Despite it's status as a calming tea, chamomile is also related to ragweed. For anyone with severe ragweed or ragweed pollen allergies, chamomile flower additives might also be problematic. Make sure you note this on your soap label.
For this soap, I did something I've never done before, (OOPS!) I sprayed the tile with alcohol and left it wet; put the cookie cutter down and sprayed it with alcohol and then poured the soap (which was scented and contained dried chamomile flowers). Even though I was applying down pressure (as usual) the soap found a conduit in the alcohol and leaked about an ounce of soap from under the cookie cutter. I was hoping to find the surface clarity of the soap was improved. Lesson learned.
MORE BASIC ADDITIVES BARS -- HERBAL/BOTANICAL ADDITIVES (Clear or Opaque Soap Base)
Chamomile Flower Bar
5 ounces clear glycerin
4 drops yellow liquid colorant
1/2 teaspoon dried chamomile flower
Chamomile fragrance oil
Nothing in my reading or research has yielded any information on poppy seeds as medicinal in any capacity. But they suspend very well in NON-suspension base soaps. You'll recall their use in the lovely and luscious strawberry soap, giving another level of realism to the soap and (when the soap is used) providing some exfoliating properties as well.
When thinking about another soap to best utilize the look of the poppy seed, the banana came to mind, even though we don't really think about bananas having seeds. Put them in a milk shake, and the tiny black seeds stand out. This soap pays homage to a tropical smoothie of banana, pineapple, and coconut with a mixture of those fragrances and poppy seeds.
Tropical Smoothie Bar
4 ounces goat's milk glycerin
2 drops yellow liquid colorant
Scant pinch of poppy seeds
2 parts Pineapple fragrance oil
1 part Coconut fragrance oil
3 parts Banana fragrance oil
Dried Lemon Peel
Dried lemon peel is rather granular. For this reason, I would (again) limit its use to that of a hand soap. The abrasiveness of the lemon peel as well as the odor-eliminating properties of any strong citrus scent makes this an ideal soap for your favorite "grease monkey", avid gardener or professional painter. Many soapers successfully use fresh lemon zest in soaps. I don't discourage this, but use of use of any "fresh" ingredients requires use of Fruit Fresh or another preservative to extend the shelf-life of your soap.
For a slightly more moisturizing soap, I used (not as clear) olive oil glycerin. Due to its slightly greenish hue, I also selected a Lime (over Lemon) fragrance oil.
Dried Lemon Peel Lime Bar
4 ounces olive oil glycerin
1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel
2 drops green liquid colorant
3 drops yellow liquid colorant
Lime fragrance oil
Black licorice; black jelly beans; such is the fragrance of anise. I have never cared for the smell or taste of it, but know many (like my mother) really love it. It's an "old wives' tale" that the scent of anise attracts fish and that washing your hands and fishing gear with an anise soap increases your chances of a good catch.
I'm not saying it will improve your luck with fishing, but the strong licorice scent of the Anise fragrance oil may help take some of the bait and fish smell off your hands.
It is clear (no pun intended) from the pictures of this soap, and the Dried Lemon Peel Lime Bar, that olive oil glycerin, while considered a "clear" base, does not have the same clarity as clear glycerin, but the suspension qualities are infinitely superior.
Fisherman's Friend Soap
4 ounces olive oil glycerin
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
Anise fragrance oil
As far as fragrance goes, sage is one of my favorite herbs. For this soap, I began simply, making a solid, clear glycerin bar with Sage fragrance oil and 3 drops of green colorant. However, the sage fragrance oil was also green, so the color was magnified somewhat. After the clear soap set, I removed it from the cookie cutter and cut it into (roughly) thirds. I placed the two end pieces back into the cookie cutter, leaving the center empty. Then, I melted about 1-1/2 ounces of olive oil glycerin, to which I added another single drop of green liquid colorant, Sage fragrance oil, and 1/8 teaspoon of rubbed sage. After blending thoroughly, I poured it into the empty center space in the cookie cutter and allowed it to set.
Center Section Rubbed Sage Bar
4 ounces clear glycerin
3 drops green liquid colorant
1-1/2 ounces olive oil glycerin
1 drop green liquid colorant
1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage
Sage fragrance oil
For the thyme bar, I decided to use two different suspension formula soap bases: olive oil glycerin and goat's milk glycerin. Though my first thought was to layer the two, I decided to try my hands (again) at a two-hand marbling pour -- this time with more movement of the measuring cups around the cookie cutter. As the goat's milk base tends to be somewhat thinner in consistency than the olive oil base, I made it first, so it would have time to cool and thicken slightly. Both bases received 2 drops of green liquid colorant, 1/8 tsp dried thyme, and equal measures of Thyme fragrance oil.
Another clean-smelling herb, thyme is sometimes used in making mouthwash and mentholated, medicinal chest rubs.
Dried Thyme Bar
2 ounces olive oil glycerin
2 ounces goat's milk glycerin
2 drops green liquid colorant*
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme*
Thyme fragrance oil*
*In each 2 ounces of glycerin base.
In addition to herbals and medicinals, another popular soap additive is jojoba beads. You might recall (from the previous page) I melted some into my Lavender Buds Bar. The error, as I mentioned,was not stir-cooling the soap prior to adding the jojoba beads. Jojoba "oil" is actually rich in a highly durable wax. This "oil" is often used in cosmetics.
When adding jojoba beads to your soap creations, it is important to stir-cool the soap prior to adding the beads. if added to stir-cooled soap, jojoba beads add lovely, tiny dots of color to your soap creations and amazing exfoliating qualities to your soaps.
Though I have not found them in local craft stores, the online resources offer jojoba beads in a wide array of vibrant colors.
You can likely tell from the jar labels that these jojoba beads were ordered from www.brambleberry.com. In the three pictures directly above (from left to right), you see jojoba beads suspended in shea butter glycerin; you can get a better idea of just how tiny these beads are by comparing them to the end of the pen; and then we have a host of jojoba beads floating, happily suspended, in a clear glycerin soap. This is notable because the weight of the jojoba beads doesn't have them floating on top of the clear base nor do they sink to the bottom of the soap.
I hope that these additives soaps clearly illustrate how using them in soaps can bring a lovely sense of nature or whimsy to your soap creations.
© 2011 NORMA W. THOMAS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.