Sunday, October 21, 2007

Soaping, Cleaning, and Fruit Flies

It's been a busy crazy weekend. Saturday seemed to be the day of errands. Every time we'd get home from a trip to a hardware store, or picking up the repaired hedge trimmer, we'd remember something else we needed, and we were off again! Can you believe we had to make four stops to find a store that carried plain old, every day juice glasses? One thing led to another and another, and we frittered away the early part of the day with
multiple stops.

Above, baby shower favor soaps in the mold; below, baby shower favors, still to be wrapped and decorated.

In the afternoon, I did work on some more soap. I got a very nice order from the B&B folks, for personal things - baby shower tokens - and made the last of those bars and a few others. I cut a bunch of bars, including four tester fragrances: almond oatmeal, green bamboo, violet, green tea & cucumber. I love green scents; the gals on my soap list always tease me about my green nose. I'm also experimenting more and more with simple florals. All the industry publications I've read lately are pointing to the resurgence of simple or single-note florals. The violet fragrance that I tested in soap really freaked me out. I test in a plain white base, and when I added the violet fragrance, it immediately turned the soap orange! I covered the molds and walked away, worrying the whole time about what I would do if this turned out to smell like THE violet I want to stock, and the darn stuff makes orange soap. Not to worry - it calmed down to a lovely creamy white color, but it sure was a suprise. I'm still wondering how that will affect things if people who use it want to tint their soap.

Guest bars, out of the mold but uncut.

Vaniglia soap (above) smells divine, but is always dark brown.

Above, one of my favorite soaps, a minty-scented "Four Seasons."

The green tea & cucumber is nice, too. It has that sharp green under-current, that bitter under the skin note that gives just the right edge to some blends. The green bamboo is a little sweeter than I expected - kind of a green and floral blend, almost like an after shave or a body spritzer. I don't know if I'll be adding it to the line or not.

One of the prettiest soaps I make, the three toned Honey Ginger

I'm most intrigued with the oatmeal almond. I've had a couple of requests for Oatmeal Milk & Honey, but most fragrance suppliers have some version of that. This gives me that warm, comforting, foody fragrance that so many seem to seek, yet it's not the same old thing. This has a musky sophistication to it, as well as the comfort notes. I hope it holds up in soap.

The house now has lots of clean and shiny floors. I've been getting ready for a visit from my youngest daughter, and I don't want to waste our precious time with housework when she's here. I've been cleaning this weekend, Oldtimer's been cleaning and sorting, and even the dogs went in for a grooming.

The hibiscus waited all season to bloom

While we were out yesterday, I found a place where the trees had given up their Osage Oranges. My Oldtimer stopped the truck and let me pick up a bunch. I made a lovely arrangement with them and some pine cones and seed pods, for the buffet in our living/dining room. At dinner tonight, I noticed that our bananas and apple had about 70 fruit flies. When I went to dust the buffet in the living room, I realized that the Osage Oranges were LOADED with the things. My artful arrangement is now sitting out on the deck!

(Please note that all of the pics of soap, above, are curing or uncut and not yet beveled or buffed. Every bar is hand trimmed and "polished" before it is labeled and sent out of here.)


Judi Wellnitz said...

I have some of those darn flies in my house too - can't seem to get rid of all of them! I think they came in with the tomato plants. Love the sound of the new soaps!

Judith said...

Your soaps are delightful and I love your blog. I too love making soap but have not been too successful. I live in New Zealand and consequently need to get most of the expensive fragrances from overseas. You mention a group? I would love to get some more education about soap making and would value any advise you can give me.
My email is and my blog is here
Thank you.

Kai said...

YUM! Your soaps look good enough to EAT, Sue! And I KNOW they smell good and FEEL great! You make the absolute BEST soaps, lotions, and creams ANYWHERE! I use my soaps to the tiniest sliver! Really! Also, your Hybiscus is stunning! I think it waited to bloom just for Gen's arrival!

Maggie R said...

Hi Sue,
Your soaps look absolutely divine.
You must have fun making them.
What is it with the darned fruit flies????? We have been bothered with them too. We stopped putting the fruit bowl on the table, and still sit with the electric fly zapper nearby!! They are so small you can't catch them otherwise, and man o man do they ever snap in the zapper for such tiny things!!!!