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!