My special blend - The Black

Black is the opposite of white, so the next soap was obvious.  I love everything vanilla and especially vanilla scented perfume, but perhaps not an undiluted sweet and sickly scent. I prefer a bit more sophisticated blends that have some of the warmth and sweetness of the vanilla but also some element of freshness.

I wanted to try to make a vanilla blend but I didn't want the soap to be brown.  I do remember the 70's when everything brown, orange and avocado was the height of fashion but brown isn't exactly romantic.  So I wanted to disguise the brown.  Don't get me wrong, I love brown soaps and the rustic look of unbleached linnen and stuff, but for this purpose I didn't want the brown of the vanilla to show.  I used medical charcoal to colour the soap black and the first idea was to decorate it exclusively with white flowers.  I thought that would be a really serene and cool look.  But then, when I was rummaging through my stash of dried herbs, I came across the red clover and it was this pretty purple.  So I decided to use that for decoration and consequently this soap is a bit wilder than originally planned.

The scent is a blend of Vanilla, Sweet Orange, Palmarosa, Bensoin and a bit of Ylang Ylang.  The scent is very nice.  Quite unusual, but my younger daughter likes it the best of my blends so far.  And she has very good taste.

To decorate I used dried flowers of Red Clover, Rose, Alchillea, Calluna and dried leaves of Rubus.  The dried flowers are holding up well so far and I'm optimistic that they'll look nice at Christmas too.

The recipe for this soap is a little bit different.  This time I had neither lard, not did I want to sacrifice any more duck fat, so I used castor oil instead.  I wanted something to make it conditioning and it can be used for the hair.  And I didn't have anything else.  This soap also got a bit of sugar and silk like the other ones.  I can't wait to test them.  They should be very nice.

Olive Oil   45%      225g / 8oz
Coconut Oil   30%      150g / 5.3oz
Cocoa Butter   10%     50g / 1.8oz
Rice Bran Oil 10%     50g / 1.8oz
Castor Oil   5%     25g / 0.9oz

The soap turned out to be quite black and sultry looking with the dark red flowers.  For some reason it got me thinking about my German grandmother and that spun some thoughts about the other soaps and who they would fit of the elderly ladies in my life.  But that might be another post.

The market went quite well, we couldn't have stayed another day.  The table looked rather bare at the end as we almost sold out.  Thankfully we didn't since we had promised a few soaps to someone and those were some of the ones that were left.  But all in all a really nice experience.  I love talking about soap.  I could go on forever, and almost did.  Someone asked if we were thinking of teaching how to make soap and I think that might be something to consider.  But not till after Christmas.  I still haven't done the Advent wreath, but everything is sitting here ready and staring at me.  I'd better get going.


  1. I like your soaps. Congratulations.

  2. Looks awesome. Love the look of this recipe as well... You are so creative. Way to go on the market!! xo Jen

  3. I love the contrast of the black with the "potpourri" on top--it's beautiful! One so rarely sees an all-black soap....

  4. What a perfect photo! I love the sound of your scent blend too <3

  5. Way to go with your market. The scent of this soap sounds wonderful.

  6. The color contrasts are beautiful Ambra! Congratulations on the great market sales!!


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