I had a fun afternoon today, testing new trends forecasted for 2008. These are the same exact recipes but look at how different the soaps look. The color, the texture and the trace thickness are all vastly different.
This small test batch shows the importance of using fully tested fragrance oils for cold process soap. After all, when you are making a 5 pound soap batch, it’s always nice to know if a fragrance will accelerate trace or turn a nice shade of brown (ruining the perfect swirl or geometrically balanced layers).
In the photo above, the soap on the right top looks lumpy. It is in fact, very lumpy. The fragrance made the soap get all clumpy with the appearance of cottage cheese. Whoops. That is one fragrance that Bramble Berry will not be bringing in.
In the photo above, the soap on the left is starting to rapidly heat up. It also showed an alarming propensity to accelerate trace (as evidenced by the nicely formed peaks on the soap).
For every fragrance that Bramble Berrycarries, we’ve tested at least 100 more to find that one fragrance. The two problem soaps above are not the end of the testing. Each of the bars in the batch will be sniff tested at the 6 week mark and, if they happen to make it through that (they normally won’t), we’ll retest the same fragrance in a 5 pound batch and a 8 pound batch to ensure that they will hold up to the rigors of real life soaping.