Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Morning Cuppa + Our Soaps

We had a challenge over at Soaper's Retreat Facebook group:  Photograph your favorite morning drink and pair it with a soap. 

We had some nice entries so I'll share a few.

Chris Erskine of Wax and Soapy Water

Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks

Randi Hymers

Robin Duncan Hasty of Bird Bath Essentials

Morning drink, crack tea and going home salt bar:  made by Crystal Decker of Dirty Water Soapworks

Dr K's Irish breakfast:  by Dr. K

Vickie Robinson of Udder Indulgence

Clara Lindberg

Oh!  And mine:

Joanna Schmidt of Absolute Soap

Thank you everyone for keeping the challenges interesting.  You are all so talented and I am honored to be a part of this group.

Beautiful soap porn!

xo jo

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Warning : I've Been Impersonated

I received an email from a soapmaker asking me how I liked her soaps. Her name or soap company name didn't sound familiar so I told her I didn't know what she was referring to.  She had sent a number of bars to a person claiming they were me:  Jo of The Soap Bar Blog (right here, folks).

I have been doing soap reviews for almost 7 years.  I do not solicit soapmakers.  Soap is either sent to me for free with the request for a review, or I purchase products I want to try.

If someone claims to be me and asks you to send them soap for review, please confirm it is me.  My full name is Joanna Schmidt and I live in Florida, USA.  My email jo(at)absolutesoap(dot)com and I do NOT live in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.

Send your soap to anyone you want for a review, but my suggestion to you: seek those people out yourself.  Do not take requests from bloggers or YouTubers. 

That there is a red flag, folks.

I am Jo of The Soap Bar Blog.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vetiver Sway

Vetiver Lemonade by Pigasus Soap Co.  

Shadowlake Soap by Bellingham Soap Company
Ocean Spa by High Street Soap

Vetiver Grey Soap by Osmia Organics

Smoke And Leather Soap by Bath Factory
Raven by Wylde Ivy

Vetiver's scent is earthy, woodsy, complex and reminds me of a forest floor or wet soil. It is strong, yet mellow, but not everyone loves it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Celine, The Silky Soapmaker

Celine Blacow and husband, Malcolm

I have written about Celine and her wonderful soaps before and, honestly, it is a treat to use her soaps.You can see my review here if you'd like.  It is always a big treat when I get to use her soap. I don't know what I love more, the actual soap, design or the fact that her small batches are clearly time intensive and she puts her heart into every batch.  Perhaps all of those put her in a category by herself.  The ingredients she chooses are all the ingredients my skin loves, so as long as she makes soap, I shall get my hands on it.  If you haven't watched her videos, you absolutely should.  You can see all the time and thought she puts into every loaf of soap she creates.  You should find a few minutes to watch at least one video from the Soaperstar video arsenal:  You Tube Soaperstar.

Today, I am reviewing Orange Pippin Nectar, beer soap with amazing other ingredients. First let's talk about the scent.  Totally not what I expected.  I thought it would be orangey, but I don't smell it as a strong participant.  Pippin is a type of apple called a Cox's Orange Pippin.  Apple?  A tad.  Beer?  Not a wee bit.  So what is this crazy good smell?  On the wrapper, the description of the scent is this:  Fragranced with a smooth blend of pure Irish ale, crisp red apples and zesty orange in a base of warm golden ginger with a dash of cinnamon.  But, to me, it is almost floral with hints of fruit....definitely nectar of a flower, but it isn't in the ingredients.  The essence is gentle, pure and understated and yet I sit here sniffing it trying to figure out where it is taking me. On a journey to my childhood.  I can close my eyes and be lifted away for a few seconds.  Thank you, Celine, for that.

Celine's packaging is very beautiful.  The soap is wrapped in soft natural fibrous paper, then banded with colored ribbon and then a card holds it all together.  Not a simple task to get that baby unwrapped, I'll tell ya!  

I have had this bar for months and months, so when I stripped it down to nothing a few tiny fibers from the wrap stuck to the soap top - it's not dust and the fibers come right off in the water.


Body swirl
I have tried a bunch of soaps with silk added to the mix, but Celine's soap is so smooth and slippery, it makes me wonder if there is some mystical magic she adds at trace.  ;)  Could be a combination of the clay, silk and cocoa butter.  Yum, all of which makes for a smooth skin experience and makes it fun and easy to swirl the soap in my hands to create bubbly lather.

Silky smooth soap with tight creamy bubbles

The soap produced wonderful lather.  Not the super big fat bubbles I half-expected, but between the additives of clay, the white clay and Australian Red Reef clay for the red color, they are sure to shrink bubbles, but, to me, create a creamier and skin-loving lather that my skin prefers.  You will notice that the bubbles are a pale pink.  Obviously it comes from the red clay, but it is of no consequence.  The bubbles washed right off in the water and the bonus of red clay is far superior over the big bubbles.  Australian Red Reef clay has a high iron content and essential minerals that are great for your skin.

Not only does Celine rock in her design techniques, but she makes a high quality soap, yet each one is different.  This beer soap is different than her others, but I'm not sure how it differs.  I do know, that it is smooth, hard, nourishing and smells divine.  What more can you ask for in soap??

Check her company website out: I Am Handmade - and the current soaps that are available.  Sadly, the Orange Pippen Nectar is not available, but every one of Celine's soaps is a treasure.

iamhandmade in Ireland.  Way to go, baby!

Bubbles bubbles bubbles!