Time for adventures in Mystery Fragrance soap making! In case you haven't been following along, I am testing 8 mystery fragrances for Bramble Berry, as a part of their Summer 2015 S.O.A.P. Panel. I have absolutely nothing to go on for these fragrances, other than they come in little amber bottles. It's up to me and the other panelists to test them out and see what happens.
If you remember, here's what we had to say about Scent #5:
K: A kind of herbal scent, edging towards the manly side. Rosemary? Pine?
M: That's nice. For a boy.
C: Manly, or maybe like a herbal perfume, with some light florals?
H: I like it. Manly. Reminds me of cologne too, but maybe with some sawdust?
With all this in mind, I decided to test it (and all the other scents) in multiple products to see how it worked.
For this soap, I used 0.5 ounces of fragrance in my standard cold process recipe. Oh #5, how I absolutely hate you in cold process soap. You are a very, very, VERY bad boy. I brought my soap batter to a nice light trace, just as I did all of the previous mystery fragrance batches. Added my fragrance and whisked it in. Then I looked and thought to myself, "oh that's accelerating, better get that in the mold. OH it's moving FAST! $&*^%($*&^%(*&$^%) IT'S SEIZING ON ME!!!"
There were all sorts of words exchanged with #5 at this point. I sort of squished it into the mold as best I could, shaking my head the whole time.
Not so pretty. It's basically clumps of soap squashed into the mold, but not really sticking together. Oh well, I figured this one would gel on me, since I have found that fragrances that accelerate typically tend to gel on their own. And sure enough, about 15 minutes later, I got this:
At least I was able to use a gloved hand and pack it down pretty well. It got pretty hot and liquidy again, so I'm relatively sure it will make a cut-able loaf. But dang. Surprise! Here's what it looked like once I got it unmolded and cut. Unmolding was interesting too, since there was some oil that had separated out of the batch. Not sure if it was the fragrance or not, but I'm leaning towards yes. I let it sit overnight and it looks like the oil reabsorbed into the soap before cutting, but overall it's not exactly a promising sign.
Not my best soap ever. I officially have a least favorite mystery fragrance now! The little *censored* will go on the curing shelf now for the next few weeks. No promises on if I will ever let it out of the corner. I'm almost afraid to zap test it to see if will even be usable. It's all sorts of weird looking (for cold process) and mildly oozy. There's some discoloration, but I have no idea what will happen in the next couple weeks.
On to happier topics, like lotions and bath bombs and melt and pour, oh my! Once again, I modified the lotion recipe I used for all the previous scents so I can compare various oil/butter combinations. I'm just changing one variable at a time to see how it impacts the final lotion and if I like it or not.
The lotion is still a little bubbly, but it doesn't seem as bad as some of the other batches. I did like this scent in lotion. It seemed to calm down a bit from the initial pine/rosemary notes I seemed to pick up on out of the bottle, but I'd still definitely call this a men's scent. I like it!
Bath bombs! I used a very slightly bigger mold, so only got 4 bombs this time. It decided to pour down rain right after I made them, so they are all warty. My fault for not checking the weather I suppose. And here's a fun fact: gray is UGLY in bath bombs! In case you haven't noticed, I've been giving each scent a color to tie them all together and so I can easily tell which scent is which. 1 was blue, 2 was brown, 3 was orange, 4 was green, and well, 5 was gray. Not a fan of the gray warty bath bombs. They just look dirty and gross. They smell good though....
Finishing out with the melt and pour soaps. Luckily the gray doesn't seem so ugly in these. They almost appear silvery instead of gray, which is nifty. A nice scent, still manly. Not one that I would personally use for myself, but I totally wouldn't mind if my boyfriend did.
Once again, we'll have to see how it all holds up over the next several weeks. I wouldn't say that this is necessarily one of my favorites of the mystery scents, but it's not bad. In the two men's scents so far (1 and 5), I'd probably pick 1 over 5, but it would be a close call. That's based on scent alone, by the way. In soap I'd rather set #5 on fire before using it again.