February 04, 2019 4 min read
Once again, I had intended to do the next color study in reds and pinks. However, the family and friends who contributed to the last soaping project requested a lime scented soap. In my previous color study, I declined to use fragrance oils, but, since these are used around my home and given as gifts, I added well-behaved (mostly - you’ll see what happened) oils to these samples, because that’s what they love. I’ll list the ones I used, but any of the ones labeled ‘No discoloration’ should give you similar results. Additionally, it’s critical to know the whiteness of your soap. I like an olive oil heavy base, but it doesn’t show colors well. So, I tested Ginger & Lime Fragrance Oil and Eucalyptus & Mint Fragrance Oil for color interference, and they passed. I ordered the Green Mica Sample Set. The first batch, with the heavy olive oil base, made perfectly good soap, but the colors were unclear. So I made a second batch with a lighter formula and started again.
In the interest of consistency, I made a single huge batch of my soap batter. For my particular batter, two teaspoons per pound of oils come out to about a half teaspoon of mica per four ounces of soap. I measured out a pound, put in fragrance oil, then separated it into four ounce portions, and added color. With each color, I made four small sample rounds and separated the rest into three bar molds so that you can see them together. I put the jars in alphabetical order, not in order of what colors might blend well together, so they’re a little funky, but they illustrate the contrasts, which is what we’re after.
The first bar was a little sloppy, as you can see in the photograph. I used Comfort & Joy Fragrance Oil. It’s a lovely, cidery scent, but I’m not sure why I thought it went with green soap. It really doesn’t. Think reds and browns for this one, and I think you’ll like it. It doesn’t accelerate, but all the measuring takes time, and the room was warm, and the soap got a little firmer than I’m used to. My soap and I worked things out, and here are the results:
From left to right: Alpine Green Mica, Celadon Green Mica, Green Vibrance Mica, Kombu Green Mica. There are a couple of things about these greens. First of all, and this was true of all of them, they turned a little wonky when they were first mixed. The Celadon and the Green Vibrance were indistinguishable; in fact, I thought I had used the same one twice when I poured them. The shades are similar, but Green Vibrance is bluer and brighter in the finished soap. So when you’re using these, let them process a bit before you decide if you like them. Second, the Kombu Green is a really interesting shade. It’s unusual and looks green with other greens, but rather purple by itself. Which really shouldn’t be possible. Play with it. It’s unique.
I scented another pound with White Tea & Pear Fragrance Oil, which makes a little more sense with green soap. It’s a light, sweet scent. I don’t get a lot of strong pear scent from it, but it is a pleasant, fresh non-pearness. As far as colors, from left to right: Laurel Green Mica, Lime Appeal Green Mica, New Leaf Mica, Rainforest Green Mica. Again, these greens get a little squirrelly during saponification, but come back within a day or two. When the soap is ready, the green will appear.
For the last few odd ounces, I used Rainforest Fragrance Oil. I love this almost as much as Jeweled Fir Fragrance Oil. It’s a green, woodsy scent, and it really works with Sea Green Mica. It also accelerates a bit, and if I had tried it in the earlier batches, I would have run into some trouble by the end. But it worked out fine. In the two right bars, you can also see the Shamrock Silver Enviroglitter swirled into the top and used as a mica line through the center of the bar. The collection also comes with Shamrock Gold Enviroglitter, which was lovely, but my soaping table is not quite large enough, and just to be honest with you, Dear Reader, I knocked it on the floor. It was very pretty there. No doubt it would be lovelier in a soap.
So that’s green. There are others, but this selection is a great place to start if you want to experiment with greens. Which reminds me, this set also includes Synergy Mica. It is definitely an arguable point, but I wanted to put Synergy in with the blues. Rainforest is pushing it, but Synergy is blue to me. It’s gorgeous, but it’s blue. We all have to take a stand somewhere, and this, friends, is where I make mine.
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|Erin is a writer living quietly in the Appalachians, making soap and writing health care articles and horror fiction. She's obsessed with fragrances and the moods they evoke, and uses her soap to inspire her fiction, and her fiction to inspire her soap. She's probably baking delicious cupcakes right now. Or soaping them!|