Years ago I tried a lemon poppyseed fragrance oil. It was dead-on--sweet vanilla cake mixed with tart lemon. However, I was stumped when my beautiful yellow soap with black poppyseeds went dark brown in a day or two, until I realized that, of course, it was the vanilla. It was my first time using a fragrance that contained vanilla--I hadn't even thought to check. The color was such a turn-off I never tried it again.
I've since fallen in love with a vanilla lavender fragrance that's become a longstanding favorite in my shop, never mind that it turns a deep brown. Here are a few pictures of my last batch.
It started out so creamy and the loveliest shade of ivory.
The next day it was a light caramel color. If I could just hold it at this color!
And before a few days had gone by it was its usual color. I tried to color it a deep purple once, but the result was still plain ol' brown.
It's funny how we're conditioned to associate vanilla only with white or ivory--vanilla ice cream, cake, pudding, etc.....but have you checked out the color of a vanilla bean lately? Some soapers try to maintain that creamy white by using a vanilla stabilizer. However, a stabilizer will only work for so long... as I recently discovered in my kitchen cupboard.
I'm a cake decorator and I once needed to make the icing on a wedding cake as white as possible, so I bought a bottle of clear vanilla. Most of my customers don't care about pure white icing, so over time the bottle found its way to the back of the cupboard. During a recent sorting and re-arranging, I rediscovered it.