Simply Angelic artisan soap

Posted by Titanium Wild , 20 September 2012 9:08:00 pm

It struck me yesterday that whilst I may post pictures of my soaps on various social media websites, I haven’t ever explained how they’re made and what ingredients go into making them.
I forget that just because I understand the process, it doesn’t mean everyone else does!

Soap, made using traditional methods, is basically a salt.
I use the cold process method of soap making, which means I take my plant oils and butters(no animal products such as lanolin are used), combine them with my lye solution(I’ll come back to this shortly), and once combined, the saponification process(the chemical act of oil turning into soap) takes place, et voila, we have soap.
Our oils are chosen carefully, each included for what it can impart to the resultant soap. For instance, olive oil is incredibly kind to the skin, whilst coconut oil contributes to the hardness of the bar as well as helping produce lots of bubbly lather.
There are a number of additives, both natural and synthetic you can add(I choose to use all natural additives bar the odd bit of sparkle here and there), but for the purposes of this post I’ll stick with describing the basics.
If anyone is interested in wanting to know more about the additives I use, I’ll do a separate post at a later date.

Now, I mentioned lye.
Lye = alkali = caustic soda. Without caustic soda, we have no soap. That’s a simple fact. Once the saponification process is complete, there is no lye left in the soap. That’s another fact. All the lye is used up turning oil into soap.
Oils/butters + lye solution(lye+water) = soap + glycerine.

Glycerine is humectant, meaning it draws moisture to the skin. It is a natural by-product of the soap making process. We leave our glycerine where it is, commercial detergent bar makers remove the glycerine from their bars and sell it on.

To make our soap extra special, we superfat.
Superfatting is adding in more oil than is required to have a complete 1:1 reaction with the lye in a batch of cold process soap. The small amount of extra oil left over in the soap adds extra moisturizing qualities to the soap.

After our soap is made, it needs to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks. During this time, the saponification process does it's thing, the excess water evaporates and the bar becomes harder and denser, ready for being sold, and hopefully enjoyed.

All our soap bars are suitable for vegetarians, most will be suitable for vegans too.

And, aside from the aforementioned additional ingredients, that’s about it.
If there’s anything else you want to know, either leave a comment here on the blog, or contact me via email at

The Hypnotica project

Posted by Titanium Wild , 17 September 2012 5:20:00 pm

Back in August, I wrote this post, in which I talk briefly about chypre style perfume. Since then I have tinkered, again, with my initial formula, and added some Violet Leaf absolute(which I adore, but which is very strong, not much needed at all to add a 'green' note to the accord).
I loved the resultant aroma, but I wanted to develope it further into a full on, saleable, natural perfume, and as a result, the Hypnotica Project was born.

The simple mission of the Hypnotica Project is to create natural, chypre style accord.

A classic chypre traditionally contains bergamot, oakmoss, labdanum and often patchouli, and on this foundation various other oils are added depending upon what type of chypre you wish to create. My initial note was based upon patchouli, cypress and clary sage oils, with bergamot playing a supporting role.Now, I don't currently have any labdanum, or oakmoss(this is heavily restricted these days, although there is now an IFRA compliant oakmoss available to buy) in stock, so what I have currently sitting in this darling little pot is not strictly a chypre, more a note that will become part of a chypre accord.

I'm hoping to order my IFRA compliant Oakmoss, some Labdanum, and a few other precious or rarer oils which may or may not find their way into the final product, very soon.

For the first stage of my project, I took my original formula plus the smidgeon of Violet Leaf absolute, and added more green notes in the shape of Sweet Marjoram & Sweet Basil, with the intention of extending the life of the VLA in the perfume. With the classic chypres in the back of my mind, I increased the amount of bergamot in the formula, but also added a dash of cedarwood in order the sweeten the overall blend. VLA is fabulous, but it will overpower a blend if not used judisciously, and I needed to round off the harsher notes which were coming through.
To give you an idea of it's potency, to date, the individual parts of my formula add up to 86, and of that, only 1 part is Violet Leaf, yet it's very evident on initial testing that the note is there. Infact it's the very first thing you smell.

I also swapped geranium oil for rose geranium, as I felt the RG had a stronger floral profile which would compliment my blend, and remove some of the cooler notes eminating from the inclusion of the original geranium.

So, after all my tinkering and changing, and experimenting, what I have in that little green pot is akin to an unfinished work of art(ha! pretentious much).
It's opening is reminiscent of clambering through a secret garden on a sultry summers day, the sharpness of roughly cut leaves in the air. The journey takes you through a shaded copse of trees, the sweet smokiness of the wood permeating the air. The scent is entrancing, leading you further from the path as you pick your way through the undergrowth until you reach a secluded area in which you settle, eyes closed, with heady floral accents gently rocking you to sleep.

But the journey has really only just begun. I'm chasing the dream which follows.
 I wonder what the dream will contain.

Sometimes experiments go wrong.....

Posted by Titanium Wild , 12 September 2012 10:52:00 am

So, I have been an avid reader of the Lisa Lise natural skincare  blog for a while now(go have a look, AFTER you've finished reading here :D )
She has been making some lovely solid facial cleanser bars, and as the recipes for these are on the blog, I decided to give it a try. I didn't have the exact ingredients, but I had the basics (veg oils/butters, clay and essential oils) so tweaked the recipe and went right ahead and made one.



About that.

My advice for anyone doing the same....*whispers*.......leave out the charcoal powder, ok?

I thought I was being clever and could maybe develope the bar into a saleable product somewhere down the line.
Uh huh, yeah, that didn't turn out so well.

If I say that oopsies, the charcoal powder refuses to wash off, and welds itself to your skin, can I just leave it there, and leave the rest to your imagination?



I also had calamine powder in there, and that layer worked like a charm, so it wasn't a total fail, but still......

The calamine layer set up beautifully, the charcoal layer didn;t want to set up, hence all the smudging!

I haven't finished with this yet though, and I will make some more, I just might not use charcoal!

Ecosoy Aroma melts - how they're made.

Posted by Titanium Wild , 20 August 2012 1:52:00 pm

The actual making of the melts is a very simple process, but the fragrancing, that is something else.
Although the pictures that accompany this post focus on the physical process, the conceptual process begins with me putting on my mad perfumers hat on and grabbing a pad & pen, scribbling notes and sniffing various essential oils, all the time thinking of the type of aroma and ambient atmosphere I wish to create.

My latest 2 varieties, Auburn Angel, and Tuscana are both quite earthy, but each with it's own characteristics.....artisan melts with unique blends.

Auburn Angel is warm and sultry, spicy and enticing, with ginger and geranium the main act.

Tuscana evokes images of wandering aimlessly through Italian orange groves...sweet orange the top player here, supported by petitgrain and patchouli.

I choose not to colour my melts, I like them pure with natural fragrancing only.

Below are images of the finished products.

Aromatic tincturing - The Butterfly Bush

Posted by Titanium Wild , 10 August 2012 3:36:00 pm

Genus Buddleja Davidii, this gorgeous aromatic beauty lives in my back garden. As it's name suggests, it attracts butterflies(and bees and other insects too)....infact, the scent is like a drug to them, and if you were to sit in my garden during a balmy summer evening, you'd understand why.
The scent is hypnotic, sweet tea surrounded by a honey glaze with a hint of ripe fruit. It's glorious, and i love it. It is(due to space constraints) the only scented plant I own, and as part of my journey along the route of natural perfumery I wanted to try to capture this aroma for myself.

Tincturing aromatic material is new to me, although as a child I used to shove rose petals unceremoniously into a jar of water and hope to yield perfume. Ofcourse, this didn't work, BUT it shows that even then I was fascinated by the art of capturing natural aromas, I just saw it in base childlike terms rather than the more sophisticated adventure I find myself on now.

This time of year is perfect for harvesting the scent filled flowers of the Butterfly Bush, so I collected a decent amount, ever mindful of leaving plenty for the butterflies and bees who rely upon this lovely plant.

Tincturing needs to be done with alcohol(either perfumers alcohol(NOT rubbing alcohol) or the highest proof pure alcohol you can find) in order to extract the aromatics from the plant, and so into a little pot I put some of my harvested flowers, filling it to the brim with the alcohol. Now, I must stress here that I am new to this, and therefore used barely 100ml of alcohol....I didn't want to waste it if I did something wrong!!
I have to say, that after only 2 days, there is a distinct sweet aroma being extracted from the flowers.....I'm like the proverbial child now, excited and full of inspiration for what I could do with the tinctured material once I've exhausted my supply of aromatic material and extracted as much 'perfume' as I possibly can.

I have some Violet Leaf Absolute on order from Fresholi and I'm hoping that this may compliment the sweetness of the buddleja tincture and I may be on my way to making my first natural perfume using aromatics I've created myself.

Until next time


Chypre & The Natural Perfumer Guild

Posted by Titanium Wild , 1 August 2012 12:38:00 pm

Firstly, helloooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! Not blogged for an absolute age, but I'm back, athough if Blogger keeps behaving like a petulant child on the naughty step, I'll be moving this blog and it's content over th Wordpress.

Secondly, one significant(for me) piece of news. I'm now a very proud member of the Natural Perfumers Guild. I won this through a competition on the Natural Perfumers yahoo group run by Anya McCoy.

In my absence from the blog, I've grown increasingly more interested in making my own natural perfumes, alongside my melts which I currently sell, and my soaps etc which I hope to have for sale later in the year.
Perfumery is fascinating to me, nature has such an amazing array of wonderful scents to explore and utilise, the possibilities for developing your own unique creations are endless.
As funds are limited I am currently relying upon my essential oil collection for inspiration, but I will branch out into resins/absolutes/concretes etc when I'm able to do so, as well as attempting to tincture my own aromatic materials.

With all this in mind, I set about trying to create my own interpretation of the classic chypre theme. Now, classically chypre has a base of oakmoss and labdanum, niether of which I have! I do, however, have patchouli and vetiver which are also used for this particular olfactory family.

Beginning with a basic 3 tier fragrance containing clary, cypress and patch, I add geranium and bergamot(another classic chypre inclusion). This seemed to accentuate the 'green' notes within the aroma, and created quite a sharp opening, rather like the scent of a flower stem when it's first cut.

Adding a little more patchouli helped diifuse some of that sharpness without losing the green note, which I wanted to retain.

To this I added a hint of lemon, which seemed to do nothing, so I added a bit I have a much sweeter 'green' note, similar in some regards to cut grass. Extra clary and cypress is added at this point, along with a teeny bit of black pepper. This creates a little spicy intrigue, enhancing the lemony accents, and marrying the base with the additional aromatics.

I feel that at this point I have no smoke, no real substance to the blend, so I add a little extra geranium, and also a touch of vetiver, which seems to overwhelm and dominate the blend, so a touch more patch and clary reins it in somewhat, whilst still keeping that lovely, smokey quality.

A little hint of coriander adds an extra dimension to the blend and there we have it, a rather simple but still nicely aromatic little chypre.

Overall I'm happy with it, for a first attempt I don;t think I did too badly. I do have in my inventory a little sandarac gum, which I may infuse into some oil and use as a base for my creation.

There are so many possibilities to be explored on this olfactory journey and I hope to share a few of them with you.

Til next time.


The Simply Angelic webshop is live!

Posted by Titanium Wild , 8 November 2011 7:06:00 pm

Well, it's been live for about a month or so now *hangs head in shame*, I just hadn't got round to announcing it on my blog!
Gah, I'll never get rich with such a lax attitude!!

Now, I am going to assume that you just might want the web address :D

So far, my customers have been very happy with the melts, which is fantastic, and something I am very proud of.

Here are images of some of the melts currently on offer.

Frosted Berry is a wonderfully sweet scent based upon peppermint, vetiver and patchouli.

Brandysnap is a sumptuous Christmas scent of cinnamon, sweet orange and tangerine essential oils.

Bring Me Sunshine is perfect for burning at this time of year as it lifts the spirits on dark, damp, autumnal days.

At £3.75 per pack of 6, these are wonderful for either treating yourself, or as a gift. Bear us in mind when picking out your stocking fillers this Christmas.


Avocado and honey shampoo bar

Posted by Titanium Wild , 13 August 2011 7:06:00 pm

Wow, is it really been this long since I last blogged!?! Talk about neglect :s

Anyway, this bar was inspired by the avocado and honey hair mask I use about once a month. My hair loves the mask so I decided to try it in a 'poo bar. Scented with eucalyptus, lemongrass and may chang essential oils to clarify and cleanse the hair, it contains pureed avocado and, yes, you guessed it, honey!!

I'll let you know how I go on with it.....think I'll have to lower the superfat as the avocado is quite oily, which, in my excitement at actually soaping for the first time in months, I forgot to take into account. Nevermind, it smells divine.....hopefully it'll be good to use too.