Sunday, November 13, 2011

Secret Soap Mission...COMPLETED!

You may not have known this, being as it was a secret and all, but I have been on a top secret mission. Even my closest family members had no idea what I was involved in but now that it is over, I am finally free to speak, the bar of soap dislodged from my mouth.

A couple of weeks ago, Oct. 24 to be exact, a soaper I highly respect and whose soaps I lust after, requested volunteers.
Jennifer Young of Jenora Soaps/Naturalmente Mediterraneo needed me, and I was not going to let her down. I volunteered for service leaving those I loved in the dust, literally as I wasn't going to share these soaps with anyone!

I was sent four precious samples under discreet brown paper packaging. These were soaps all made with olive oil but different TYPES of olive oil. I was asked, I still can't believe this part, to give my opinion.

But Jen was not completely honest with me. She did not tell me, or even hint, that the soaps were all PERFECTLY excellent soaps. They even looked exactly the same.

OK, OK, I'll get serious.  Yes, the blue soap is mine. It saw those cute girls from Spain and had to spend a little Spa time with them. The four little soaps Jen sent were the same size but ever so slightly off a shade or two. I took each bar and used them ALL DAY for ALL THINGS. I washed my hands with it, took my shower with it, and washed my hair with it. Even though Jen did not promote these are shampoo bars I thought why not? But in fairness I will not judge them as shampoo bars.

So my testing took 4 days (one day for each soap) and the samples were well worn down by the end of the trial. As a farmer/cook/soaper/writer/model/housewife/pig trainer, I wash my hands many many times each day, after doing some uh--yucky tasks. I wanted to see how they would perform under harsh conditions.

Here are the results.

None of them, not one, was a bad soap. (And I know bad soap, I've made many this first year of soaping) All of them lathered, smelled pleasant or not at all and felt good on my skin. None of them dried my skin but I have fat hands and being well cushioned it takes a lot to dry them.

But ONE of them stood out above the rest. The very best soap, the one I adored was...was...was...

NUMBER THREE ! This little gem had it all. The suds were immediate with very little friction needed, a perfect creamy thickness. I had to use great restraint not to use up all of the bar before my evening shower. I did briefly contemplate a quick bath in the kitchen sink like I used to do with the GK's when they were tiny but then remembered the new sink we bought was deep but not wide.

The scent was non specific but still so light and pleasant but what I loved most was the way it slid around so easily in my hand, like running my hand under a waterfall of silk. It rinsed well and my skin felt so soft, a softness that just got, how can I say it ? Softer as the day went on.

So there you have it, the winner is #3. After that it was a toss up between #'s 1 and 2.  In last place, I am so sorry , was number 4. But even her last place soap (in my opinion) was so much better than my own first place soap.(again just my opinion)  Just goes to prove...I'm no soap artisan, just a partisan. But being given the chance to evaluate a professionals soap was a great experience. Thank you so much Jen for allowing me this opportunity.

Now just watch, all the other testers will say soap # 3 was the worst and # 4 was the best. I will then have to stop blogging publicly about soap making having lost all credibility.

In addition to the test bars, generous Jen also sent nice big hunks of three other bars, Orange Poppy seed, Prickly Pear, and Prickly Pear with the seeds. The wrapping is indescribably perfect. The delicate paper with the geometrically correct triangular corners,  the bright white folded card stock, the petite ingredient labels.

I started sleeping with them from day one.

Unfortunately the GK's noticed the soap bumps in my bed and wanted them. Its my fault entirely, as I give them sample pieces of every new bar of soap I make. So I held a little contest to see which kid could have which soap. Four year old Wes was very happy with his prize.

Seven year old Allana took hers immediately to the tub. I stopped her just before she started to unwrap hers. HORRORS. I was able to substitute the Prickly Pear Soap with the seeds instead. Neither she or I found it too scratchy Jen. Again we have some pretty thick stuff to wash off at the end of our days.

Allana did want to know if we could plant the prickly pear seeds next spring. Can we Jen ? Can we?


  1. Soaplife Soapwife. If you ever hear of any wine makers who are looking for 'testers', please point them my way. Merçi!

  2. I'd be willing to test chocolate and potato chips.......
    Hubby pointed something interesting out to me yesterday. He said we hadn't had a bar of soap in the house in years. And we haven't. We strictly use liquid unscented hand soap and unscented body wash. Made any of that lately?

  3. Hi Donna, thank you so much for the testing and your review. You ROCK!!!! So glad you enjoyed the experience and tell your little one that OF COURSE you can plant the seeds next spring!!!! xoxo Jen

  4. You are so lucky you got to test these wonderful soaps! I love hearing about your soapy adventures. It almost makes me want to make my own :) I have a friend who makes soap to give away as Christmas gifts each year. I hoard the soaps and never use them. I just like to look at them. Haven't tried sleeping with them yet tho LOL.

  5. What a great blog! So fun -and from a fellow Illinois Girl! Love the pics -'specially the animals. :D Becky

  6. I know a tester! A bona fide tester! Now I want to try #3! Or chocolate. I'm not particular!

  7. My soap testing results were similar, but not identical to yours! And no, #4 was not the fave, it was also my least fave.

    Kinky Witch Soap