I made more crappy soap. This time I followed a recipe through MMS and their lye calculator as some of you suggested. Everything was fine until I added the fragrance oil. Instant separation. What?!?? What was happening? I had read about separation and why it occurs when the recipe is unbalanced or cools too quickly. But neither occurred. The soap mix was creamy and at a lovely trace and then, BAM! I added un-Brambleberry, untested fragrances. It was a combo of marshmallow and Honey (type). They must have been the culprit because everything was fine until then. The whole thing separated as if the fragrance oils (FOs) marched in their and broke up the kissing that was going on in the pot.
I was too mad to let it go, so I started to cook it on the stove top. I had it on low and stirred every three or four minutes, but no one was kissing again, it just got worse! They were a hateful bunch. 50% of the information I got on the internet said to throw it out, and the others said to cook the batch, pour it and see what happens. So I cooked the beasts and poured what looked like really nasty vomit into my wooden mold. The smell of the sweet fragrances gave me a whopping headache and filled my house with what smelled like a honey latte from Starbucks.
I have a new appreciation for Anne-Marie and Brambleberry, because now I understand the comments in the fragrance oil's description...such as,"accelerates trace" or "discolors cp soap to a brown"...If I had read more on soapmaking, I wouldn't have trashed all that raw material! I want to know ahead of time that the FO isn't going to turn my creamy yummy soap into a vomitous vat of waste.
I have made 4 batches. 2 flopped. That is 50% success in making soap. (I never said great soap, either, just soap). A footnote on batch #3, Elizabeth of Gracefruit gave me a tip and I turned my bad boy batch into real soap, even though lather is minimal.
A lesson is learned here (my husband's words were trying to penetrate my sad head last night). I should try to see this whole thing as a learning step. Now I know that I should pull a bit out of the original batch to scent it and hope there is no separation, or use the fragrances that have been tested by our vendors to begin with.
I have no photos for you, but hope to find my son's camera before the weekend.
It might be time to get a soap book with tried and true recipes and my own camera.