Being the Chief Soap Artist means that I'm responsible for designing new soaps. Sometimes, making the same soaps over and over gets...tedious. I like new challenges and new things. I especially like crashing together a few crazy fragrances and coming up with something different. My goal is to make my customers scratch their heads and say.."huh? What was she thinking, putting anise essential oil together with Sugar Cookie and calling it..Anise Gumdrop?" Thus, new soaps are born.
Once I figure out which few "flavors" (for lack of a better word) meld together in perfect harmony, I have to decide on what colors to use that will evoke the new scent. I will spend quite a bit of time sniffing the new blend to "see" the colors that erupt in my mind. Sometimes it comes together very quickly and other times I struggle to make good decisions. Because not only must the colors match the scent, it must be appealing to the eye and SELL. Case in point: I made a soap for a wholesale customer who requested a natural beige and brick red color. I made the soap to her specs but upon cutting the soap, realized that the brick red looked like....deli meat. It bled (no pun intended) into the natural beige and caused the entire soap to look like head cheese. NOT sellable, even though it smelled divine. Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably saw the pictures about six months ago.
The scents are chosen, the colors are picked, now I have to "design" the soap. Swirls? Layers? One color? Two colors? Gradations? Contrasts? There are so many techniques that soapmakers use to design their soaps. I tend to swirl (God, I love a good swirl!) but layers have been on my radar lately. I'm also exploring some kind of embedding of shapes but haven't had the time to play around with that.
Regardless, you never know what you'll get with the soap - sometimes the soap reacts strangely to the fragrance or essential oil and the end result is NOTHING like you planned. I made a Cabernet soap for a client that was supposed to be a gorgeous dark purple wine color. The fragrance turned the soap baby poop yellow-brown and it cured to a DARK brown. Smelled great, couldn't convince anyone that it was a wine scent. Best laid plans and all.
New soap! That's right. I've planned out eight or so new soaps to add to the collection. I'm discontinuing a few of the soaps I have in stock and redesigning others. Among the new soaps: Yuzu Cucumber, Guava Pineapple, Minty Rose and Lemon Basil. Gone from the lineup will be Sugar Baby, Wasabi Orange (scent will stay, soap will be renamed & redesigned), Oatmeal & Honey (redesigned & renamed), and Pink Rose. I'm also going to add Water, Anise Gumdrop, Apple Freesia, Cherry Almond and a few new ocean/sand ones too.
Thanks for reading, have an interesting day!