Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saponification Sunday...Other Womens Soap

I did a reckless thing a couple of weeks ago. Wild and Reckless. Wild, Reckless and Impulsive.

I bought another woman's soap. Actually it was four women but I had good cause...all of them...are better than mine. How do I know, you query? Well, I've been stalking them, via their blogs, their web sites, their Face Books, their you-tubes, a few interviews with their neighbors, coffee with their post men, their whatevers.

Why? You query yet a second time? Because I am advanced. An advanced beginner. I am at that point in my soap making that I fully understand that there is little I fully understand and no matter how much I point my cursor over other soapers swirls and waves, I will never advance until I take a few showers...with other women's soap.

So I picked 4 that I have been admiring for awhile,  Caron and Michelle of Two Blooms Design Studio, Kendra of Amathia Soapworks, Joanna of Product Body and Becky of Heirloom Soapworks.
I decided to do this primarily out of guilt. Reading their blogs, learning from their videos, eyeing their creations all for FREE seemed wrong. It was time to put my husbands hard earned money where MY mouth was. (Kidding, I threw a little of my own soap selling money into the Paypal Pot)

It's not like I haven't bought other handmade soap before, most recently grabbed up several things from Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks, ( Her lotions!!!! Oh my goodness her lotions are tres' fab) which was what initially got me thinking about my selfish ways of watching and not buying.

Now, the purpose of this post is not to compare and contrast (oh, how I miss Cocobong) that would be as ridiculous as me giving diet and exercise advise. Well, even more ridiculous, I did lose a bunch of weight once, I have never been an expert saponifier) No, the purpose was to further educate my limited oil plus lye equals suds self, sort of  a reverse critique.

This is what I learned overall. All four ladies made beautiful pieces of artistic soap that smelled of Heaven as I would imagine Heaven to smell. All four delivered their soaps to me FAST, (I ordered two soaps from each on the same day) Even that duo from another country got my soaps to me in just three days! All four took great care in packaging allowing their soaps to arrive in perfect shape. This was the most shocking part. You see I have been doing a little overkill on the shipping of my own soaps. Tissue wrap followed by pretty paper napkins and then bubble wrap (each bar) and then foam peanuts in a box with lots of tape and a the final touch of a large metal combination lock.

Yes, my postage costs were a wee high.

These ladies used shrink wrap (3 of 4 did) one used a sturdy individual cut out cardboard box and they all then shipped in padded envelopes. Simple, cost effective and more than adequate. All of their postage fees were within $1.00 of each other.

They also had great tops.

Lets take it from the top: Bamboo from Heirloom Soapworks, Raspberry Vanilla Luxury Soap from Two Blooms Design Studio,
Gaia (Spicy patchouli vanilla) from Amathia Soapworks
and The Sea Bar from Product Body

What's up with that one skinny green bar you wonder? Well that one belongs to Becky of Heirloom Soap works. It is her Bamboo Bar, the first one of the 8 bars I unwrapped and I was totally sucked in to its Aromatic Delightfullness. I actually took a shower with it while unwrapping the other bars I received that day, it was that hard to put down. I have washed everybody and every body's body with it since it arrived.

Don't believe me? Just smell our Turkey.

So to summarize, I learned the following
     1. Shrink wrap is great but well made boxes are good too.
     2. Labels must be detailed and easy to read. (mine isn't)
     3. Mailing materials must be adequate but should not weigh more than the post mistress.
     4. Fast shipping is well appreciated. (I could be faster)
     5. Whatever you charge for your had better be worth it!  (Theirs was)
     6. A picture is NOT worth a thousand words. All of these soaps were better than their pictures.
     7. Just like a good writer must read read read, a good soap making must shower shower shower!

And finally, here is the soap I made myself this week. Another batch of "High Woad" as in A Good Soaper must always take the High Woad.

Made of Coconut, Olive, Castor and Sweet Almond Oil, colored with Moroccan Red Clay, Woad Powder and Titanium Dioxide. Scented with Bergamot, Lavender, Lemongrass, Pink Grapefruit and Amyris EO's Available for purchase Oct 1. STILL just $4.00 a bar as I am STILL a beginner. Contact me at to order.

                                  Freshly cut and untrimmed

PS Before you bark at me about not buying any mens soap so I can learn from them with more arm pit hair...give me time. I can only stalk one gender at a time.


  1. I probably shouldn't judge (it gets me into hot water), but Heirloom wins my packaging prize.

  2. I love your High Woad soap, Donna! Cute name. And it is fun to try other people's soap. Every once in a while I buy some soap from a fellow soapmaker, too, to experience something new and to learn more about the craft.

  3. Very nice! I'm glad you gave your turkey a bath. It's important for self-image, you know. Don't want a stinky turkey. What would the hogs say?

  4. You amaze and inspire me with your soap making skills, Mrs. Farmwife! Beautiful soap!

  5. I am personally addicted to your soaps. You have spoiled me for other soaps, even the supposed luxury ones at big hotels. You need a web site, when you are ready to go full speed, girl. Thanks, Donna.

  6. Cro, you are just a visual guy who loves those Victorian Babes

    Jenny. Last week I bought some soap from a vendor at amarket far away from us. Smelled good until I got home. Then no smell. Thats when I smelled the wrapping and realixed that was all she had scented! Some people. The other 99% of hand made soap is worth the money to try

    Jocelyn, The hogs have too much control around here as it is. Turkeys deserve a little spa day too

    Crazy, you are too kind. Now if I could just take photos like you do!

    Susan, thanks for your recent order you addict you! I am looking forward to a real web site too. Should make life much easier...or not.

  7. Glad you are enjoying your soap. Thanks for the lovely feature.

    yeah it's always a debate about using a box as the postage costs are always higher with a box.


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