Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Soap Swap Box Has Arrived!

My Wasabi Swirl soaps, ready for the mail!
You may remember my post a few weeks back about getting ready for the Bramble Berry soap swap. How did the swap work? Participants made twelve bars of soap (using Bramble Berry fragrance or essential oils), sent them in to BB HQ, and then BB sent each participant twelve bars back, each made by a different soapmaker. For my contribution, I chose to use BB's Wasabi fragrance oil, one of my faves.

As anyone who personally knows me can imagine, I obsessed about packing my soap bars so that they would successfully withstand cross-country travel. Let's just say that there was a lot of bubble wrap involved. I was reassured and thrilled when I saw my soap included in this photo collage on the Soap Queen blog - they had made the trip okay! (My soap is the second one down on the far right column. I was honored to have my soap featured alongside so many other gorgeous soaps!)

Last week, I received my swap box filled with goodies from twelve soapmakers! I participated in the cold process category, so I got cold process soaps in return. And now I have a bunch of lovely soap to use! Sure, I've got plenty of my own soap to use, but it is fun to try other people's soaps and a swap is a great opportunity to do so.

Here's my haul:
 
Clockwise from left: English Rose by Costa Productions, Lavender by Gingerleaf Creative, and Passionfruit Rose by Pure Alchemy Soaps


The beautiful pink gradient layer soap comes from Costa Productions, and is scented with English Rose fragrance oil. I love the gradient layer technique, and the scent is a soft, true rose. This soap has lots of wonderful butters (shea, cocoa, mango), and it also contains coconut milk and buttermilk. Both coconut milk and buttermilk are on my list of ingredients to try, too, and I imagine that they are wonderful together.

Gingerleaf Creative made a gorgeous soap scented with lavender essential oil. Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils - it's so fresh and soothing. Lavender buds adorn the top, and bits of ground lavender are speckled throughout the rest of this pretty purple bar.

Next is a Passionfruit Rose soap by Pure Alchemy Soaps. What a great scent! It has floral and fruity notes, but it also has a touch of earthiness. The pretty burnt orange color of this soap matches the scent beautifully. And there are many luxurious oils and butters in the soap - macadamia nut, avocado, hempseed, and walnut oils; and cocoa, mango, and shea butters.

Left to right: Lemon Verbena /Energy blend by Hilda B., "Heirloom Melon" by Mary S., and Creamsicle (round) by Sarah B.

Summer always makes me think of citrusy scents, and Hilda's soap is just perfect for summer! Her blend of Lemon Verbena and Energy fragrance oils is refreshing and energizing. I smell lots of bright citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit), with a touch of fruitiness and a splash of champagne. And the little yellow flowers on top of the soap are so pretty!

Summer also means that watermelons are in season! Mary's "Heirloom Melon" is a mix of Watermelon and Pearberry fragrance oils. The scent is a lovely, soft watermelon with hints of pear, apple, peach, and raspberry. And look how pretty the pink and green swirls are!

Know what else summer makes me think of? Ice cream! Remember Creamsicles? Well, Sarah's soap captures the scent of that favorite summertime treat. The Creamsicle fragrance oil smells like sparkling orange blended with warm vanilla. I like the subtle swirls in this round soap.

Clockwise from left: "Whisper" by Amy B., Wake Up Rosemary by Wyldewood Soap Works, and Almond by Lori S.

As I mentioned, I love citrus scents. Amy's "Whisper" soap is scented with Lime fragrance oil, and it is wonderfully sweet and tart. This soap also contains cream, cane sugar, and kaolin clay. Those ingredients sound very luxurious! And the green swirls are so pretty!

Another soap with gorgeous green swirls is Wake Up Rosemary by Wyldewood Soap Works. It appears that perhaps BB no longer carries Wake Up Rosemary, as I can't find it on their website. But I did find a description - the scent is made up of 30% essential oils (peppermint, cornmint, and rosemary) with hints of lavender, eucalyptus, lily of the valley, and musk. And, boy, does it live up to its name - what an eye-opener! This one will be very refreshing in the shower. And it's made with goat's milk, too, which is one of my favorite ingredients. And look how pretty the packaging is!

Lori's soap is scented with Almond fragrance oil. Man, does it smell delicious! It is a strong almond scent with a touch of vanilla sweetness. And I love the rustic look of this bar. Lori wrapped her soap in the handmade crocheted washcloth in the photo above. What a gorgeous way to package a bar of soap while adding a lovely personal touch!

Clockwise from left: Summer Fling by N4you Soaps, Crisp Apple Rose by Abby's Handmade Soap, and "Sweet Tart" by Abundance Soaps

Nyota from N4you Soaps used some sparkly ribbon and a cute little pouch to package her Summer Fling soap. This scent is fruity and floral with a hint of musk. Peaches and raspberries are front-and-center in this fragrance oil, and the pretty peach and purple swirls are perfect for this scent! Yum!

I adore the delicate swirls in Abby's soap! And the scent is fantastic, like a breeze across an apple orchard. Abby used Crisp Apple Rose fragrance oil, and it is a perfect blend of Granny Smith apples and rose blossoms. Abby's soap contains silk, which is an ingredient that I love but have yet to use in my own soaps. I have experienced silk in bars made by others, though, and it is a wonderful addition!

The final soap is a shampoo and body bar from  Abundance Soaps. It is called "Sweet Tart" and is scented with tea tree, patchouli, and pink grapefruit essential oils. I have not tried to make my own shampoo bars, but I am curious about them. This soap contains Rhassoul clay, which is supposed to absorb oils and impurities from skin and hair. Both my skin and hair are oily, so this should be a wonderful ingredient for me! The bar is a beautiful natural creamy color with brown swirls on top. The label is cute, too!

And those are the soaps I got in the swap! Each bar is beautiful and made with love. I am looking forward to trying them all out. A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated, and a big thank you goes out to our friends at Bramble Berry for hosting the swap!

(Psst ... if you are looking for a swap to participate in, Bramble Berry is sponsoring another one this summer. Soaps are due for this swap in August. Check out the details here if you are interested!)

Did any of you join this past swap? What was your haul like? Anyone planning to participate in the next swap?

28 comments:

  1. I envy the lucky people who got your soaps, wasabi is such a nice fresh scent. If you didn't mention where yours was located in the collage, it'd be hard to miss your logo. :)

    There're some great looking soaps you got in return as well. Wrapping up a soap in a crocheted washcloth is a great idea; no throwing that out anytime soon.

    Thanks for sharing your pictures of your swap with us.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! Wasabi is one of my favorite FOs. It sounds strange, but it smells great, like fresh-cut grass with hints of peppermint and ginger. And I am thrilled with the soaps I received in the swap! They are all lovely. And the washcloth is a beautiful touch!

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  2. Jenny, I'm so excited for you! Those all look and sound wonderful! (Wish I could smell them!)I want to do a BB swap...maybe I can get it together before the August one. I'm sad that the Wake Up Rosemary is gone. I liked that FO.
    Enjoy your soaps! :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! The soaps I received in the swap were all wonderful! I hope that you can participate in August - the swaps are fun. I never soaped with Wake Up Rosemary, but now that I have sampled it, I wish I could get some, too. I really like the way it smells. I've got rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender EOs - maybe I could try to recreate something similar. Probably won't smell as good, though, as Wake Up Rosemary!

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  3. How fun!!! What a treat to get all those different soaps, such a wonderful variety...enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Cee Gee! It is a treat to try so many different soaps. Every once in while I may pick up a bar or two at the farmer's market or a craft show, but it's not often that I can try twelve different bars from twelve different soapmakers!

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  4. I wish I could smell them too, especially the Crisp Apple Rose.. how fun! Thanks for sharing pics! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kalla! The Crisp Apple Rose does smell amazing.

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  5. So much beautiful soaps - have fun by using these different soaps -

    greetings,

    Kristin

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    1. Thanks, Krissi! I'm looking forward to trying each one!

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  6. Oh My Gosh, how many soaps you got at once! How to choose where to start sniffing, touching and eventually using them? Tough job, Jan! And your soaps look so cute wrapped and packed, you've never showed us your packaging, I would like to see!

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    1. Thank you, Maja! I don't know which soap I'll start with, but I will use them all eventually! They are all so pretty and smell so wonderful, I find myself wanting to keep them around as long as possible. But soap is meant to be used, and I will enjoy using each and every bar. I guess I haven't showed my packaging all that often. I don't usually package my soaps unless I'm giving them to someone. I use a cigar band for my rectangular soaps and coffee filters for round ones. I'll have to remember to show some more packaging photos, especially around the holidays when I'm labeling so many soaps as gifts!

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  7. So interesting and fun! You received beautiful soaps and it will not be easy to decide which one to try first!

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    1. Thanks, Gordana! It will be difficult deciding which one to use first, but I will get to all of them eventually! I'm looking forward to trying them all.

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  8. Awesome haul! And even more awesome -- you got completely different soaps than me! Very cool.

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    1. Hi, Ashley! Thanks for your comments. Yeah, it seems like the folks I got soaps from also got one of mine, too! I enjoyed seeing your soaps from the swap. You've got lots of great soaps to use since you did the M&P and CP swaps! Enjoy!

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  9. What a great haul -- I'm so excited that you were able to participate in the swap and hope you get a chance to enter the next one this August! =)

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    1. Thanks, Anne-Marie! And thank you to everyone at Bramble Berry for making the swap happen! It was a lot of fun. I'll have to participate in more swaps in the future!

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  10. Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for the soap you made for the Brambleberry Soap Swap :) I see you got one of my soaps too! I hope you like the Passionfruit Rose.

    ~Cassi

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    1. Hi, Cassi! You're very welcome - I hope that you enjoy the Wasabi bar. How cool that we both got a bar from each other! Your Passionfruit Rose soap is so pretty and it smells amazing. I am looking forward to trying it! Enjoy your swap soaps, and thanks for stopping by!

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  11. What a fantastic swap. All the soaps (including yours) look wonderful - how on earth are you going to choose which to use first!

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    1. Thank you, Polly! I guess I'll just have to close my eyes and randomly pick one!

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  12. As always your soap looks great, Jer -- the Wasabi Swirl was an excellent choice to send. You've got some beautiful soaps to try out, too!

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    1. Thanks, Mom! I received some beautiful soaps in the swap. I've used most of them now, but I still have a few bars left to enjoy!

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  13. I was in the soap swap and just wanted to say that I loved the Wasabi soap! Mine was the Wake Up Rosemary and I really wish I had gotten more when I ordered it. I have enough for another batch, but I love the fragrance and don't think I could re-create anything quite so refreshing.

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    1. Hi, Kristie! Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the Wasabi soap. BB's Wasabi FO is one of my favorites. I loved your Wake Up Rosemary soap - the green swirls are so pretty, and the scent is fantastic! It's too bad that BB doesn't carry that FO anymore. I'm glad that I got to experience that scent, though. Thank you for such a lovely soap!

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  14. Keep wondering if mine will make a mention in a blog post. I have been so busy I have not used any of the soaps I received yet! Some do not have names on them or fragrance identifying info (darn).

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    1. Hi, Christine! Soap swaps are fun. It's a shame that some of the soaps you received aren't labeled with the fragrance used. One of the best things about a soap swap is that you can discover new favorite FOs, but that's difficult if you don't know what they are! Enjoy your swap soaps - it's always fun to try another soapmaker's soap!

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