Adventure #1/52: The Smell of Lavender

I love, love, love the scent of lavender.  I even tried to grow it, but my Black Thumb is so much hardier than any plant.  There was no question about the fragrance I would choose in my initial soap-making attempt.

The first – and possibly most challenging – step was to find the Martha Stewart Holiday magazine that I bought (okay, I admit it) 3 1/2 years ago.  While looking for the instructions, I came across a recipe for limoncello.  Umm…but I digress.

The needed supplies were already in a basement cabinet, purchased…well, you can probably figure that out; I’ve wanted to try this for a long time.  The process was really quite simple:  cut the amount of glycerin desired off the block, and then chop it up into tiny pieces.  At first, I was going to melt it in a double boiler, but I had visions of future chocolate truffles tasting faintly of lavender bubbles, so I opted for the microwave.  Not difficult.

Once the glycerin was liquefied, I added lavender essential oil, color, and oatmeal flakes that I had run through the food processor. (The last ingredient was my own idea.  No dried lavender around, but I thought things needed a little texture.)  I used plastic yogurt cups as my molds and let the soaps harden for a couple of hours.  The result is shown below:

When it comes to “authentic” soap making, I cheated.  There was no lye, no lard/vegetable shortening, no constant stirring involved.  I have a book with “real” soap recipes on my shelf, and one day I’ll experiment with one of them.  But for now, I have my pretty little pink (pink?!) rounds of lavender soap, and they smell delicious.  I feel calmer already!