Monday, June 28, 2010

Jenora Soaps - First Summer Guest Blogger

Why Make Soap?

As Jo is inviting… I thought I would give this a try – a guest blog post.


I am relatively new to this as I began soaping suddenly and passionately in October 2009. I began for several reasons - the dream of getting out of the day job I do not love and getting into something that makes people feel awesome, wanting to use my steadily growing collection of Aloe Vera plants, using my creativity, a love for the all natural, a love of bath products… From the very first soap I made – a one-oil Castille soap that I waited so impatiently for to cure…. I was thoroughly addicted not only to the process but to naturally create handmade soaps themselves. I ADORE washing my hands now… and showering? Oh how I love showering…

I am also new to blogging and love the supportive and creative environment I have found among the soap-making bloggers. I guess as we start out, we all have our own reasons for making soap and I would be sooooo interested to hear people’s stories of how and why they started… from allergic reactions to commercial soaps to the next step in aromatherapy to spending too much money on bath products to… whatever! I would love to hear about it.

My start was very eclectic. I had one attempt at artificial colour and it was okay but I didn’t love it. I also had one attempt at fragrance (wonderful baby scent) but again didn’t love it and all of my experimenting over these past months has helped me develop my “soap identity” but at the same time, not judge other soap-makers choices. I have realized I love all natural soaps most of all and using as many local ingredients as possible. Also, although I began using palm oil, I have decided I would rather not use it and after a lot of experimenting, I have created some great recipes without palm oil and all of my latest soaps are without. As I live in such a wonderful part of the world, along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, the area is full of fresh & healing ingredients. I have narrowed it down to the point where I am now creating a Mediterranean line with natural and local ingredients.

I certainly do not expect other soapers out there to have a similar soap identity or philosophy to mine… that would be boring. I love scrolling through other sites and seeing the wonderful soaps people create with artificial colour and hear about the awesome scents that people create with fragrance…

I am still working the day job I don’t love. Making soap is a hobby and a future dream…. I give soapy gifts and I sell from time to time at local fairs and markets and make about enough to cover my materials….. but for now I am in a SUPER CREATIVE phase where I am fine-tuning recipes and creating new ones and coming up with names and packaging and the business plan. Sometimes I can’t sleep with so many creative ideas running through my head… and I love it.

So… Tell us about why you make soap? Or how did you start? Or describe your “soap-identity”? Or how did you learn? All your stories and photos fascinate me.

Some tips I can share from my own experiences?

- I love soaping at 37ยบ, both oils & liquids

- Fresh goat milk is wonderful, even better than store bought

- The best way to get an Essential Oil citrus lemony scent to stick is to add Litsea Cubeba/ May Chang

- Alkanet Root baffles me… you can get the most AMAZING purples and blues but I can’t figure it out yet… it always surprises me

- Not all goat milk soaps turn tan… it appears that the more Almond Oil, the whiter.

- I have a great 3-soap mould for experimental batches, this way I do not lose a lot of ingredients if a batch doesn’t turn out.

I share some photos of recent soaps I have made.

Happy soaping,

Xo Jen

Cinnamon Oats Scrub soap

Aloe Clay

Mediterranean Lavender

Lemon Poppy seed soap

Thank you so much Jen for being our first guest blogger in our summer guest blog series and for sharing your story. It is always a breath of fresh air to hear other stories, especially when I get all stuck in my corner of the world.

Your soaps are beautiful!

Please leave comments for Jen, if you want to answer any of her questions or leave other comments. :D



dalene said...

I want to eat your lemon poppyseed. Gorgeous!

I've been soaping for a couple of years, but I haven't had much time for it of late and my supply is dwindling. I would love to learn how to make soap like that. I don't much like artificial color or scents either, but your color is lovely.

Michelle said...

Your Mediterranean Lavender is beautiful! as are your other soaps. You live in such an exotic location, it must be inspiring. Thanks for sharing your soaping story!

karen lee said...

What a lovely open and honest blog from you Jen - could tell it came right from your heart. Inspiring to feel your passion and excitement. After 3 years of using hand made cold pressed soaps (made by some inspiring soapmakers - indiviual in their own way), I too have decided on a preference for all natural ingredients and colours. Keep going - your soaps are beautiful!

Millie D said...

Those soaps look marvellous. I am a newbie soaper so it was great to read about your experience,

TheSoapSister said...

Jen, your posts are always great to read, and this one's no exception! (BTW, My soaping started in a bad bar...of soap, that is. I have the story on my site,you can read it there.) I'm hoping to try the alkanet today. Cross your fingers! Also, please email me for the TeaTree-Euc swap. I tried it today -it's ready! Take care & Happy Skin!

Soaps and Bubbles said...

yeeaaahhh you go Jen!!!

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

That Lemon Poppy seed looks delicious!

claudia_ce said...

I´m Argentine I speake in english very bad. Yours soaps are very beatifull..Kiss!! Claudia.

Jennifer Young said...

Hello all, Thank you so much for your comments, and positive words. I realized from Karen Lee that I did not put a post to my blog on here!!! If you want to come visit my blog it is: Claudia, Gracias por tus comentarios! xo Jen

Lyn said...

What a lovely interview such a joy to read and those soaps are such eyecandy :0) Lyn

Amy Warden said...

Jen - you are so inspiring to see how far you have come in just a few months time! I've been following your blog and I love your niche - I'm sure you will do well!