Um – about that Rose Soap – the importance of planning!

I thought I had all my ducks lined up.

The rose tea looks amazing

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The infused rose oil has drained it’s last drop

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I had used up the last of the cheese I made for breakfast – tried frying it and that was a success, then added the rest chopped up with some of the good old garden herbs into scrambled eggs – yum!!

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The supervisor approved of the lickings

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And then out to the Shed to start the Rose Soap.

Welcomed by my lovely rearranged space from yesterday

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The kitchenette even has ventilated shelves at the bottom which work well for the weeks of curing soap.

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The Supervisor was working hard testing out his new “spot” – an old sheepskin coat I found yesterday.

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And after a quick trip to the health food shop to restock the sweet almond oil, I thought all was going nicely to plan. E went off to his Saturday poetry reading, and I donned apron, gloves and goggles and set to work.

I have had trouble getting the temperatures right for the past couple of soap batches – the butters (cocoa butter, mango seed butter) have taken a while to melt, and I had got the lye / water mix going too early, so it was cooling fast and the oils weren’t homogenous. Apparently, it is necessary to have the lye mix and the oils close to the same temp when they are mixed.

So I thought – I will get the oil and shea butter on to warm well before I mix the lye and water – easier to cool the oil after it’s melted. I didn’t count on multiple phone messages about new babies, and various less exciting news, and the oil ended up way too hot! SO I had the opposite problem – I had to wait for the oil to cool, but the lye mix was also cooling fast!

Added to that was the fragrance problem. I was SO sure I had plenty of rose geranium oil, and some other rose oil. Turned out the “other” rose oil was Brazilian rosewood, which – when I googled – can cause allergic reactions if used on skin (is a wood oil, as in – to use oiling wood). So – in the end, I settled for a mix of all the geranium that I had, some petitgrain and a splash of patchouli! Hopefully will go OK with the rosewater and rose oil.

In the end, when the oil had cooled quite a lot (but not enough it seems), and the lye was still warmish, I thought – time to mix. What’s the worst that can happen?

I noticed that it seemed to reach “trace” very soon, but thought “that’s way too quick” and mixed a bit more…

Glug. And I still had to add the fragrance oils – not knowing what effect they would have. Check this out:

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Anyway, I decided to carry on – hoping ignorance is indeed bliss!

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Putting into the mold (or mould?) was also interesting – I have run out of cardboard milk cartons, so decided to experiment with a plastic one. Brilliantly I decided to cut down the side of the bottle so I could easily extract the soap when set. Of course, then the plastic was too flimsy to stay together, so with a combination of sticky tape, and string, and lined with baking paper (in the absence of parchment) I have created a very dodgy mold. Whether it works or not will be revealed when i try to extract the soap – presuming this glug magically transforms during “gel phase” into the lovely soap I want it to be. In the meantime, it is tucked up nice and warm in the towels to hatch the alchemy!

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The Supervisor just shut his eyes and pretended not to see!

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