Making It Clear: Cold-Process vs. Glycerin vs. Melt-and-Pour Soap

What’s the Difference Between Cold-Process and Hot-Process Soap? Hot Process soap uses heat from an external source to accelerate saponification, the process by which fats and alkali combine to create soap. While Cold-Process often uses heat early on to warm the base oils, once the oils and sodium hydroxide are mixed, heat from the process itself is relied on to finish saponification. What’s the difference between Cold/Hot-Process Soap and Glycerin soap? There are two …

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Why Essential and Carrier Oils are a Good Combination

Soapmaking lives in a space between science and art. Some aspects rely on chemistry and math, others on touch and intuition. When science and art get mixed up, it’s possible to apply mathematical standards to intuitive problems, or the other way around, and the discussions that follow can miss the point. It can be hard, for instance, to find agreement on the differences between essential and fragrance oils. The same difficulty can be true for essentials and absolutes. …

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How Do You Know if Your Olive Oil Is Authentic?

Olive oil. We use it to cook. We use it for its antioxidants and overall health benefits. It’s also used regularly for making soap. With so many of us using olive so often, it bears pointing out that we’re not always getting what we think we are. In the world of organic and natural, there are products that consistently make it hard to trust their quality. In the case of olive oil, it’s difficult to guarantee authenticity. The olive oil industry has a past worth investigating …

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All About Notes: Fragrance and Music

Music and fragrance have a lot in common. In the world of music, there are grace notes, quarter notes, high notes and low notes. In the world of fragrance, there are top notes, middle notes and base notes. In both worlds, we speak of notes being in harmony, in accord. And in both, without a skillful balancing of notes, there is no harmony or accord.   Perception Begins As “skillful balancing” suggests, harmony is no accident. With fragrances, there are systems …

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Don’t Forget These Two Great Natural Preservatives

A glass measuring cup contains dark, liquid ingredients for organic soap, including natural preservatives like rosemary extract.

  Generalities aren’t usually good for business. In the world of natural products, for instance, it’s nearly a given that preservatives are a bad thing. But if you’re in the business of making making and selling natural products, thinking in generalities could mean you’re missing out on a chance to extend their shelf life.   The Natural Preservative Option Natural ingredients have natural expiration dates — that’s what being natural means. Since the majority …

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