The only olive oil I had in the house were my big 3 litre bottles of Olive Pomace - as soapmakers know, pomace can speed trace which isn't always what you'd like so, hence I had some left as I've not used it recently.
Amanda suggested a steep water discount - she uses equal quantities of lye to water and this is unusual but helps the batter come to trace far sooner than normal (castille is notorious for taken a long time to trace). The only other additions I made was Silk (as ever, you know what I'm like) and an essential oil blend of Sweet Orange, May Chang, Lavender, Patchouli, Geranium & Ylang Ylang ... it is divine! I added a little titanium dioxide because my pomace olive oil is a rather vile green and I wanted to at least get a creamy pale green.
So I weighed out my lye and water, equal quantities and mixed - this solution is more caustic than when full water is used (due to the lesser amount of water) so I was extremely careful not to splash it when stirring and to wear my safety specs.
I weighed out my oil and mixed my titanium dioxide and blended it into my olive oil. I then weighed out my essential oil blend and poured that into the oil also.
I took some time to line the mould and then I was ready to mix. I poured my lye into my oils and it didn't take too long to reach trace - actually, I erred too much on the side of caution and I stick blended a little too much I think as I have some air bubbles in the final soap. The pomace certainly speeded up trace as did the water discount and both certainly helped the soap to heat in the mould (the TD will have worked towards this too). I managed to get it all in the mould and texture the top but I'd rather I had stopped stick blending a little earlier.
The soap heated HUGELY - I have to say it was the hottest soap I've ever made and I had to put it in my soaping fridge overnight. I took it out this morning and left it in the curing room for the full day to come back to room temperature til I cut it.
I cut it this evening - it was hugely solid, almost felt like a very well cured soap in fact. It took some effort to cut it and the bottoms of it are rather crumbly too. I probably should have cut this this morning but I couldn't have, no time sadly.
I can see in some of the pictures that it did gel in part but you'd have to look carefully at it - I HATE the crumbly bum but I do love the smoothness of it and I am rather partial to the creamy look of it. I ADORE the top though! I washed my hands with an offcut and it bubbles like mad - what was that about slimey castille soap?
So I'm thinking, next time not quite a steep discount, and soap cooler, I'll probably still use pomace but I'll stick blend a tinch less. Otherwise, I'm really happy with this.
Oh .. the name? Fiore Rustico is Italian (the olive oil connection) for Rustic Flowers ... the rustic for the way it's cut and flowers to try and illustrate the essential oil blend.
Beautifully textured tops
Beautiful creamy fragranced rustic soaps for sensitive skin