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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Platypus Dreams Montage

Platypus Dreams is a handmade soap company in Australia. Don't they make such pretty soap!?

I have not actually tried their soap yet, but I plan to soon. In the meantime, I had to show you these lovely glittery gems. Lots of soapy bling sprinkled on top making hem even more delightful and easy on the eyes. I think the Sugar Baby - Luv Spell is so feminine and oh so pretty in pink.

Nice use of glitter . . . Feast your eyes on these:








Go there now to look.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Seeking A True Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil

My very own backyard coconut split with dull machete at the Schmidt residence, Tequesta, FL - Oct 07

I think I have ordered coconut scents from 8 different soap making supplier, but I have not been happy with the richness and creaminess of the coconut scent. I am looking for a truly delicious coconut fragrance oil, like the smell of virgin coconut oil without the greasiness.

I need your help. Coconut is my favorite scent and I need to make my products available in my fave smell, don't you think?

So if you have found something you think is to die for, can you fill me in?

-your friend, the coconut seeker - Joanna

Thursday, October 25, 2007

FLOAP Soap

Vegan FLOAP by Gudonya (pronounced good ON ya).

Unfortunately, I didn't photograph my Floap before I used it, but this is what it looked like except that the chunks embedded in the top of mine were pink. My bar is called Chocolate Truffle Razz. The smell really smelled truffle-like and the texture was light and fluffy, but not soft. I felt like if I wanted to I could smoosh my finger through it. It reminded me of fudge. I love the whipped soap thing, though. It is so unusual and a very different experience in the shower.

The first time I entered the shower with my Floap, I rubbed it on my wet skin as I do with any bar of soap. But some of the raspberry embeds crumbled right off. The funny thing is that my lip actually went out to pout (if you can imagine my sad face pouting because 2 raspberry floap bits scurried down the drain). Some exterior crumbles began to happen and I was sure that my bar would disintegrate and that would be that for my Floap experience. But NO, wait. I think it needed to get more wet and become accustomed to me. After the exterior disintegration issue that lasted a whopping 20 seconds, it was over as quickly as it started. My Floap was intact and ready for the cleaning challenge. The smell was chocolate truffle with red raspberry notes. A dessert shower treat, for sure. It was pleasant and not overwhelming and it felt so smooth sliding across my wet skin displaying the perfect amount of lather and lovely slip. My first shower was a success once the "issue" we had resolved itself. The next 2 showers were perfect and smelly good. Unfortunately, my bar is going quickly. Physics would state clearly to me that if you whip a bunch of air into a bar of soap, the density (or lack of) will keep it from staying on this earth for an extended period of time.

My daughter really wanted to be in the picture with the soap, so the soap picture below demonstrates the bar after 3 showers.
This is the next one on my list to get: Cow-Ma-Flage™ (vegan) by Gudonya. It looks like it would be licorice, but it is red clover: a "surprisingly simple blend of sweet, herbal clover and a smooch of berries. It's not real berry-sweet, though."

Go shop for Floap. I highly recommend it, just understand it is a bit temperamental for a few seconds at the start. Kinda like when dogs first meet and they are both alpha males.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Learn From The Masters

pic: Anne-Marie at Brambleberry with protection.

I am looking for a soap making class here in sunny south Florida. I need a mentor.

If you don't already know Anne-Marie Faiola from Brambleberry, Otion and her blog, Soap And The Finer Things In Life, allow me to introduce her to you. She is a young entrepreneur (I think she is 28??), owns at least three successful businesses, writes a popular blog, teaches soap classes and has time to run, boat, fly and take on being an official soap judge in the latest soap competition for the American Dairy Goats Association among a million other things I have no idea about. I am sure I have completely forgotten some glaring accomplishments she's achieved, but this is what my brain can conjure up at the moment.

She teaches soap classes at Otion, The Soap Bar location in Bellingham, Washington. I really wish I could do that with her. I have so many questions and am so interested in learning everything I can. In fact, I'd love a whole series of classes to try out soaping under a master's critical eyeball. In the quest to find soaping geniuses, I think I've found that Florida in general is lacking people who do this. As you know, I am originally from Brooklyn and stuff like this oozes from every alley and neighborhood. No lack of artistic genius and certainly no lack of sharing one's talent. It is almost a prerequisite to be the knowledgeable one in whatever the art might be.

I think everyone wants to be a guru in something!

I would love some input about soap classes in your area, so that I can share them with other folks. Folks like me who are chomping at the bit for some soap making fun. If you are a Florida Soap Queen and want to teach me, let's talk. If you teach or know of soap classes, give me info so that we can all get good at keeping this an art form that hopefully will never die. Yeah? (As Chef Ramsey would say).

ps: I love Chef Ramsey :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Upcoming Soap Review: FLOAP


This is handcrafted whipped soap. Gudonya Too calls it FLOAP, floating soap. It really does look and feel like fluffy fudge. Click on the photo for a truly up close visual on the texture. Tomorrow, check out my review on how this "floater" performs. This soap in this photo is chocolate truffle with lemon sprinkles. The one I am reviewing tomorrow is with raspberry sprinkles.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

BOO!

Etsy Shops are chock full of Halloween soapy treats. Here are a few I stumbled across. In the spirit of Halloween, enjoy the ghoulish ghosties....


http://images.etsy.com/all_images/3/357/740/il_fullxfull.12830821.jpg
Three Paws .... nice eyeballs!



http://images.etsy.com/all_images/2/23b/6c2/il_fullxfull.12784292.jpg
Tarantula by By Naps.



The next 3 are from ArtSpot doing the bloody eyeball, the little Halloween treats...and I love the crowded skeletons!
Oogly Eyeball Soap Bar glow in the dark Poison Apple scented BLUE
http://images.etsy.com/all_images/0/0a1/367/il_fullxfull.12651585.jpg

Mexican DAY OF THE DEAD Giant Skull Hand Painted Soap On A Rope

Mexican Day Of The Dead Skull soap on a rope by Dug Shop.



http://images.etsy.com/all_images/7/7cb/715/il_fullxfull.12175199.jpg

Pretty candy corn by Robinosities.

Gift Box Halloween Bat and Ghosts (Glycerin)

Daisy Cakes Soap's bats and ghosts.

These are just a few of the Halloween soaps I found on Etsy. If you haven't gone there to check out all the indie artists, you should browse. It is an artsy, indie shopping community with shops throughout. You can find just about anything handmade there.

Happy Halloween. Stay clean! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kopah - Copacabana

Oh, puckie, how I love thee! Puck, puck you are so almond-y and delish-y!

Meet Candice. She's 26 years old and lives in New York City. I received two lovely soaps (pictured above on my lanai). The round "tablet" or "puck" is the Almond bar and the standard shaped bar is made in Lavender Orange. As some of you know, I am not a big lavender fan, but I have to say that the orange counteracts whatever part of the lavender that doesn't float my boat. It smells comforting and has a nice balance. Today, however, my review is on puckie.

Seriously folks....WOAH! If you are an almond scent fanatic, then you need to have this in your shower, on your bathroom sink, in your sock drawer, on your desk and in every gift you give to co-workers and family members this holiday (they will only further support the woman behind the soap). I had these soaps on my desk for a few days, and every time I sat here I smelled a bit of creamy Almond heaven. I couldn't take it anymore, I had to take it with me to the shower. The soap had crushed almonds sprinkled on the top and bottom, which in the shower worked nicely to exfoliate. The soap had nice lather, great scent and it felt lovely! After about ten minutes the almonds wore away and I was left with a smooth bar of goodness. So smooth I continued rubbing it on my body for many more minutes. Long shower. Ran out of hot water. Hmmmph.

So get this! She only just started making soap less than a year ago!!!

"... last year I was at a Christmas fair and saw a booth selling all natural handmade soap and I thought to myself, I can do that!! So I slowly started gathering supplies and reading books and in April I started making soap. My first batch was a total disaster....I didn't get discouraged and made my second batch without any problems! At that point I was hooked.....Kopah is the Hawaiian word for soap." She shares some of her experiences on her blog: kopahetsy.blogspot.com. If you are interested in learning more about Candice, go check it out.

I think presentation is key. I have received bars that are wrapped beautifully such as Beau Savon and Barcelona and others....well, not so nicely wrapped. Kopah bars are only wrapped with a raffia and a 2 inch square piece of paper. Very little packaging, but it has impact and it is modest and classy.

I love this: "In my commitment to the environment, all of my products come with minimal packaging and when available I use recycled packing and shipping materials. Because my soap is natural and handmade without detergents and other chemicals there are no harsh products going down the drain into the sewer system. By using my products you can be sure that you are helping the environment and reducing your environmental footprint on the earth!"

Kopah Etsy shop - Go get some before the Almond batch runs out!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice


Real. Simple. Soap.

Valarie of Real. Simple. Soap. sent me a box filled to the brim with her lovely creations. It was really like a birthday party for me. Grapefruit, Grape, Carrot, Lime Margarita, Black Raspberry Vanilla.... and more. I had to choose one to review, so off to the shower with the Pumpkin Spice soap I went, chosen for obvious reasons. Halloween is on my brain and if anyone wants to have a Halloween shower before November rushes in, I need to get the review in so others can enjoy it in a timely manner. Oh laddy, it is pumpkin season!

The soap is a nice size, with a textured top (I like those). It is a brown soap with dark brown swirls and smells spicy....pumpkiney.....not overpowering and not too faint. The soap lathered very nicely, the leg shave was very smooth. The leg shave is a good test for me because I am so sensitive on my lower leg. The soap had a nice lather and it left me with a final feeling of being clean and moisturized. As their website states: "You can expect our soap to make a rich luscious creamy lather, drenching your skin in moisture."

All around... good soap. I have not tried the others yet, but my daughter is dying to try the Grape. Very candy-like and sweet.

Thank you, Valarie for the soap. I thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin. :) You are very generous and a lovely soap maker to boot!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Silicone Soap Holder

These are Sumo Holders available at Wrapables. And they are made out of silicone rubber and stick anywhere. I just love them! $10.95. Another thing to keep in mind when gifting your soaps....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Beau Savon

Jane Kern Brooks of Beau Savon is a sweetheart. She sent me lovely soaps all wrapped just like this. Beautiful, isn't it? I'm thinking.... good gifts. I just get so into the presentation aspect of products. I have never really been good at wrapping presents or having that talent in design detail. But really, what's better than opening up a brown banged up box to find a wrapped treasure inside? It's like a birthday party.

I open the first soap because I absolutely love the swirls and color (below). It's Limoncello....a shea butter soap. I take a long inward sniff. YUM! Lemon, maybe lemon ices on a hot summer day? More, there's more.... I smell a hint of nutmeg, maybe a tiny touch of honey and vanilla? So delicate and smelly good. Showering with it has been great. I've had 4 showers with the bar and it looks like a creamsicle treat but smells nothing like one. More like a melange of warm awakening scents.

Thank you, Jane. I love my Limoncello. I am eager to try the rest! :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Oh. Give Me Strength.

I want to apologize for the lack of posting reviews. I have been sick and very weak. I have been showering and I smell clean, but I have no reviews today.

I'll be back (think Arnold).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Magnetic Soap Holder

Noveletti has designed sleek and useful soap holders. Useful? Well, the soaps don't sit in their own mess and get gloppy and it looks beautiful. I can't really imagine using one, though. It is a bit too fancy, I think. It's something you'd see in a fancy hotel, or a famous person's powder room - with soap untouched, like the bowl of pastel colored seashell soaps I'd see at my grandmother's house.

Did every senior citizen have a dish of untouched seashell soaps in their powder room in the 70's?

So I report on these because they are unique and graceful and yet another way to display the almighty bar. They should sell magnets for one to insert into one's own soaps. Yeah?