I finally tried the in-the-pot swirl technique I found over on Soap Queen TV. It turned out fairly decent for my first attempt and honestly, it was fun as heck! Because I’m usually working with a high concentration of coconut oil, high temperatures, and fragrances that speed up trace, my soap mixture tends to seize up on me before I get the chance to do anything fancy. Why do I put up with that crap, you ask? Well, I enjoy a harder, longer lasting bar with a ton of lather. The trade-off is that it’s less moisturizing so I compensate by adding avocado oil at the very end to super-duper fat my soap. It’s a vicious circle really. The rule of thumb is lower temps, more olive oil, and essential oils instead of fragrance oils generally means more time for fun. Recently, I was asked to collaborate on a project for a seed library and I came up with some demo bars. Since I was using a carrot juice base, increasing my olive oil content, and experimenting with natural colorants, I figured I should put the swirl to the test.
Not too shabby. My only regret is that I swirled too much. One swirl around the pot with a spoon or knife is plenty. Well slap my hand, I was having too much fun and I took two trips around. Nevertheless, it’s awesome and I’m selling a few bars in my Etsy store. They’re made with vegetable oils, 100% carrot juice, natural colorants, and are scented with basil and sweet orange essential oils. They smell pretty amazing–very much like a fragrant herb garden.