I started this blog as a soap blog, but I have many other interests. Lately I have not made as many soaps as I used to, but I have become more interested in natural dyeing and old handiwork. You may also see posts about gardening, baking, DIY and anything else that takes my fancy.
Orange for fall
Orange really isn't my colour at all. I look like death warmed over, if I attempt to wear it, while my daughter on the other hand, simply glows. But it is a beautiful vibrant colour that is both happy and energetic. And it is the undisputed colour of fall.
I didn't set out to make an orange soap. I have been wanting to do a yellow one since early this year. I was longing for spring and wanted the warm golden yellow that I got from Annatto once. So I infused Annatto seeds and expected them to turn the oil a golden yellow overnight. It didn't. I'm still waiting. Then I thought of the left over unrefined palm oil that is in my cupboards and decided to use that. I just had to try palm oil once so I bought it even if the environmental effects are questionable. Since I bought it I might as well use it up, there is no reason to waste it.
And then, as I was selecting my ingredients I looked at the infused rhubarb oil and decided to blend it in and see if I would get orange. So thus this orange soap. It was fall after all.
It is a rather small recipe, 500 g / 18 oz. 5% super fat, water 38% lye 70 g / 2.5 oz (but run through a calculator be be sure)
Coconut oil 26% 130 g / 4.6 oz
Rapeseed oil 20% 100 g / 3.5 oz
Lard 20% 100 g / 3.5 oz
Palm oil 14% 70 g / 2.5 oz - Unrefined yellow
Olive oil 10% 50 g / 1.8 oz
Cocoa butter 4% 20 g/ 0.7 oz
Castor oil 3% 15 g/ 0.5 oz
Sunflower oil 3% 15 g/ 0.5 oz - Rhubarb infused
The water was yellow from infusion with Weld, a well known dye plant. I added Sweet orange, Ylang ylang and Litsea cubea for scent. It traced really quickly and I had to jam it into the mold. It also heated up quite a bit so I threw it into the freezer after I decorated it with some dried plant material that was lying around in the kitchen.
It has cured now and it looks like a really nice hard soap. The lather is rich and creamy and soft. I have found that the soaps that I put lard in are my favorite soaps. I also like to put a bit of castor oil, so that I can use it for my hair if I want to. And that makes for a nice soft lather.
The soap has retained it's orange colour except on the top which has turned a bit pink. The Rhubarb will not be subdued :).