Bramble Berry S.O.A.P. Testing Panel Spring 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bramble Berry S.O.A.P. Test Panel Spring 2015

Welcome back to life on Deer Creek.  It has been a very busy winter/spring and I feel like summer will be here before I can turn around.  So many interesting new adventures have taken place in 2015 that sometimes I just about forget to take the time to sit back and praise God for all the wonderful things going on in my life.  Good or Bad I know he has the wheel and that thru him I can endure anything.

Back in February while we were waiting for our first Nubian doe Miss Emmeline to have kids I nervously was up and down all night for like three days straight.  As this was her first kidding and my first kidding of 2015 so not only was I anxious to see what we would get (boys, girls, color, markings, etc) but I was worried about how easy the birth would be for her and if she would need assistance with the kidding.  So like many times trying not to wake my family I would sneak off to my computer to check facebook or my email.  And that was when I got the fabulous news that Sayer Soapworks @ DJ's Creek Farm had been chosen from over 100 applicants to be a scent test sampler for Bramble Berry Inc.  I was like YES! I'M A ROCK STAR!!.  I even had to go wake my husband and tell him that he was now living with a soap making rock star.  This news made my month and I was still waiting for the new lives of the litter of triplets to make their way into the world.  Well just to let you all know the babies arrived safely on a Sunday morning during church service time on Feb 22.  We had 2 bucks and and a beautiful doe.  The buckling's have both found their new homes. Super Nova lives in St. Francis Kansas with Tish Havel and family and Rolo lives in North Platte Nebraska with Kasey Rutherford and family.  The doeling is named Miss Bertie (Miss B.) and will remain on our farm.  Emmeline did a great job and we are so proud of this breeding.

But then the worry of how would I do this challenge and would I be able to get the desired results from this SOAP panel that I had hoped for began creeping into the back of my mind.  As you all know I soap with pure goat milk soap and wonderful oils.  I enjoy cold process the best but to be honest I had never made a small batch that would only contain 1 oz of fragrance and with no opportunity to remake the soaps I was worried.  So I decided the fairest way to test these fragrances would be to use the exact same recipe with each batch.  Now if you have ever made goat milk soap you know that it can turn a very tan to a brown color all on its own with out the aid of fragrant oils that can also cause discoloration.  My basic recipe that I decided to make calls for goats milk, lye, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, and shea butter.  I then choose that I would use a different Bramble Berry colorant in each batch but that the fragrant oil would not be in the colored part of the soap so I could tell if discoloration occurred in this recipe.
So being me I didn't make the soaps all in the correct order of #1 thru #8.  I just picked them up sniffed the scent and tried to imagine what this soap was to look like and what I wanted to achieve by making them each.  I found that some scents accelerated too quickly and that some left you with plenty of time to play and swirl your soaps.  Over all there are some that discolored and some that did not but in the end all 8 samples made great soap and would work for most people in the soap making business.  The following will be my analyzes of each scent and if I would personally choose to use them in my business.
From the above photo you can see what each soap ended up turning out like once it was cured.  I even took them to a show and asked for public opinion on which scents were their favorites and if they would consider purchasing them in the future if they were available.  Left to right top to bottom are #1 thru #8.

Soap scent #1 had a chocolate berry coffee scent to me an smells great once soaped.  However this scent did cause definite discoloration in the soap and I know if I had not left the Bubblegum Pink out of the scent that the soap would have ended up a muted coloration.  So in my opinion this scent is not one a person should worry about using alot of colorant with unless you do use them in the manor I used.  I tried a hanger swirl with this soap and to do some decorative piping on the top but this scent caused no acceleration and was very slow to set up and therefore being under a time constraint this soap did not end up with decorative piped tops.  So for my final recommendation on this scent I would add the following tips: high discoloration, no acceleration, and plenty of time for fancy swirls or intricate decorating. This was one of the top 4 choices by the customers.

Soap scent #2 was made toward the end of my experiment in this contest and by then I could tell that the soap would discolor just from the smell of the fragrant oil.  Therefore I choose to use the Fizzy Lemonade colorant as just a top on the soap.  To me it carries a very buttery pastry type scent and you could be tempted to eat it.  However this did not encourage customers to want to bath with it but instead wish they could eat it.

Soap scent #3 was one that had no discoloration or acceleration.  I used Ultramarine Blue for my colorant and tried a drop swirl down the center.  As you can tell it needs to be pored in at a thinner trace but still worked out good.  Customers seemed to really like this scent as well.  Over all I love the fact that you could do so much with this scent as far as swirling and decorating your soap.  This soap has a pleasant scent.

Soap scent #4 again has no discoloration and did accelerate while I was soaping with it. Therefore I had to just layer the color and scented soap as I had no time to work with it.  I used Brick Red for the colorant and it turned out different but still pretty in the final soap.  However it was not a scent customers liked.  It was too strange to the nose and they definitely had no desire to purchase it.. Pictured below as it was molded.

Soap scent #5 has severe discoloration and moderate acceleration.  I started using Fizzy Lemonade and had to add Wow Tangerine to keep the discoloration from completely over powering the color I had chose for this soap.  It has a rich orange neroli scent that a few customers recognized from another company.  However I didn't like the extreme discoloration and acceleration in this scent.  I'm not sure I would spend my time working with it.

Soap scent #6 was a mild discoloration and I used it with purple colorant.  I found this fragrance to have a definite soap/linen smell.  It reminded me of laundry detergent.  Some customers liked it but most did not.  However it was very easy to work with and would make a great scent for those whom like to make their own laundry detergents.  

Soap Scent #7 was very mild discoloration and no acceleration.  I used Ultramarine pink with this scent and I really loved the way the bar turned out.  It has a nice floral scent that was admired my several at the show.  Very easy to soap with and I would use this scent again in my collection if it were available and I'm not a floral fan.

Soap Scent #8 has almost no discoloration and mild to moderate acceleration.  I used Ultramarine Violet for the center colorant and tried a drop swirl again.  The only recommendation I can make for this scent is to swirl or mix at a light trace not a medium trace to get the swirls you are looking for.  Customers seemed to love it, but it was not a personal favorite.

Over all the customers loved soaps #1, 3,5, and 8.  Some chose #4 & 7 but no one chose #2 or 6.  I hope this helps in your companies decision as to what fragrance to release this next season.  I know I will be back for more of your great products.  And I hope my exploration of these scents in goats milk has made an impact on your company and the direction it will head.  Thank you for the opportunity to work with you on this project.
Looking forward to sharing more fun and exciting experiences with you all as the year continues.  I'm glad to have had the opportunity to share this scent challenge with you all and I look forward to sharing some of our great soap with you all.  Please feel free to contact me via my website to purchase your soap.  You may either go directly to our shopping on etsy from here or simply drop me a line asking for our current soap list.  Your business will be appreciated just as your following us in our farm life is appreciated.

So until we meet again my your life be filled with blessings.  Jeremiah 29:11.

Sincerely yours,

Andrea Sayer
Proud to be an American Farmer