The evolution of a soap

I like to experiment with soap.  New techniques, colors, designs, you name it and I want to try it.  But sometimes things go wrong and I love to write about what I do when that happens.  This is in part because those tales are more interesting that success stories, and this tale reminds me of one of the things I love about soaping.  With very few exceptions, there is always a a way to fix a soap gone wrong.  Here is one such tale. Part 1.  Tried new technique using hot process where I did a two color gradient and put a charcoal pencil like in between each layer.  However, after I was all done and cleaning up I noticed the fragrance still sitting in its little bowl.  Hhmm, a yellow and green unscented soap?  I thought long and hard about whether this soap needed a new plan but I did not rush to make a decision.

Cool gradient soap without any fragrance
Cool gradient soap without any fragrance

I thought maybe I could fix this by cutting up the soap and using that as embeds.  it worked, but I did not love how it came out.

prepping the mold with embeds
prepping the mold with embeds
my embed soap
my embed soap

I was going to call it a day but every time I looked at this soap I thought "so not what I had in mind when I made this soap".  *SIGH*

Part 2.  I attempted this neat technique that I read about on the soap queen's blog only I my soap looked nothing like her soap.  Not only did I have a dreadful time getting the pipes out, I put them too far apart, and the filler soap I made traced way too fast (aka became very thick which made it hard to pour).  So, another soap that I was not happy with.

embed soap gone wrong
embed soap gone wrong

I decided to shred both part 1 and 2 and combine them into a brand new soap, and you know what, I LOVE the new soap.  The scents of both go so well together - a lightly floral and a citrus scent.  And the pattern in this soap would be impossible to make from soap batter.

The French Milled soap made from both dud soaps
The French Milled soap made from both dud soaps

If you have a food processor with the shredder attachment, use it!  It saves an extraordinary amount of time vs. shredding by hand. I decided to re-batch (or french mill - a fancier term!) a few other soaps that did not come out as expected, and now I love them!

A soap I made for a competition that was crumbly.  Now it is awesome!
A soap I made for a competition that was crumbly. Now it is awesome!
A soap I made using a fragrance that I really did not like AT ALL.  rebatched, added some new fragrance and now it smells great!
A soap I made using a fragrance that I really did not like AT ALL. rebatched, added some new fragrance and now it smells great!

The lessons I learned:

1. Re-batched soaps are not any lesser in quality or coolness than soaps made via other methods

2. This technique can save the day when one has a soaping failure

3. Never be afraid to take a chance and experiment because if it does not work out, there is always re-batching

4. I am going to refer to re-batching as french milled from now on

Have you ever made french milled soaps?

Happy Soaping!