Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nature's Garden Haul and Testing

 My family was thoroughly blessed this Christmas Season. Our church was very generous, to my children and to Cowboy Preacher and I. So as part of my Christmas gift with some of our Christmas money, I got myself some lovely fragrances. It was a lovely little splurge I don't get all that often. So here is my Nature's Garden haul:
  1. Burgundy Rose 4 oz (This is a restock for me, love this scent)
  2. Creamy Coconut 4 oz (Another restock)
  3. Bergamot 1oz
  4. Champagne Pomegranate 1oz
  5. Christmas Cabernet 1oz
  6. Lemon Meringue Pie 1oz
  7. Mojito 1oz
  8. Misbehavin 1oz
  9. NB Baby Bee Buttermilk type 1oz
  10. Yuzu 1oz
  11. Basil Sage Mint 1oz
  12. Lime Cilantro 1oz
  13. Dragon's Blood 1oz
  14. Oatmeal, Milk and Honey 1oz
  15. Sweetgrass 1oz
  16. Tomato Leaf Coriander 1oz
  17. Peppermint 1oz
  18. Sangria Punch 1oz
  19. Bay Rum 1oz
  20. Ocean Mist 1oz
Most of these I will be using in soap. Some will make it to lotions and bath bombs and such. Cowboy Preacher has never been more delighted smelling fragrances from Nature's Garden compared to the other companies fragrances. He has a great nose, so I usually drag him into smelling everything with me. In fact, he already told me which ones he wanted in his soaps and lotions. O happy day! The whole family gets into the sniff-a-thon. I'm a little sensitive to scents, so most of the 1 oz samples will make it into my usually 4lb batch of soap. Unless, I also make a matching lotion, the it will be 2lbs and some lotion. So this will be a lot of soap. *Happy Dance*

 I signed up for the free 1 oz fragrance tester sample as well hoping there'd be an available sample left for me. I was happy to see that did get one. Papaya Guava Mango.

It was kind of a mystery. There was no information on it. Nature's Garden is good about listing what you need to know about a fragrance oil. I thought it was terribly exciting to be testing a new fragrance. It smelled so fruity and very juicy. I had already started to plan what I wanted to do with this.

Now the soap I had planned for this tester was going to have four colors. Natural soap base to see if the fragrance discolored the soap. Pink kaolin clay for the guava, French green clay for the papaya and tumeric yellow for the mango.

I used my Trinity soap base (40% Olive oil, 30% Coconut, 30% Palm Oil) as I knew how it would behave. I decided that instead of a 4 lb batch, I'd go with a 2 lb batch (I mean 2 lbs of oils, so with the addition to the water and NaOH, the finished soap will weigh more than 2 lbs).

The problems start.

I usually soap cool, barely letting the oils melt before adding the hot lye solution. I get antsy and don't want to wait for the solution to cool down. I like to freeze the distilled water and make a cooler solution, but I forgot to freeze the water. Let me tell ya, if you soap cool, it isn't a good idea to do that in a cold room. The  soap was starting to accelerate to trace when I only wanted emulsification. Oh well, that's ok, I'll just plop the soap into the mold. So I separated out the soap batter so I could mix in the colorants. Then I remembered I hadn't even added the fragrance. So it was a dollop in each of the colorants and the rest into the main uncolored soap.

I stick blend the fragrance into the soap. It loosened up immediatly. Some fragrances have done that to me in the past so I was kinda happy. More room to be creative. It loosened up the colored soap batter as well. Then I look in the main bowl. SEPARATION!

At first I thought it was only ricing on me, but no, I could see the oils coming right out. Working as fast as I could, I tried to stick blend it all into submission. No dice, it would blend together great, then start to separate as soon as I stopped the hand blender. So frustrating, I could almost cry for the lost of the beautiful soap I had envisioned. I molded it anyway and put it into the oven to force gel; hoping for the best, expecting to rebatch it anyway.

I worked on some other soaps and then went to bed. The next morning this is what the soap looked like.  I noticed that the soap left in my soap bowl was bright yellow, interesting.

Floating oil on top. Grains of lye heavy soap. *Sigh* Rebatch time.

One thing you should know about me. I can't stand wasting anything. Most especially the ingredients making up a soap. I know I can salvage this, it is just going to look ugly and most likely flash off the scent. Now, I've never had a situation like this before, but I was hoping that despite the separation, I could save this soap.

Into the crockpot it goes. I was surprised to see how hard the soap under the oils was. Cutting through the lye heavy soap, I could see how it was crumbly like all the research I had done said that lye heavy soap would be.

As you can see, the natural soap base has turned very bright yellow. I used too much of the pink kaolin clay, so that looks more red than pink. The green didn't even show up and the yellow was muted by the non colored clay. Since it was still fresh, I didn't add any additional water. But I was concerned as to how much oil was lost, so I added the rest of my avocado oil to the pot, around 2 or 3 ounces, so this soap will be really superfatted.

After it cooked a nice long time, it looked very much like my hot process soap looked. I molded it in my round silicone mold and let it sit. Even though it is very humid and rainy here, once it cooled completely, it was hard enough to unmold. I like how pieces of the "red" came through. I usually would add more fragrance oil at the end, but I guess cooking it on low helped a bunch. This soap still smells wonderful. I was really surprised. Now it will most likely be too light for some people, but in the end, this is the concentration I like my soaps to smell. It even leaves a light scent on my hands that disapates in time. The soap turned out lovely lather and feels very nice in the end. So I guess I don't mind too much that it looks a little brownish with red flecks. I love this scent.

Nature's Garden, my recommendation is that this is not suitable for cold process at all. It seems to discolor the soap yellow. The fragrance cause separation in cold process. It works great in Hot Process though. I really love how fruity this scent is and I would definitely buy it for my Hot Process soaps.

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