Well who would have thought it!
Ten years ago I made my very first batch of soap and if anyone had told me that I'd still be doing it in 10 year's time I would have thought they were bonkers.
Soap making came about somewhat by accident. For years a friend of mine had sent me small bars of pale yellow soap she bought from a local garden centre. I absolutely loved them; they were rich, creamy, high in lather and had the most intoxicating perfume. The came in plain white tissue so I never knew exactly what they were and I simply referred to them as 'lemon soap'. One day she told me that the garden centre no longer stocked them and I was devastated.
In an effort to track down more of them I rang the garden centre and asked for the manufacturer. Once I knew this I was on the case and after a few more calls I found that a) the soaps were Jasmine & Patchouli and b) they were no longer available.
When I think back about this it makes me laugh. How could I have thought they were lemon! Simply because my uneducated soap brain told me that yellow equated to lemon. Ten years on I don't think I'd make that mistake again. I don't have a marvellous sense of smell but this journey has taught me so much about fragrances and to spend 10 years working with essential oils has been an education and a joy.
So... I had a dilemma What was I going to do for soap? The only solution seemed to me was to make my own. I knew I wanted Jasmine & Patchouli soap and I didn't think much further than that.
I spent months reading books about soapmaking and initially put my toe in the water with a Soap-Making Kit.
What I soon learnt was that soap making is a science. Yes, you can follow a recipe, much as you would do to make a cake but once you understand the chemistry of what makes a good soap, a hard soap, a creamy soap etc a whole new world opens up.
So after 10 bubbly years I'm still learning, still experimenting and still having an absolute ball.
Every single batch and recipe has been recorded and to date I have made 766 batches of soap which equates to roughly 7,000 bars. That's a lot of soap!
My very favourite bar and one that is always in my bathroom is the Rhassoul Clay bar with essential oils of patchouli, lavender and rosewood. A close second is my Fig & Honey bar (with the same essential oil blend) which came about simply because we had a fig tree in the garden that produced so many figs every year that I couldn't think what to do with them all.
I'm adding a new page to the Khandala website entitled Ten Years of Soapmaking on which I shall post some of my favourites.
Finally, I thought long and hard about which sort of soap to make for the 10 year anniversary and really it just had to be.....Jasmine & Patchouli and I have a small batch of freebies to send out to anyone who 'likes' the 10 year anniversary post on my Facebook page. Stock is limited so be quick!