Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saponification Sunday...International Fame

With over 5 decades behind me, I've been called many names. I would estimate 97% of them were accurate. I have never, however been called, (you might want to tell your minor children to leave the room) a" Maitre-Savoneur."

Yes, I know, seems harsh, but as I said most names I have been called, are deserved. This one however is beyond me. Literally. Six years of French, 3 in grade school, 3 in HS, were not helpful in ascertaining the meaning of this label. But looking at it in context, it seems to mean "Maker of soap." How about that?

Maitre-Savoneur looks so much better than "Soap Maker" and I have my blog friend Cro to thank for my new international fame. Since his post about my soap our lives have been rocked with TV crews, news helicopters hoping to actually view me in the soap making process, and authors wanting first chance at my bibliography.

In addition, my non-soap store is growing with several more orders via email. A school in Chicago is going to use my soap (80 bars) for a fundraiser and the gang at St James bought out a basket of my soap my daughter Raven brought to work. The best part is...This is just a hobby for me, the volume of which I have complete control over and the making of all this soap is pure fun. The first hobby I have had where income is over expenses ( by almost $20 !) How unexpected. Of course this week I need to order more oils and the balance will shift dramatically. Overall though,

The Soapy Life is Good.

However...This weeks creation was not as perfect as I would have liked. Fame has obviously already gone to my head and I became careless. Too much Titanium Dioxide. Lured into the desire for a crisp clean whiter bar I went overboard. When I cut it,  the bar was fine for the upper 2/3 and then crumbled slightly at the bottom. TD sure can heat things up and even though I plopped the soap in the frig for 24 hours I still had a slight gel in the middle.

The bits and bobs of other soaps made it playful enough and 3 days after making,  it created a smooth lather so I'll be able to keep most of it. Photos always show off imperfections and although I'd like to just showcase my best specimens, truth is, most of my specimens are highly imperfect. Looking back over the months I do see (and feel) improvements so I will trudge forward.

I was very brave with my EO's this week, combining Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Patchouli, Lavender, and Geranium Rose in small amounts. It was sweet but not overly so. The Patchouli grounded it well. So now tell me, you other more experienced soap makers much TD do you use per pound of oils? Many thanks and have great week !


  1. Those look modern art.

  2. LOL, said in French, everything sounds better. And the soap is so pretty! I'll just have to take your word that it's not perfect because I wouldn't have guessed.

  3. Te a quedado genial no digas que no pero es muy blanco como una pieza de marmol. Felicidades.

  4. I enjoy your blog very much and have been wanting to order soap from you for several months, but not quite gotten down to it. Those last pix did the trick! Lovely soap! How may I order?

  5. Leslie, all you need to do is email me at The bars shown are $4 each (apprx weight is 4-5 oz each) plus shipping of $6 for 1-5 bars. I can tell you about others I have available when you email me. THANKS!

  6. For the last week there's been a hauntingly sweet and spicy perfume coming from our bathroom. Of course, it's your wonderful soap! Thank you once again.

    Maitre-Savoneur means 'Master Soap Maker'. A serious title.

  7. Gorgeous looking soap Donna!! xo Jen

  8. To get a white soap I combine coconut fat and almond oil. The soap will stay white without using TD.
    But I like Your soap as it is.

  9. Cro, to know that miles away I have sweetened a bathroom, is great reward and I promise to take my title more seriously.

    Jen, thanks so much. Do you know EVERYTIME I wrap one of my soaps I think of you? Yeah, cause my wrapping stinks thats why

    Petra, I am trying that next time ! Thanks

  10. Your new soap is lovely, love the colours. There are a few different ratios on TD, 1 tsp per pound of oils is a good one to start with.


  11. As a non-soap-maker, I have no advice to give. But as a soap-user, I say: keep up the amazing work!!! You rock!

  12. Michelle's advice sounds about right. I like to use 1 tsp. per cup of soap...does that end up being twice as much??

    Anyway, lovely embeds! Sorry you had trouble with crumbles...the soaps in the picture look just fine to me!

  13. Congrats on your success, Donna! Love the chunk embed soaps. I usually start with about 1/2 teaspoon of TD per pound of oils and add a bit more if I need to from there. Love your new title of "Maitre-Savoneur"!

  14. I too start at 1/2 teaspoon of TD per pound of oils, depending on my base oils. My standard recipe for lighter coloured soap only needs the 1/2t but my yellower oils need a little more to get a lighter finished colour. I don't actually go for a 'bright' white look so if that is what you want, perhaps start at 1t.

    I love your soap and the embeds set it off perfectly! :)