The absolute yumminess of handmade soap is difficult to convey through words and pictures. I’m going to give it my best shot though.
The first thing is the way that it feels. When soap first comes out of the mold, it has a silky, wet-dry, almost-oiliness to it. It feels slick and semi-solid. It really is semi-solid in that I cure my soaps 4 to 6 weeks before using them. The processing method I use ensures that the lye has been converted within 24 hours, but curing them hardens the bars, which makes them last much longer. There’s nothing more disappointing than buying a fabulous bar of bathtime indulgence and having it melt away in a week. That being said, soap dishes that raise the soap rather than letting it sit in water are your friend. Soap that can dry out between uses lasts much, much longer.
Then there’s how it looks. Handmade soap lends itself to the creative process. There are myriad ways to mold and finish your soap. You can sprinkle bits on it, like I did here. Those are Calendula petals. You can stir goodies in, like I did here as well….more Calendula. Some soaps naturally come out different colours due to their ingredients. Beeswax or honey, for example, turn batches of bars a lovely golden colour. Almost anything can be used as a mold, and I’ve seen tons of creatively molded soap. I have these great loaf molds my sweet hubby made for me. I prefer them because I have control over the size of the bars.
Finally, there’s how it SMELLS. Palmarosa, Sweet Fennel, Lavender, Clary Sage, Plumeria…..the possibilities are endless. Essential oils alone or blended to create original Scent Blends are heady and seem to saturate your very soul with their essence. Fragrance oils offer blends that can mimic familiar and much-loved favorites. Either way, natural or synthetic, there’s something downright mystical about letting an aroma carry you away…to another place, another time, or maybe someplace that feels just plain great.
These yummy Calerosa Bars will be available soon. When they’re ready. They’ll tell me when it’s time. It’s a soap-thing.