When I first started making soaps, I strove for perfection. I wanted soap blocks to be in a perfect rectangle shape, and sliced with perfectly angled corners and edges. I wanted the color to be consistent, with no weird discoloration whatsoever. Anything less than that went down as a big fat failure in my little obsessive mind.
After making several disappointing batches, however, I realized that it was virtually impossible to achieve the kind of results I was looking for (especially since I’m still very new at this). And my attitude was taking away the fun and the true reward of making anything handmade. I learned that it is those little imperfections that add lovely character and charm to those soaps that are irresistible to make and use.
Two batches of soap I made a few months ago finally cured and I started using them recently. Instead of slicing them right away, I kept them uncut in a log so it took a little longer for the inside to dry. When I touch the middle, it still feels a bit soft and bouncy, but I used them both in the shower the other day and they lathered just fine!
The soaps you see on left are Lavender and Rosemary Shampoo Soaps from the Japanese book, Soaps for the Four Seasons, by Kyoko Maeda. (I use them to wash my hair and body.) I boiled several twigs of rosemary that I picked from my herbal garden and used that in place of water. I added several drops of lavender essential oils to give it a calming feel. I used the same recipe as the Signature Marseilles Soap I made the other day (my absolute favorite recipe using olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil), with extra rosemary essence.
The soaps on the right are called Zesty Lemon Soaps (also from the book), using olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, palm oil, coconut oil, and lemon, bergamot and other citrus essential oils. Talk about making your shower smell heavenly!
I think I’m going to be spending a couple of hours this weekend to prepare some holiday soaps for friends and family. I can’t wait!