I shared my first impressions about the S.O.A.P. fragrances the other day, but this post is all about the trace and pour in cold process soap. I am predominantly a cold process soap maker, so this is the process I am most interested in testing, but I also plan to test them in some lotion bars later on. As I am not used to making such small quantities of soap, I consulted Bramble Berry's Fragrance Calculator to see how much fragrance to use. In this test I used .5 oz. of fragrance per roughly 9 oz. of soap. I also made a small test log of soap (without fragrance) so that I would have something in which to compare the soap samples (color, consistency, etc).
I started out using large paper cups for this testing, but I quickly realized that the fragrance was going to leak through, so I switched to large plastic cups. This picture is of course before I made this discovery.
|My testing set up.|
I mixed the lye water and oils at 110 degrees and started mixing the fragrances at a light trace. Here are my notes on the behavior of the fragrances in cold process soap:
#1 Gardenia: There was no discoloration to the soap right away, but it accelerated trace rapidly and was quite hard immediately after pouring into the mold.
#2 Gardenia: Soap turned a light ivory. It caused moderate acceleration in trace.
#3 Gardenia: Very slight acceleration occurred and little white clumps formed in the soap. I was quickly trying to work them out before I poured, but as I had more soap to mix and pour, I just poured into the mold. This is something I would like to compare to the other panel members. Did they have the same problem? The soap appears to be an ivory color.
#4: Very slight acceleration in trace, and the soap started turning a bright yellow.
#5: Very light acceleration if any. The soap immediately turned a bright yellow color.
#6: No acceleration to the soap and no discoloration.
#7: No color change, and no acceleration.
#8: There was very slight yellowing to the soap, but absolutely no acceleration.
#9: Soap was a medium yellow after mixing, but again, no acceleration.
#10: There was no color change with this one, but there was slight acceleration.
As you can see, everything behaved rather nicely. That first gardenia was a little sketchy, but I did get it into the mold. The second gardenia (I still think this might be Bramble Berry's former gardenia scent ;)) accelerated, but was not something that would cause major problems if you were making a pretty straightforward soap (swirls might be a challenge), and the last gardenia was a bit perplexing with the white clumps. Everything else was pretty much flawless. I do have to confess that I did these in two separate batches (1-6 and 7-10) because I was limited in space with the molds I used (I wanted to make two separate bars per fragrance). I did a modified CPOP (cold process/oven process) method as well. Each batch went into a 170 degree oven for 15 minutes to ensure a nice gel. Then the oven was turned off and they were left alone until the next day.
I will write another blog post soon to tell you how they did the next day out of the mold (color, fragrance, etc.). I have caught a nasty cold (boo!), so I want to wait until my olfactory senses are back in working order before I share my findings.
You can find my first blog post about the fragrances here.