Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lavender Facial Soap

Jennifer, a very creative soap maker, has recently made a bunch of alkanet experiments to see how alkanet affects soap colors.  Her experiments are not only interesting to follow, they're also extremely informative.   I admire her scientific spirit and her patience!

Meanwhile, I'm still a victim of alkanet's unpredictable nature.  This herbal root offers such a bright and luscious red color, but after you add lye to the oil, the color turns either gray, purple, blue, or sometimes black.   Tricky! 

I'm not as patient as Jennifer, so I just take whatever I get, and this time, I got dark purple.  While I love this color, I know it'll fade in time, and there's no guarantee that I can reproduce the same shade again.   Maybe this is why alkanet is so fascinating to play with.  You never know what you'll get next time!

Hubby and I just spent about a week on Prince Edward Island.  They call themselves the Gentle Island for a reason!   We enjoyed our trip by visiting various beautiful beaches, sampling fresh and succulent oysters, devouring the world-famous Cows ice cream, and taking in the picturesque scenery.   

Everything looks beautiful there, even the wild flowers there look so much better than the ones we have here in the city!

If you know Anne of Green Gables, you'll know PEI is known to be the land of Anne.  But Hubby had made it clear that there'd be no "Anne stuff" for our trip, we managed to stay away from the main tourist attractions.   

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable trip, and I'm already dreaming of going back to PEI again!


  1. Hello Maggie, Thank you for the mention! Wow! I really like the colour that you got. I think it is gorgeous. Any tricks? Anything I should know? How do you think you got purple? I got a beautiful purple yesterday as well, which I will post later, but only with my Sea Salt bar - just the soap that I would like to be blue! I LOVE PEI. It has been years and years since I have been there, but it is a very special part of Canada. Glad you had a nice vacation. xo Jen

  2. Hello Jen, I don't really have any "tricks" since I have no clues as to how I got this color! But here is what I did: I infuse alkanet in olive oil for about 6 months, add it at 50% to my recipe, 5% lye discount, water-lye ratio at 2.2, soap at relatively low temperature. The rest of the recipe includes coconut, castor, almond, shea butter, and lard. This batch did not go through gel, and I wonder if it has anything to do with the color...

  3. I would love to try your recipe as you suggested on my blog..... But I am not understandidn it fully here... could you send it to me in an email if you do not mind sharing? Have a great Friday! xo

  4. Sure thing, I just emailed you the recipe. Enjoy!