, alongside the lavender and peppermint respectively.  The color of the charcoal bleeds into the suds (I used 1 Tbsp or 4 grams charcoal for 500 grams soap mixture), something I did not encounter with a previous charcoal soap. I think 1 to 2 tsp charcoal p.p.o. should work fine.  This is made with olive, coconut, palm and castor oils.Oatmeal charcoal

3. “Ambitious” soap – With my limited soapmaking skills, I only intended to use 2 colors, but at the last minute, I became ambitious and gunned for 3 (titanium dioxide, charcoal, and annatto seed powder). When I added in the essential oils (peppermint and lavender) and the colors, the soap mixtures became very thick.  I panicked and quickly plopped the mixtures alternately into the mold. It is not the prettiest sight, but the soap itself is quite decent.  I used it after 3 weeks of cure.  It is a hard bar of soap with good lather, but the scent is like a distant memory.  It is made with rice bran oil, coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter.

"ambitious" soap

4.  Green Velvet – I am at a loss what to name this soap, but for now, let’s just call it green velvet because I like the sound of it. The photo does not pick up the green tinge, but it’s there. The green is from the pili pulp oil. Pili is a fruit that comes from the same tree as Manila elimi.  The pili kernel is usually prepared as a candied nut and is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It has a very high fat content with its own delicious unique taste. Yum!  Oil can be pressed from the nut and from the pulp of the fruit. These oils are kinda scarce.  I had to order mine from a producer in Sorsogon, a province where pili is indigenous.  I wanted to get the pili kernel oil but I almost fell off my chair when i heard the price.  I settled for the pili pulp oil, more affordable, but still not cheap!  For this soap, I used the following: olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, pili oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, kaolin clay and lavender.  I had to mix at a higher temperature so that the beeswax (melted over a pot of boiling water, not the microwave) would stay liquid.  This traced very fast and became quite thick.  I started using this the other day and I simply love it!  It is a relatively low-lathering soap but it has a silky/velvety feel to it.

Green Velvet