Saturday, April 14, 2012

Soap Challenge--alcohol

You've probably caught on by now that I love herbs.  One of my favorites is the dandelion.  Seriously!  It's an herb.  And God made them reproduce so abundantly just because they are that good for you (and so you won't even feel the temptation to pilfer your neighbors'.)  Take a peek here, here and even here.

A couple of years ago, my friend had the idea to make dandelion wine.  Well, it sounded like such a grand experiment at the time that I decided to make my own batch.  Collecting mixing bowls of blossoms and picking the yellow petals from the green part was a delightfully brain (and finger) numbing way to spend a day.  I even added my own homegrown raspberries to the batch.  How resourceful is that, I ask you? 

After it was "done," I tried a sip.  I noted a bouquet of nail polish remover with fruity notes, but then I am no wine connoiseur.  By any means.  Even the smell of anything stronger than kombucha makes me a little erpy. The mister confirmed that it did indeed taste like wine, so I guess it was a success?!  Knowing that someday I might have an ailment that can be cured by nothing less than dandelion wine, I tucked it away.  And I am happy to report that in two years, that particular epidemic has never required its use.

So, what better use could there be for my dandelion wine than soap, I ask you? 

I don't keep a large inventory of fragrance oils on hand, so my initial dilemma for this challenge was finding the right scent to pair with dandelion wine.  Sweetgrass from Nature's Garden was my first choice, but I'm out. So...in the end, I decided to combine several almost empty bottles to create a one-of-a-kind fruity herbal blend.  (This puts me out of my comfort zone--I don't believe in Winging It when it comes to scenting.) 

I decided to be all earthy and natural with the coloring and imagined a soft yellow (annatto seed) swirled with a delicate pink (clay) with my own yard's dandelion petals sprinkled throughout.  Yeah.  Things went really wrong, really fast.  The annatto half traced instantly and I had to pull out the stick blender to get the clay half to trace.  And then it went from zero to mashed potatoes in, like, 10 seconds.  A picture or two will suffice here, I believe.












As if this isn't bad enough, it stinks.  Reeks.  I blended a sample scent that I dislike, watercress and aloe, with a raspberry fragrance and a touch of a honeysuckle.  I wasn't able to mask it enough to make it tolerable.  

Day 2, batch 2.

I decided to simplify and used a simple essential oil blend of litsea with eucalyptus.  Nothing fancy at all and everything went perfectly, leading me to wonder what all the drama was about.  Dandelion wine can be soaped!  Isn't it beautiful?

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE how your second batch turned out! It's beyond beautiful! I'm happy you took the pic outside like that in the grass too! SO PRETTY! I think the first batch doesn't look too bad. Too bad it stinks!

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  2. Thats lovely looking soap, so smooth and natural. I wish I could try your wine, it sounds fab!!

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  3. The dandelion wine has such a lovely blush color! The second batch looks creamy and wonderful! The first batch doesn't look awful; maybe the stink will lessen as it cures? :)

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  4. The second batch looks so creamy! I love making wine, especially when it turns out. Great job for making dandelion and raspberry wine!

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  5. Glad you tried again, that second one is so creamy looking! Here's hoping the first one suddenly starts smelling lovely!(one can always hope, right? :-))

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  6. What a fun read!!! I love a happy ending and your photo of the end result... perfecto!

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  7. How fun! I love that you used your own wine.

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  8. What a great soaping story!! I was giggling the whole way through. :) I can't say for sure, but I would definitely bet money that you are the only one who made soap with dandelion wine that they made themselves for this challenge!! AWESOME. And I would also bet money that the fragrances you put in the first batch are to blame for the instant mass of solid soap.

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  9. Darn those fragrance oils! But hail to your second bath. That is one super classy looking soap. Nice photography

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  10. Day two soap is divine! I kinda like your first one though - it has character :)

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  11. Now aren't you glad you made that dandelion wine? I feel your pain with the first batch - mine didn't go so well either. Your second try looks great though; maybe I'll have to give mine a second shot.

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  12. Yes, it was definitely reminiscent of a fragrance oil seize. Thanks for all your nice words and I'm glad for a happy ending too, Tina!

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  13. I hate when things don't go as planned but it looks like the second batch is a real winner. I just got some litsea yesterday for the first time. It smells lovely. I envy you making your own wine.. impressive!!

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  14. Thanks, Kim! Wine-making was an adventure I probably won't repeat!

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