I believe soap makers are frequently frustrated wanna-be chemists, except, of course, for those who actually are chemists. Don’t get me wrong – soap is a visceral, sensual product and the end results appeal to everyone at some level, but making it takes you to a whole different place.
For me, there is a thrill in the research, development and testing of the vast number of possible combinations of oils available for fine soap making. I love seeking oils that will produce the result I am looking for without compromising the quality I am used to. The potential to screw up your batch with one wrong oil is always there, but the satisfaction of getting it right is worth it.
Even more exciting is developing a blend of essential oils that can provide the benefits I seek, and at the same time, smell great! Every essential oil has its strengths, caveats and benefits. I start every blend with the soap it is intended for in mind and then test oils that produce the desired benefits. Beginning with the best oil for the purpose and then choose additional oils with like benefits and work drop by drop, or milliliter by milliliter, until I have exactly the blend I want.
And then I smile…