Lichen: Obsession no... Oh! What was it again?

Or:  The importance of being rigorous about writing things down

I had this uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right, but since I couldn't find the piece of paper I had written my notes down on, I brushed it aside.  But I was right.  Something was wrong.  I got my Lichen soaps mixed up.  I'm not used to making many batches at the same time.  I usually make just one batch, sometimes two and I have done three at a time, but then my cousin was with me.  So this marathon soaping session was quite unusual for me.  Afterwards I was sure I had written down what lichen decoction went with what scent and what I put on top of them, but I couldn't find it.  So I tried to do it from memory and, boy does that not work!

When I started making soaps I wrote down the recipes in a notebook and then input them into Soapcalc and saved them as pdf files.  So I'm pretty organized.  But since I was using the same one for them all I just saved the first recipe and wrote the name of the lichen and the scent and what I put on top on a slip of paper that I found in a hurry.  Then I misplaced it.  

I finally found the piece of paper, so I could correct my mistake.  But the results were so surprising that it was really counterintuitive.  The Lichen that coloured the most is the one that give the least colour to yarn.  The first one I wrote about, Peltigera canina.  But parts of that post are wrong, I had the wrong soap mached up with the Lichen.  I simply coudn't believe that there was this pretty Peach from so little colour.  Admittedly, I used Lemongras EO which is yellow in colour, but that was only about 10 g and then 10 g of Peppermint EO which doesn't have any colour at all.  So it must be the Lichen.

I thought I would get a better feeling for the Lichen's potential to colour stuff by doing these experiments, but I have to say: I still haven't quite figured it out.  Lichen is still a mystery too me and still just as fascinating.  I will continue to read about them and try them out, both as ingredients in soap and as dyes.  Even as medicinal plants, because many of them are used as such.  Just totally fascinating organisms.

Don't ask how I like the soaps.  I haven't tried them yet, they are still curing.  I have been using the face cream that I made with lichen decoction.  And I like that.  Pretty sure that the lichen decoction does something good.  I really need to try more soaps, I have a few that I haven't tried yet, the Seaweed soap among them.  I've finally exhausted the subject of Lichen soaps although I am still dying yarn with new lichen varieties that I have found.  But, not a day too soon, I have also started to make soaps for Christmas.  I can't wait for Christmas.  I love that time of year.


  1. This was an interesting read and yes I know the feeling of losing notes on a soap you have made before. Just to let you know my old blog Splurge Sisters has a new name and a new URL. I notice it's on your blog roll :) My new link is and my new name is Two Blooms Design Studio


  2. I have no doubt it will turn out into a great smelling, soapy, foamy soap :D

  3. I just love to read you, Ambra! Every soap of you has something new to tell!


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