What is elegance? Soap and water!
~ Cecil Beaton
Especially if you add lavender. Need convincing? Purple is the colour of royalty and speaks of refinement and luxury. We can all be Queens. Lavender flowers represent: purity, silence, devotion and grace.
Consider an affair with soap. COVID19 has heightened our collective awareness. It’s necessary to break the barrier. Lather. Slow the process. Rinse.
You say, “Oh it’s just soap.”
For me, it’s personal. When you choose a particular brand or scent, thought is present. When you make soap, you infuse a touch of love.
Turn up the music. Assemble ingredients. Think ‘clean.’ Choose ‘pure.’ Dream of Provence in July.
The art of handmade soap is a creative medium. There’s room for individual expression. Google ‘heat and pour’ soap kits on You Tube. You’ll find how- to videos and tips for any formulation.
Shy away from lye: sodium hydroxide (NaOH). It’s caustic and chemistry. If you choose the lye route, take a soap making class from an expert. Simple, safe, ‘heat and pour’ soap kits are available in the Craft Aisle or select specialty shops. Keep soap making utensils separate from everyday use. Keep chosen ingredients simple.
‘Simple Serenity’ Shea Butter, Glycerin is the kit I chose.
I ordered the premixed kit online from ‘Michaels,’ used curb- side pick up.
You’ll need silicone or plastic molds to pour the heated liquid into. Molds are available on- line or in- store at ‘Michaels’ or ‘Hobby Lobby.’ Others re- purpose worn silicone ice cube trays or loaf pans.
Pure essential oils add fragrance notes. Layer. Select everyday items from the kitchen (lemon zest, sweet almond oil, honey, oatmeal) or garden (lavender, peony or rose petals).
You will need,
• one melt and pour soap kit (‘Simple Serenity’ is the brand I chose.)
• one glass measuring cup or double boiler
• pure essential oil: lemon, lavender, rose, vanilla, clary sage, green tea and cucumber. Choose unscented or ‘notes’ that you sense and feel.
• sweet almond oil, honey
• Grate lemon rind onto a paper towel. Cover the peel with an overlay of paper towel. Gently press out excess moisture.
• Grow lavender (for luck). It’s abundant and easy to dry. Pull the florets from the stocks. Between the lemon zest and lavender, your kitchen will be as fragrant as fields in France.
Follow the directions on the instructional video or the kit. Cut six soap cubes from the shea butter slab and place into a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 sec. Stir with a wooden spoon or chopstick. Be careful as heated liquid is hot.
Work quickly. Have additional ingredients prepped and ready. Once you’ve added your chosen ingredients, pour the warm liquid into the mold. Let cool. Place mold in the freezer or fridge for a few hours. This helps the soap fully harden. Apply gentle pressure on the back of the mold to release.
Even the simplest bar is beautiful.
“A girl could lather up in a soap like that.”
Total cost: approximately 30 dollars
Yield: 8 bars of homemade soap