Practical as soap is, it can also be a real luxury; this book shows how to create an astounding array of soaps.
There are really just two ways to make soap -- the cold process and glycerin -- but there are literally thousands of ways to make that soap delightful. Beautifully colored and shaped soap is a joy to use; grainy soap is studded with sand or poppyseeds in an amazingly effective hand cleaner; and pure translucent glycerin soap is as gentle as it is clear.
Shaping, coloring and mixing in additives are all covered in details. Soap, cut or molded into bars, squares, balls, domed bars, and round, is a joy to behold. Precious handmade soap can be personalized as gifts for the bride, for a newborn, or for a birthday by embossing a monogram onto the bar. Colors from subtle to pulsating add another dimension. Ingredients such as violet petals or coffee grounds create soaps that soothe and scrub. Sentimental soap made with May's lavender blooms is so romantic in November; pine scented soaps warm the month of December.
Handmade soap is a gift that says comfort, relaxation, and a treat for the senses -- for oneself or for a friend.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have used the basic recipes in this book to produce many wonderful bars of soap. I test all my soap before use, and I have no problem with these recipes being 'lye-heavy'. I have used the recipes as written, and I have easily modified them to suit the needs of my family and myself, both providing excellent results. I have also found these recipes to work as well with the hot process as with the prescribed cold process.
Defintely some very nice pictures that would lure you into buying this book. I have the following comments: (1) The information given about soapmaking in this book is very superficial. Even worse, there is definitely some wrong info! For example, the book said that pure castile soap (olive-oil based) will have brown-orange spots on them as they cure. In my experience this only happens when one doesn't mix the lye/oil solution enough, or when the oil calculation is wrong and the orange spots indicite areas of rancid oil. (2) All the recipes in this book is lye-heavy! And worse yet, they don't tell you in the book how to check whether a recipe is lye-heavy (unsafe). (3) The recipes in this book also call for some outrageous amount of essential oils. Essential oils have their beneficial properties. Remember these are really small molecular substances and can be easily absorbed into the body, and in excess can act just like drugs being overdosed! If you check any other reference books on essential oils, you will find that the quantity of the essnetial oils used in these recipes is over and above the limit. Dangerous! (4) There is also a lack of information as to how to design your own recipe and how to trouble-shoot if you have a problem. The same can be said about information on the different properties of oils--not enough info! So basically, you are stuck with their dangerous recipes if you buy this book, and won't be able to creat your own recipes or even check if they are right. If you only care for nice pictures, and nothing else, this book is for you. But if you really want to make soap, I'd recommend 'Essentially Soap' by Robert McDaniel (or Dr. Bob).