Monday, August 21, 2006

Shea butter

I'm squeezing in some more experiment soap batches here this week. Adding ingredients and switching up recipes that are different from my standard bars. I am really strongly being drawn to some of the nutrient oils and additives. Maybe because I'm getting older and when I look in the mirror nowadays, the face that looks back is more pruney than rosey. And I've noticed dry skin in places that weren't dry before. Skin creams are great and all, but a soap that does double duty as a moisturizer? -- that's the ticket!

Ok, so shea butter is not really new to me. It's lovely stuff -- super moisturizing and rich, very light and absorbent. You can use this stuff straight, right from the jar, and many people do. I use it in all of the lip balms and my foot balm too. It's purported to be incredibly elegant when added to a soap recipe. Lots of unsaponifiable fatty acids, which means lots of leftover oils in the soap bar, making it rich, creamy and nourishing. The ideal treatment for dry and mature skin.

Yesterday I made a batch with quite a big chunk of shea butter in it, scented with that beautiful essential oil blend of bergamot, rosewood, geranium and other yummy stuff -- the fragrance that I came up with last month and sold out quickly. So far, it's gelled gorgeously and looks perfect, but it's still in the molds. Can't wait to try it. I'm hoping it's fabulous beyond words and will be a regular before the year is out.

I also did a small batch of peppermint eucalyptus soap. I've wanted to do some kind of herbal/minty thing, and have been playing around with scent combos, tweaking it a bit to find something really nice. It came out really wonderfully too. Translucent light mossy green color, the transparent gel phase was perfection. Again, still in the molds, but looking good, and I'm really anxious to see how it develops. Sometimes the essential oils will change a bit, or fade a bit. But sometimes they marry into something even better as they age a little bit. Fingers crossed.

Today is goat milk soap -- supposed to be a bit messy and persnickety. And I've just caught up on my bookeeping for the last two months. Big relief. Moving along on a few other things too, now that I'm able to focus on work again. Kitty is eating a bit more. Gaining miniscule amounts of weight and strength each day. So for the first time in a couple of weeks, I am not ferreting her out every single hour to see if she's alive, or able to eat. More big relief.

Finally, that humungous moonflower that has been amazing me all summer? Just thought you might want to see what the seed pods look like, now that they are developing. I can't remember if this turns out to be one big seed thingie, or if it becomes a pack of billions of seeds. I suppose I could look it up. But the anticipation and surprise are more fun.