Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Carrot, Orange, and Ginger Soup (I Mean, Soap!)

My Carrot, Orange, and Ginger soap
Sometimes I'm in the mood to attempt something very ambitious with my soapmaking. A six-colored swirled soap, maybe, or a layered masterpiece. A funnel swirl or an embed soap. Salt bars. A soap made with goat's milk and beer.

This was not one of those times. This time, all I wanted was a simple, comforting, soul-soothing soap with a leisurely, luxurious trace. A single-pour soap, with an amazing fragrance blend.

I still wanted it to have some personality, though. One day, as I was staring into my fridge (you gotta keep your eye on those things, you know), I realized that I had a bunch of carrot juice that I would never drink. So, I decided to make a soap with carrot juice in place of the water.

What fragrance would go with carrot juice, though?

I have a Tomato Leaf fragrance oil. Carrots and tomatoes? Maybe. The soap will probably turn out bright orange ... ginger! What would go well with ginger? Lemongrass? Yes, lemongrass!

Ginger and lemongrass it was. But something kept nagging at me.
Pouring soap into mold

Carrots and ginger, carrots and ginger ... where have I heard that before?

And then it hit me - I sometimes make a carrot, ginger, and ORANGE soup!

Yes! Carrots, orange, and ginger! In a soap this time instead of a soup!

So, ginger and orange it was.

And to make things interesting, I decided to go with textured tops and a light sprinkling of mica.

I settled on one of my favorite recipes of olive, coconut, sustainable palm, and avocado oils. (I so adore avocado oil in soap!) As I expected, the carrot juice gave the finished soap a gorgeous, rich orange color.

For my fragrance blend, I chose Bramble Berry's Orange essential oil (10x) and Majestic Mountain Sage's Ginger fragrance oil. I used them in almost equal proportions, opting for just a bit more orange than ginger.

After stickblending to a glorious medium-thick trace, I poured the batch into my lined soap mold and then waited a few minutes before manipulating with the tops with a spoon, letting the soap set up some so it would hold the peaks. I just sorta scooped my spoon into the batter a bit and then let the soap plop back down onto the surface. And once I started scooping and plopping, it was difficult to stop. I really think I could have made an afternoon of it. After much fiddling, I was finally happy with the tops, although I wish my peaks had a bit more oomph.

Using spoon to make peaks (l); mica dusting (r)
Then I used my tea strainer to sift some Copper Sparkle mica onto the tops, much like I did with my pencil line soap.

I love how this soap looks, and the scent is amazing. A bit sweet and citrusy, and a bit warm and spicy. Ginger is such a wonderful fragrance - I will have to play with more blends. I still think ginger and lemongrass would be nice together, as would ginger and peppermint.

And I am curious to see how the carrot juice contributes to the soap. I would think that the natural sugars in the carrots should boost the lather. I have to let the soap cure for a few more weeks before I can use it, though!

Have you ever used carrot juice in your soaps, or used a soap that contained carrot juice? What kinds of fruit or vegetable juices do you like in your soaps? How has food inspired your soapmaking?

20 comments:

  1. What a pretty soap, Jer! I am really curious about the fragrance on this one -- bet it smells good enough to eat! ;D

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    1. Thanks! I love its bright color from the carrot juice, and the ginger gives the orange a bit of warmth and spiciness. It does smell good enough to eat!

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  2. What a luxurious soap, Jenny! I am addicted fan of the carrot soap also, the colour last and the soap is a really pleasure. The scent is yammy...I could smell it from here :)

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    1. Thank you, Natalia! I think I am going to like this soap very much. It looks and smells so nice. It's going to be hard to wait 6 weeks for this soap to cure!

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  3. Mmm, sounds delicious! The color is gorgeous, and I know just what you mean about the soap tops. It's hard to stop once you start!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! Yes, I must have fiddled with the tops for 15 minutes or so before I said to myself, "Self, you must stop now!" :D

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  4. I think of food, and more specifically deserts, all the time when I make soap. I think smell and taste are very closely linked senses, so if I know a food tastes great with a certain flavor combination it's almost certain that it will smell great together in a soap.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Amy! I agree - tastes and smells go hand-in-hand and if a combination of ingredients tastes great together, those same ingredients will probably smell great together, too. That's what I was thinking with this soap. And I love bakery-type scents, too. I've seen some dessert soaps that look like the real thing. The first time I made soap, I remarked to myself how similar the soapmaking process is to baking. :)

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  5. Oh it's lovely and I bet it smells amazing. I'm a sucker for anything ginger. I love the mica on the tops, too. Such a pretty touch.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I love ginger, too, as a soap fragrance and as a cooking ingredient. There is always some ginger root in my freezer. I love the taste, and it smells so spicy and warm. I thought the mica was a nice way to jazz up the tops, too. Thanks for your comments!

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  6. lovely orange color and I bet it smells amazing too (I like orange in anything)! I haven't tried any juices yet...just purees. Your soap looks very luxurious, Jenny!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Kalla! I love citrus scents, too, especially for summer. I can't wait to try a bar and see how the carrot juice affects the lather and feel of the soap. I made a soap with pumpkin puree last year and it was very nice.

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  7. Did you totally replace the water for your lye/water solution with the carrot juice or was it part of it? Did the sugars in the juice accelerate it any? It's a really beautiful vibrant colour! Great job!

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    1. Hi, Deedee, and thanks for your comments! Yes, I replaced 100% of my water with carrot juice, which I had chilled in my fridge. I didn't notice any trace acceleration at all - this batch soaped like a dream! The color is holding, too, and it has been almost a month since I made the soap. I can't wait to use it! Thanks for the compliments! :)

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  8. Hi Jenny, this is a really lovely looking soap - the colour is awesome!!!

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    1. Hi, Polly! Thanks for the kind words. I am very happy with the color, too. I'm really looking forward to using this one in a couple of weeks!

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  9. I love carrot soap! I will definitely have to buy some Ginger EO to play wtih, but for now, my favourite carrot scent has to be Sweet orange with a dash of clove - it is absolutely divine.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Helen! This was a lovely batch of soap, and I loved the carrot juice along with the orange and ginger. Sweet orange and clove also sounds wonderful - those two scents go together so well!

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  10. I love what you did with these tops! I never thought about "spoon plopping" as a technique, haha. I'll have to try it sometime. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ashley! I was shooting for glorious textured tops, but couldn't quite get there, lol. I still sometimes have the hardest time building nice peaks on top of my soap. The spoon plopping did work out pretty well, though, and I like the effect, too!

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