I started making my own bar soap about a year ago after I bought a bar of handmade soap for about $5.00 and truly loved the product! I'd seen a few blog posts about making soap and since people have been making their own soap for ages, I figured it couldn't be that hard. So, I did some more research and got a few books from the library and gave it a try. It took far longer to reach the "trace" stage (where it looks like pancake batter) than all the books told me, but I eventually ended up with bars of soap. Now, several batches later, I feel that I'm finally getting the hang of this soap making process. With this last batch, I started using an immersion blender to mix the soap and lye and I fell far more in love with the soap making process! So, if you're on my Christmas list...get ready for soap!!
This batch is my "Home for the Holidays" flavor. It's made with olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, scented with orange, clove, and rosemary essential oils, and colored with ground cloves and cocoa powder. It smells just like Christmas and I love it. The scents/colorants ratios were taken from this soap recipe and added to my standard bar soap recipe.
If you're at all interested in soap making, there are some great books out there! I have the first book listed below and like it. All of the recipes in it are for big batches and I'm still working in the tiny batch stage, but I still find it to be a great resource.
While soap making is not for everyone, I do find it quite enjoyable and fun! It's a fun little hobby of mine that keeps us (and our loved ones) nice 'n clean and smelling good.