Saturday, 10 August 2013

Mantra Swirl in a Slab Mold

One of my favourite things about making soap is trying new swirling techniques and designs. I enjoy the creative process and how lovely the finished product can look. An impressive swirl that I have read a lot about recently is the Mantra Swirl, which was part of Amy's recent Soap Challenge Club at Great Cakes Soapworks. I missed this challenge, but the results are so beautiful and inspiring.

Though this swirl is typically done in a log-style mold, I decided to try it in my slab mold to avoid "modifying" the swirl (where a hanger swirl is done first to create definition within the soap). I also thought that it would be quite the challenge because I planned on having 6 different lines of soap in the slab mold.

I scented this soap with cappuccino fragrance oil. It smells quite realistic out of the bottle, capturing the aromas of both roasted coffee and creamy milk. I kept the colour scheme to a simple brown and white, with a line of cappuccino mica dispersed in oil down the centre.

I prepared the oils and lye water the night before to help keep things cool. This gave me a lot of time to work with the soap, which I definitely needed. The cardboard dividers that I used weren't ideal as there was some leakage, but they mostly kept the soap separated.

Overall, I'm happy with the design, though I will do a thinner mica/oil line if attempt this design again. I'm less satisfied with the fragrance, as the sharp coffee scent has pretty much disappeared after 48 hours, leaving an undefined and unremarkable sweet sort of smell. After doing a bit more research on coffee fragrances, I understand that this is fairly normal. What a shame as I love coffee! But I bet that this fragrance would be lovely in a body butter with unrefined cocoa butter. 


  1. Congratulations on tackling the mantra swirl beautifully! Sorry to hear about your cappuccino f.o. It would be great to know if someone has found the perfect coffee f.o. I've tried one from BB that smells nice but not quite coffee, more like chocolate cake, in my opinion.

    1. Thank you for your comment on the swirl! And I agree - it would be wonderful to find a coffee fragrance oil that works in cold process soap. I think that coffee just smells so good!

  2. Love this soap, great job on the mantra swirl! Too bad about the fragrance though, it sounds like a really nice one!