When we sold our soap commercially, this soap was a consistent best seller. The actual look of the bar is not my own invention, and was originally received in an early online soap swap (Fiona you know who you are!) The effect is really nice, and many customers used to think I used red rose petals in there, but I didn't, the dark red slivers are made of Melt & Pour Soap, which also uses English Rose fragrance which can accelerate trace, so it's a thumbs up on two counts.
This technique is so simple, you'll wonder why it took so long to figure it out :)
Our soap was called "Rose on Rose" which was scented with English Rose fragrance and Rose Geranium Essential Oil, and was coloured with Deep Red Mica, and a pink dye blend, I have made the new loaf with Lemon Verbena Fragrance, and the MP Soap is scented with Seamoss - the Seamoss Fragrance will play up in Cold Processed Soap, but I love it, and it adds a green sweetness to the Lemon Verbena scent.
You can use two different style of moulds for this project, or even individual cavities if you prefer. The Rose on Rose soaps are poured into a tray mould, such as this 18 Bar Slab Mould (If using this mould you will need to make a double batch as this makes approximately 2 litres of soap), or our 8 Bar Rectangle Tray Mould (you'll need 2 of these moulds or another mould tray as well as it makes approximately 2 litres of soap. Other styles you can use are Silicone Tray Moulds, and 15cm Silicone Small Slab Mould. The Seamoss & Lemon Verbena is in a Log Mould, so no problem if you prefer that shape of bar. If you want to use individual bars, you can use 12 bar silicone moulds, or a combination. If using single cavity moulds, you'll need to move fairly quickly when pouring.
Things to know:
- The Melt & Pour Soap WILL TOTALLY MELT during gel, don't panic, it will be fine :)
- Because the Melt & Pour is inside curing CP Soap, it will "sweat" (exhibiting beads of moisture on the Melt & Pour Soap pieces) for a couple of weeks, during curing, just wipe it clean and once cured it doesn't sweat any more
- You can use highly accelerating fragrances or essential oils using this method by adding them to the Melt & Pour, not the CP soap
- This is another way of including Melt & Pour Soap in CP Soap - whether using up offcuts and and scraps of Melt & Pour, or cutting some fresh base, both work fine.
- You can achieve a different feel and look of the finished bars by using a different shaped mould and/or by cutting the embeds in a different size and shape.
- If you want the Melt & Pour to have a more marbled look, cut the pieces of soap smaller and thinner, even julienned. Have a higher temperature batch, then stir these through the batch and they will melt into a more marbled effect.
For the Rose on Rose Soap:
For the Seamoss & Lemon Verbena Soap:
If you are a beginner, we recommend you make a few batches before attempting this soap due to the hot gel. For how to make soap from Scratch, please see our Cold Process Soapmaking Instructions. You can also watch Soap Queen's You Tube Series on Cold Process Soapmaking.
- Weigh and prepare all ingredients and line the mould as usual (if your mould is wooden)
- For the Melt & Pour Soap pieces, place in a microwave safe jug and heat on low until just melted
- Stir in the Mica, ensuring there are no lumps. You can use Isopropyl Alcohol to eliminate dry clumps, spritzing any that remain, or moisten the Mica before adding to the Melt & Pour Soap
- Add the Seamoss Fragrance (or English Rose or other any other troublesome fragrance you have chosen)
- Pour into a tray or any mould, even an ice-cream container is fine. Set aside until completely firm
- Slice the Melt & Pour into chunks, approximately 2cm x 1cm in size. Any shape is fine, I do chunky slithers to achieve the look in the picture, long thin strips create a different look in the finished soap
- Now bring the Cold Process soap to thin trace and then add the Lemon Verbena Fragrance (or Rose Geranium Essential Oil - this moves fast so be prepared, or your preferred fragrance)
- Mix until medium trace has been achieved
- Now work quickly - do NOT use the stick blender to mix! Add in the Melt & Pour Soap chunks and manually stir through - you can use the stick blender so long as it is turned OFF
- Quickly pour into the mould
- Cover or Spritz with isopropyl alcohol to keep any Ash at bay as soon as the soap is firm enough
- Allow to gel, insulate as usual - remember the Melt & Pour will actually re-melt, this is fine!
- Unmould and cut as desired
- During curing, use a paper towel or scraper to to tidy away any moisture that accumulates on the MP pieces that "sweat". After a while this no longer happens.