There are many talented and creative artisan soap makers in Ireland, and for the past number of years Dave and I have been working with a selection of these producers, in an effort to create an all-natural, handmade soap, that is kind, simple and like our candles: fragranced using only pure essential oils.
Our customers regularly ask us for other natural products just like our candles, and for years we have been planning and promising to expand the Emma’s So Naturals product range into soaps, skincare, bath & body, and other home fragrancing items.
While we have been sampling these soaps produced especially for us in our own fragrances, we have found some to be affordable but lacking in something, and others have been delightful to use, but unfortunately out of our price range, some have ticked all our boxes for quality and value, but before settling on a producer, I wanted to be sure I was on the right track for the brand and where we want it to go.
So… I’ve decided to turn my hand to experimenting with some hand-made soap recipes myself. Beyond a short period of recreational ‘melt and pour’ episodes, I’m relatively new to this arena, so after reading some expert books on the subject, watching weeks worth of videos, and tutorials, I have to admit I was terrified of the prospect of scalding my skin off with the required caustic soda (lye) and had visions of me reaching for the vinegar ala that ‘Fight Club’ scene.
After producing my first small batch of Lemongrass soaps however, I’m much calmer about the whole thing now. I’m equipped with long sleeves, rubber gloves, goggles, vinegar and most importantly CONFIDENCE!
Making soap and waiting for it to harden over night to see how it has turned out is like a young child on Christmas Eve waiting to see if he got his wish! I was so excited to see how my first real batch of soap turned out, I could hardly sleep, or take my mind off it. The following day I carefully unwrapped the soaps from their container and ‘YIPPEE!’ my soap block cut perfectly into neat little blocks with no flaws at all!
The sad thing about the production process I have chosen, is that the soap needs to cure for 4-6 weeks before it is ready to use. So now I’m like a child in November, waiting for Christmas to just hurry up and get a move on!!!
I now have 3 soap batches completed in 3 of our own all-natural pure essential oil fragrances. All of them have been ‘super-fatted’ with incredibly luxurious moisturising oils in varying proportions.
My recipe is palm oil free and vegan, just like my candles. While I’m in this experimental phase, I’m recycling almond milk cartons as moulds. They’re working out great, but I’ll commit to a permanent wooden mould if these soaps are a success.
I’m having so much fun making the soap, that I plan making a batch in each of our 8 core fragrances this week, so that they will all be ready to triall at around the same time.
Fingers crossed my efforts will have been worth it, and in a few short months we will be able to bring you our selection of Emma’s So Naturals Hand-Made Soap, as kind and as delicate and hopefully as popular as our candles!