And the next thing you know, you have half a dozen fragrance oils in your shopping cart, and that's if you're displaying any kind of restraint.
And that is how I came to acquire some of Bramble Berry's Tomato Leaf fragrance oil a couple of months ago. (Along with a few other fragrance oils, too, of course.) I had heard so many great things about it, and with spring nearly gone and summer approaching, I was in the mood to try something garden-y. And I figured I had better get around to soaping with it soon before autumn and Christmas make me forget all about Tomato Leaf until next year.
Mind you, I am not a gardener, but the idea of having a garden appeals to me very much. I might consider having a garden if I didn't have an enormous talent for immediately killing any and all forms of plant life. I am truly impressive when it comes to swiftly murdering plants. Gifted, really. I'm not bragging. I always feel terrible whenever a plant expires under my "care," and it always does, even when I try really hard to keep it alive. I even somehow managed to dispatch not one but two cactus plants to their untimely deaths.
Really. I don't know how either.
With that kind of track record, I don't think I can be trusted with even a window box herb garden. The poor thing would be doomed.
Also, I would have to get over my inability to tolerate heat in order to be a gardener. I hate being hot. And I would also need a yard for a proper garden, and I don't like yard work.
A garden actually sounds like a terrible idea for someone like me. I think I'll stick to soap.
|Burgundy and green oxides, mixed with a bit of glycerin|
For the red portion of my soap, I opted for Bramble Berry's burgundy oxide, and their green chrome oxide for the green. I also used their Gold Sparkle mica for the mica line.
I added my fragrance oil to the cooled base oils before adding the lye solution and then split the batch after reaching trace. I poured off one-third of the batter into another bowl, leaving two-thirds behind in my original bowl. Then I added the burgundy oxide to the two-thirds portion, and the green to the bowl with one-third of the soap. The goal was to make the soap look sorta like a tomato - well, a rectangular tomato, I guess - with most of it being red with a bit of green on top to represent the leaves. I figured the mica line would add some interest and contrast.
To build the layers, I poured the burgundy soap at a medium-thick trace, dusted the red layer with the gold mica (using a tea strainer), and then poured the green soap at thick trace over the back of a spoon to cover the mica line. (Tip: Wipe your mold clean after pouring the first layer of soap, and wipe it clean again after dusting the mica line so you don't have any errant soap or mica all over the sides of your bars.)
Here's a video I made of the process. I also share a little trick for cutting the soap so that the mica line doesn't drag down through the bars - cut the soap on its side! (This trick also works great if you have herbs, oats, seeds, or any other sort of additives on the tops of your bars):
Overall, I am very pleased with how this soap turned out. I was trying to get some texture on top of the red layer so that my mica line would be a bit uneven. I like how the line is a little crooked, but I think I could have gotten a more interesting line if my soap had been brought to a thicker trace. I like the texture that my mini whisk gave the top of the green layer - it looks almost like the veins that run through leaves!
In the finished bars, the Tomato Leaf fragrance is a soft, delicate leafy scent with a touch of sweetness. It would be lovely in a gardener's cornmeal scrub soap, too. Or maybe a soap made with tomato juice or puree.
What are some of your favorite spring and summer soap scents?