Monday, 5 August 2013

New Beginnings

For the past year, I have used a couple of 2 lb wooden log molds that I purchased on Etsy. They have to be lined with parchment paper (which I hate), but are a really good size for small batches and have removable ends and slats for cutting 1 inch bars (which I love). These molds have served me well and have produced bars of which I'm really proud.

Triple Clay Rosemary & Orange Essential Oils
Citrus Essential Oils
Eucalyptus & Mint Essential Oils
However, I had been thinking a lot about upgrading to a new mold (slab mold? silicone liner? acrylic?). I hadn't decided exactly what kind of mold I wanted when I received a gorgeous 15 bar acrylic slab mold with dividers for my birthday from Soap Making Resource. It's relatively easy to use, clean up is a breeze, and no lining! But given that I have come from using log molds, it's a bit of an adjustment to use a slab mold. I really can't do the same swirling techniques anymore as the design shows from above, not from the side. The mold is also a lot larger than I'm used to (it holds up to 5 lbs). So for the next little while, there will be lots of experimentation as I figure out what I can and can't do with this beauty.

Another interesting development has been venturing into the world of fragrance oils. Up until recently, I have always used essential oils for my fragrance needs. There are a few reasons for this. First, I like the therapeutic value that essential oils bring; I find that there's nothing like a bar of real lavender soap in the shower. Second, I've been reluctant to use fragrance oils because I have had medical issues with "artificial" scents. Many perfumes, body sprays and lotions give me epic migraines and I have been hesitant to risk exposing myself to full-strength fragrance oils that might do the same thing or worse. Third, I didn't want my soaps to smell fake.

Despite all of this, I was feeling a little boxed in by my usual selection of essential oils, so I recently made a purchase of four different fragrance oils: mango madness, evergreen, cappuccino and pumpkin pie. And I have to say, I've been pleasantly surprised. They don't smell fake, I have not experienced any migraines so far, and the variety is astounding. I will still use essential oils for various bars (lavender mint is a favourite), but I'm excited to delve further into the fragrance world.

Evergreen and Mango Madness
Stay tuned!


  1. How wonderful to receive a slab mold for your birthday! I am contemplating too whether to get one or not. I am a bit worried about having a hard time releasing the soaps from the dividers. I had an acrylic slab mold and it worked without a liner for the first couple of times, and after that the soap just stuck to it. Because of the see through nature of the acrylic, I was able to separate the soap with a flat metal spatula without much damage.
    Like you, I started out with essential oils (3 to be exact), but it looked so much fun to try different different fragrances. I have gone overboard with my purchases for f.o.'s and it has been hit or miss. But I have to say it is so much fun to play with f.o.'s and colors, even though they are not all natural.
    Great work on your soaps! :-)

    1. Thanks! Sorry to hear about your acrylic mold :(

      I totally know what you mean about fragrance oils. I've ordered 3 more (blackberry jam, passionfruit and strawberry rhubarb pie) and I'm planning more for Christmas!

  2. Correction to my comment above... I had an acrylic log mold. I don't own any slab mold as of yet. :-)