Happy Christmas from in front of the fireplace! Fireplace. Yeah, I said fireplace! And in September! Yup! I’m so getting ready for Christmas already! Hooray! Are you spying my Instagram for all the new stuff I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks? And ’tis the season for a Christmas cardamom coffee scented Stocking Stash! Oh yeah. I’ve been drooling over this scent I’ve got going on here since August.
In February of 2018 I travelled from China to Ireland with a quick stop over in Doha, Qatar. I admit, that I don’t know a lot about Doha other than it is a beautiful airport with oodles of different coffees so of course I had to pick up a pound. I ended up going with a cardamom coffee but little did I know, I wouldn’t like the flavour at all as it seemed to be all cardamom and no coffee flavour! So of course I had to come up with crazy fun ways to make use of it as I couldn’t let it go to waste. Masks, soaps, lip stuff, scrubs and more are just some of the products I played around with! And it is the star ingredient in the Stocking Stash of 2018 here at Scrub Me Down! It smells divine! But tastes gross! Great trade off!
As everyone knows or learns somewhat quickly, a lot of scents don’t survive the saponification process (grr on your grapefruit fragrance AND essential oils!) when you use them in soap making. And this cardamom coffee is no different. So, I had to get a wee bit creative with my fragrance oils to give the soap a kick in the backside scent wise. I needed a scent that was Christmas, yet warm, wee hints of spice, with a very slight fruity undertone. And then, I wanted the scent of coffee to shine through too. Golly, that took some testing to get the fragrance combination just right! I decided on using a combination of Teakwood, Cardamom, and Clove Fragrance Oil and Citrus Burst Fragrance Oil both from Gracefruit to give me the unique scent I was after. If you would rather use essential oils/resins/absolutes, I found the following to be a nice combination of oils that is heavenly and a great substitute. Here is the recipe for making the coffee infusion. Or feel free to just toss these scents out the window and go with your favourite Christmas scents! There are so many to choose from!
And boy oh boy. It is days like these I truly wish there was scent-o-vision so I could share how awesome this soap smells! The above essential oil blend works amazingly well in a body butter I’ll have you know!
I decided not to use my precious lard in this recipe as I really wanted to use up some avocado oil I had kicking around the workroom. So lard + avocado oil= way too moisturising! Is that even a possibility? And to make this soap, it was just like making any other soap. You get everything set up, you’re off to the races!
The reason I used oil soluble titanium dioxide in this recipe is I did not want my whole soap to have a creamy coffee colour. I wanted a dark coffee colour on the base, and the tops to look frothy. Kind of like a dark coffee cake with frosting. Or perhaps a cup of coffee with milk froth. I might be bound by food imitation laws when it comes to selling products, but there aren’t any in gift giving!
Usually, I decide to add my fragrance oils after I’ve added my lye solution to my oils, but I figured it was about time I give the idea of adding them before adding the lye solution a try. And honestly, I noticed no difference. So meh. Adding them before or after the lye solution, doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference in my small batch. I’ll have to try again to make sure in a much larger batch. I also added in the goat milk into my oils and blended well.
You’ll notice that I decided to use sugar and salt in this recipe. I added in the sugar as I wanted to ensure that I got some awesome bubbles from this soap. And sugar always helps with that! I added in some salt to help with the hardness of the bar as I was using the small silicone loaf and I find the soap always catches right in the corners. So rather than having five perfect bars, I get three perfect bars with two having some crappy corners. Salt helps a fair bit with helping the soap harden up to remove it from the mould, but I un-moulded earlier than I should have.
- Prepare your work space by spraying everything down with 70% ISP; your tools, equipment, and don your safety gear.
- Into a heat resistant Container A, weigh in your coconut oil, palm oil, and shea butter. Place into a double boiler on a barely there simmer and let melt. Once everything has melted, add in your olive oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, and castor oil. Add in your fragrance oils and goat milk powder at this point too and blend well.
- Into a heat resistant Container B, weigh out your water, salt and sugar. Blend until the salt and sugar is dissolved.
- Weigh your lye into a plastic container and then slowly add your lye into Container B. Stir.
- Let Container A and B sit and bring down to room temperature.
- Weigh out your coffee grinds into Container C and your titanium dioxide into Container D.
- Slowly add Container B into Container A. Mix until you have a light trace.
- Decant about 100g into Container D with the titanium dioxide and use a spatula to mix everything together.
- Pour the coffee grinds from Container C into the rest of the soap and blend well. You’ll want your soap to be at about a medium trace before pouring.
- Before pouring the soap from Container D on top, you’ll want to make sure that it is nice and thick so you can shape it with your spoon.
- Let sit for about 12-24 hours before unmoulding and cutting.
- Let cure/age for about five to eight weeks before first use.
Christmas Soap Making Notes:
If you plan to give the gift of homemade soaps for Christmas this year, remember soaps need a long cure time. I would strongly recommend giving your homemade soaps at least a four to six week cure time. Please remember to factor this in when you plan!