I had cooked and pureed some carrots earlier in the week and my hubs had kindly bought a large carton of fresh Irish dairy cream because I've really wanted to use both in a soap for ages. I decided to make a citrus based soap and chose a new allergen free fragrance oil that I'd purchased from Fresholi earlier in the month. This is a fragrant and zesty blend of grapefruit, lemon, orange and yuzu (an oriental citrus fruit) and is very fresh and citrusy.
I wanted to use pure Golden Olive Oil and, as ever, had to have some tussah silk in there (love what this brings to a soap). Hubs also picked me up a nice big jar of Manuka honey and I wanted to incorporate this too.
I was aware of the level of sugars in the carrots and cream and how easily these can over-caramelise and burn with the addition of the lye, so, after weighing them out (and adding approximately 100g of deionised water and my silk) I very slowly added a small amount of the caustic soda to the mix and blended, added a small amount and blended again and so on til all the caustic soda was fully mixed in and the carrots and cream hadn't changed much in colour. I was happy it would produce a really excellent orange colour.
I allowed these to cool and, meanwhile, I weighed out my hards butters/oils and melted them as I weighed out my liquid oils. There was no need to mix any colour as I was using the carrots to colour the soap. I blended the melted oils/butters to the liquid ones and allowed them to cool (remembering to add in my fragrance oil at this stage also as I find it the most useful time to do this) as I went about lining my mould.
All was fine, everything was nicely cooling (approximately 90 degrees F) and I decided to blend the lye with the fats. I stick blended as I poured the lye in but, yet again, the soap acclerated like a damn Formula One driver! GAH, seriously do I have an accleration magnet stuck to me or something? My friend, Ger, couldn't believe that the mix went from liquid to a near solid within about 10 seconds!
So, off I went and plugged in the crockpot and everything got thrown in even as it was setting in my mixing bucket! I added a little more cream to account for evaporation in hot process soaping and then decided to go hell for leather and add the Manuka honey. Now, should I have realised that adding this would change my nicely orange soap a deep amber colour? Yes I should have but I was in what fellow blogger Cocobong recently called in her blog as the "What If" mode of thinking ... what if I add this or that? My question was.. "What if I add some Manuka honey at this stage?" Well I did, two nice big teaspoons of it too! My mix turned a very dark brown colour and, with the lighter bits that hadn't melted yet, floating in the mix.. well, it sure looked like I'd made a mistake in choosing the honey?! Or had I?
Well, we cooked it and tested it (she wouldn't test for zap, I'd scared her about lye too much but hubs kindly helped me out - I always check it myself but like a second opinion if I can) and, once the zap disappeared, we mixed thoroughly and poured it all into the mould. As I was still in the What If mode, I thought "What if I sprinkled with some mica now?" ... and so I did.. I am not one to miss out on a big of glitter am I? Regular readers will know that I am a magpie at heart!
The name "Cream Bee" came from some wordplay Ger, hubs and I were doing in order to try and get the right name for the soap .. it's a play on words and comes from "Queen Bee". I kinda like it but if you have any other suggestions, go for it and comment away!
So, I present to you... Cream Bee:
Top of the soap showing the delicious glitter (fav pic!)
More glitter - I love the shine on the top of the soaps
Deep orange amber coloured soap
This picture shows the lovely textured tops
Pure and wholesome Cream Bee soap
I really love this soap and want to say a huge thanks to my lovely friend Ger Holland who was a great help and was really interested (or at least pretended to be which I love her for!) in the whole soaping process.
This soap should be ready by Friday 26 March - if you're interested in purchasing, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll talk!