Recently I made a few custom batches of soap for Ayala Moriel, an independent perfumer in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was the second time for me to make a batch of Vetiver Racinettes soap, and I learned an important lesson from the first batch that is worth sharing with fellow soapmakers. Namely, that coffee is acidic and if you use it in your soap, be sure to neutralize it first. For that first batch, I added two shots of espresso and ground cardamom. I really liked the cardamom as a scrub additive, but the acidic espresso consumed some lye leading to an incomplete reaction. What this actually looked like, in practice, was the presence of extra liquid in the soap mold (paperboard juice carton). On the top was vegetable oil that had not saponified, and on the bottom was a brown, espresso-colored liquid. I discarded the liquids, patted dry the brick of soap, and it actually turned out to be okay. Still, I learned to be careful with additives and pH.
I really like the Vetiver Racinettes fragrance, also available at Ayala's store. It has notes of vetiver, black pepper, kaffir lime, cardamom, coffee, mushrooms, spikenard, tarragon, ginger, and nutmeg. Yum.
Photo of Vetiver Racinettes soap from Ayala's online store:
Another photo of Vetiver Racinettes soap from a Portland customer (Scent Hive) who reviewed it:
As Scent Hive mentioned, I also made a Film Noir soap for Ayala, which will be available soon. Remember that besides the soaps I design myself, I sell custom soaps done however you like. For Ayala's soaps, I used bottles of fragrance she formulated and sent to me, but I also have a large collection of materials I can use for custom formulations and fragrance design.
Contact: open.source.soap at gmail