Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Champagne, not just for toasting!

#testbatch #champagnefragranceoil  #testingfragranceoils

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How can May be almost gone already??? Why haven't we been blogging more? Why are donuts fattening???  Alas, questions with no good answers, the time just slipped by incredibly quickly!

Obviously our grand plan to do monthly updates fell flat, and for that broken promise we apologize.  We have such good intentions, then life steps in and, well, the blog just doesn't get written.  Today we will try to make a small amends with a 4 in 1 soap extravaganza.

We recently bought the HIGHLY reviewed & acclaimed Champange FO from +Bramble Berry.  We've been reading about it for a while and decided, why not? So we placed the order and the FO arrived promptly.

When we opened the bottle I guess we were expecting some magical smell from the Gods. Actually it was, ummm, ok, but neither of us was doing the happy dance or swooning; its scent is just kind of different.  It is bubbly, sparkly, kind of gingery but not what we expected, although we really weren't sure what we expected. We jumped back to the reviews on the BB web site and read every single one.  Almost without exception it was given rave reviews.  Hmmmm, what now….obviously we do some test batches and see how we like it in CP soap rather than in the bottle as many of the reviews stated "better in the soap."

Today was the Champagne test batch day

Read about this FO here:  Champagne Fragrance Oil on Bramble Berry's site.
It is described as follows:   "Perfect for that special occasion. This fragrance smells just like champagne or the fizzy bubbles in ginger ale. The scent is incredibly strong and long lasting in CP soap and behaves like a dream when soaping. It's a unique and versatile scent that can be blended to make all manner of Italian iced soda scents or general pop scents (mix it with a berry for a yummy soda pop scent)."

Since we already knew we would use Champagne FO, we just had to decide what to blend it with. One thing was for sure, we had a lot to choose from so it was difficult.  Most of the reviews paired this FO with fruity or citrusy scents, not so much floral.  But our theory was that since we were testing, we should try a floral to see what happens.

We have 4 "test batch" molds, so we decided to split up the batch into four parts with both of us making two test batches.  We were both working quickly, so we didn't get as many pictures as we wanted, but we hope you will get a general idea of the chaos that followed.  Alison made the Calabrian Bergamot and Violet + Champagne, and the Blood Orange and Goji Berries + Champagne.  Kathy made the Orange Valencia + Champagne and the Mango Sage Tea + Champagne.
so first selection.

So, on to the first batch...

Calabrian Bergamot and Violet  FO + Champagne FO

We used a FO from +Rustic Escentuals - Calabrian Bergamot and Violet - and mixed it with the Champagne.  The colors we chose are just fun. The Ultramarine Violet  (from BB) is obviously a shout out to the violet in the FO, and since oxides can be clumpy we added a touch of Ivory Lace Sparkle from Crafters Choice to loosen it up a bit.  The Fired up Fuchsia (from BB) is another color we love, and again we added a touch of the Ivory Lace Sparkle to help with the blending.

Blood Orange and Goji Berries FO + Champagne FO

The FO for the batch comes from Aztec International who describe it as follows:   "An exotic tropical delight! The tart scent of juicy goji berry blended with deep blood orange.  A perfect marriage of fruit and citrus!"  We love this scent and have wanted to use it for a while, this test batch gives us the perfect opportunity.  We decided to use colors that we hope will match the name of the FO.  From BB we used Tangerine Wow, and from RE we used Desert Sunbeam Mica, our hope is they will resemble blood oranges and goji berries.

Orange Valencia EO + Champagne FO 

This blend is actually fairly straightforward.  We used the orange valencia EO with the Champagne FO, both are from BB.  The only thing we did a bit differently for this batch was to add a little kaolin clay to the blended scents, hopefully to help the orange valencia stay potent.

This is what the kaolin clay looked like when we whisked it into the EO/FO blend.

Mango Sage Tea FO + Champagne FO

In keeping with the idea that the Champagne FO blends with fruit and citrus scents really well, we decided to try it with Mango Sage Tea from +Natures Garden .  We have used it before and their description: "a unique combination of refreshing leaves of rubbed sage, juicy mango, papaya, and strawberries, with a wonderful base note of freshly brewed white tea leaves." is spot on.  
 The colors we decided to use are supposed to represent what is found in a mango, please use your imagination, just a bit.  From RE we have Blushed Pink Mica, and from NS we used Sunshine Yellow Mica and Celadon Green Mica. They may not scream mango, but we love these colors!

We carefully measured out all blends, using a ratio of 75% - 25% (give or take).  The Champagne FO got the smaller amount as we didn't want it to overpower, but to give the other scents a bubbly boost.

In goes the lye/distilled water; we had goggles and gloves on at all times.

We mixed the soap until it was just emulsified to keep it loose because we would be working with it for longer than if we were making just one batch of soap.  We divided the batter into 4 smaller batches, and each of us did two.  We had to work quickly so the soap wouldn't thicken up too much before we could finish.  Luckily this combination of FO's & EO's behaved perfectly and we had plenty of time to "create" 4 different test batches.

The Orange Valencia and Champagne will be a two color swirl.   Once mixed together the scent was lovely, like an orange ice cream float.

Alison adding the Calabrian Bergamot and Violet + Champagne to the mold. The batter stayed workable for a long time.   All the blends we chose behaved beautifully, no acceleration, ricing, seizing or any other catastrophes, smooth soaping all the way.

The colors used for the Mango Sage Tea + Champagne, again, no problems, soaped like a dream.

This is what the Blood Orange and Goji Berry + Champagne looked like as Alison added the soap to the mold.  

The Calabrian Bergamot and Violet + Champagne in the mold.

How it looked the next day when un-molded.

The Blood Orange & Goji Berries + Champagne in the mold.

Freshly un-molded

Orange Valencia EO + Champagne in the mold.

Out of mold, next day.

Mango Sage Tea + Champagne in the mold.

Un-moulded, we think the colors changed more with this one, we love them but my how they morphed.

Every time we make a test batch we have batter left over, and today was no exception.  

Here are our assorted lady bugs, butterflies, dragonflies and bumble bees.

 All of which we wind up selling; our customers love the small soaps for gift giving.

So you thought soap making was all glamourous and fun? Think again as you look at the pile of bowls, measuring cups, spatulas etc. etc.

The various molds & soaps in the curing box.

We decided that we really do love the Champagne FO; it is very different and quite nice when mixed with other FO's and EO's.  The reviews on BB were accurate, and for sure we will use it again.  

We have different tastes, so we don't like all of them equally, but the champagne FO adds a nice, crisp, bubbly, zest, creating new blends, and adding interesting layers to favorite fragrances.

The other great thing is how well it behaves. We were able to divide a batch into 4 and still had time to get creative - our kind of FO for sure!

Here are the final shots of the soap.

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