Friday, 11 March 2022

The Ghost of Witley Court Handmade Soap

Here I share the making of The Ghost of Witley Court handmade soap. Made with a parma violet fragrance, and coloured with a deep purple mica swirl on a titanium dioxide base.
The fragrance used is from Scent Perfique here in the UK. It performs perfectly, doesn't cause any issues or discolouration. 
I did a 40% water discount, which is basically removing 40% of the required water in order to eliminate soda ash, and to create a nice smooth top on the soap. I find that it can cut the cure time down a bit, but only by about a week. I still like to cure my soaps for at least 4 weeks and I leave them unpackaged for some time, just packaging what I need to for orders. This helps the bars harden better as the air is constantly circulating around them as they sit.
This fragrance behaves so the batter didn't thicken up on me quickly, in fact I had plenty of time to swirl the two colours together, and to create that lovely blobby top!

To watch the video click here to open in a new window: YouTube making video

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

5 New Soaps..and a lil Sale

Yep! Been busy...and there's still more to come.
In order of appearance (top to bottom), the new soaps are:
Temple Ball - a blend of Petitgrain, Orange, Benzoin (the very thick sticky stuff) and Nutmeg. Inside, what you can see is Coltsfoot leaf, which is know to aid the healing and the itch of eczema. There are random chunks of cocoa-dusted soap inside as well. It smells very fresh with a warm spicy background. 100% Natural.
NonScents - a blend of absolutely nothing. Just pure soap with extra virgin olive oil, organic cocoa butter and organic shea butter. The dark line and the crunchy looking topping is Aussie organic olive green clay. Smells like unscented soap! 100% Natural.
Festival 2011 - a fragrant blend of heady and dusty Nag Champa incense dipped in thick, black Indonesian Patchouli with a puff of woodsmoke. This is my favourite scent at the moment and will be available as bathing grains, SWASH and perfume oil in due course. The colours are yellow, blue and green oxide with Aussie organic red clay and Dead Sea Mud. 96% Natural.
Antiguan Firecracker - a tropical floral blend of Frangipani & Lilac petals lifted with Sicilian Lemon oil and Lavender oil. On the top are deep red rose petals, lavender buds (from my own bushes) and dried Chamomile buds. The colours are aqua, deep red and white to mimic the colours of my Antiguan holiday back in 2007. 98% Natural.
Garden of Cupid - named by Aleyah Jordon who entered our Facebook giveaway (she still hasn't come forth to claim her prize) if she's reading!
A blend of Sweet Fennel, Geranium, Lavender, Ylang Ylang and sticky pine resin. The top notes are the fennel and lavender, which then warms to a floral heart. At the end of the sniff you get the fresh pine aroma...but only if your nose is good at detective work. Inside the soap is Juniper Berry meal. 100% Natural.
All will be available from the shop at the end of January....or if you can't wait they're up in the Etsy shop to purchase and finish curing at your end until ready on 25th January.
Oh...before I forget and have to edit this post again...there's a SALE on in our online shop and in our Etsy! Go see x
Thanks for reading!

cookin' up a storm

'cyclone' logs 'cyclone' peaks just 'cyclone'
My balls
packets ready for sending.
I done made this 'Cyclone' soap yesterday. I didn't have a lot of Juniper oil left, and getting hold of some quickly proved difficult (and expensive), so I tweaked my recipe.
This now has a smidge of black pepper, which is actually quite similar to Juniper in that it has a lot of the same components, which make up the essential oil. I shan't go into the blurb and bore you though.
It smells so so nice. A really light, yet biting scent with an ozonic aroma. I have some available still but was running a little low. I add organic shea to the mix to make it extra good for the skin. To purchase one of the cured bars, click here to buy from FuturePrimitive Soap or click here for Etsy purchasing.
I've been quite busy lately with web orders, which is really great. Thanks to all who have ordered. Your soaps are on their way this week. Whilst packing them up, I thought I'd take a few pics to show the finished articles. I really like the way they look now, though I've been contemplating trying some different coloured strings. I've seen the ones I want, I just gotta go get some. I'm really happy with the new paper. It lets the soap breathe, and keeps them fresher for longer. 

Soap Packaging

Something I struggled with for a good couple of years...soap packaging.
I toyed with brown kraft paper, with cello bags (no good as the soap sweats), with thick paper with my logo, with cloth, with many things...
I haven't shown the packaging of my soaps for quite some time.
I think the last post I did on this subject included my soaps with the gardeners string tied around them.
I soon tired of that as it's so time consuming when packaging larger wholesale orders.
Finally I allowed myself to agree on these strips, which simply wrap over each soap and are secured at the base.
All relevant info is on each strip.
I like the packaging colours to compliment what is inside.
The paper I have also allows the buyer to see the beauty inside too. Not see - through but near as damn it.
I know a lot of people struggle with packaging so please know that I have too.
I love a simple cigar band myself but when stocking in retail shops I think it's better to have the soaps wrapped.
I must say that Jaq from Soaphora has the most exquisite packaging.
Click here to see her's wonderful soap too!
I've been working hard on new strips for some of the new soaps I have made over the past few weeks. All will be revealed soon...the run up to xmas is just around the corner. I have 3 new soaps to show you very soon....

'Erbs and Lemons

Above is the new style 'Herbaceous' soap, which has had a complete overhaul. This soap used to have the infamous black line with a white base and a duck egg blue topping. Time for change. She has become more grounded, more earthy, more fitting for her name. She has soil, she has pebbles, she has grass and she has a string of flowers draped over her head. The scent remains the same. No change required there. This all-pure essential oil blend is incredibly uplifting for gardeners. Top notes of lemon-scented Litsea sparkle amongst Thyme, Rosemary and Marjoram. A nasal clearing blend, which is fabulous for giving the body a boost after a long day digging. And here we have little Miss Inconspicuous - the new 'Lemonade Lounger' for 2011. This soap has changed so much during my time making it. The 2 black lines were present last year, but again...yawn...I've done it to death so I changed this up a bit with a scattering of vanilla beans (and paste), again Dead Sea Mud was sprinkled inside and on the top along with some dark Muscovado sugar, which has melted into the top of the bars. The scent has been changed a little. Inside this beauty is a blend of Lemon, Litsea, Ho Leaf and light Patchouli. Again, an earthy base note with zingy lemons and soft buttery after-wafts! Balls of all colours are dropped through to add a bit of somethin' somethin' and the Vanilla bean paste is visible so it also takes on a dirty look. I LOVE it! If you want to see me make here. Enjoy! xx

Monday, 4 March 2019

Shampoo Bars

We've all heard of them, but do they actually work?
The quick answer is yes! Yes indeed they work, but the next question is usually something along the lines of "Do they make your hair feel dry?" ...and here's where things can get a little tricky. There are certainly some shampoo bars on the market that work really well with the first use, but what about long term? What do we need to be looking for?
Well, let's start by what we don't want to be looking for in terms on ingredients. SLS! We most certainly do not want to be smothering our hair with this harsh surfactant, especially when there are so many other surfactants available to manufacturers that are much more gentle on your precious locks.
So, ideally the first ingredient you'll want to see is something like Sodium cocoyl isethionate, or Sodium coco sulphate. These coconut derived surfactants are gentle on the hair and skin, and what sets them apart from SLS is the fact that they are coated with a wax like substance, which stops them being able to penetrate your skin. The reason why so many have reactions to SLS is because it is not coated, and can penetrate the skin, which causes irritation, allergic reactions, and soreness. Did you ever get that tight, dry, sore feeling? Like a band going around the back of your head? That's probably due to SLS, or other harsh surfactants, which are cheap and easy to source. 
A shampoo bar is basically exactly the same as a bottle of shampoo without the water. So whilst they don't contain water they are indeed water activated. So when swiping a bar across your wet hair ideally you want a bar that contains some conditioning agents, as well as some nice gentle cleansers, and maybe some plant keratin for good measure. You want the shampoo bar to gently cleanse, and condition a little too so you don't have to use a ton of conditioner afterwards. You also want just a light fragrance, not one that blows your head off. Fragrance can be an irritant due to the allergens present in most of them, so always choose a shampoo bar that doesn't smell incredibly strong. You really don't need it. 
In FuturePrimitive Shampoo bars you will find gentle cleansers, pro vitamin B5 (or panthenol as it's otherwise known), a selection of plant proteins, some organic shea butter, and a strong conditioning agent in a minimal dose (we don't want to weigh down the hair), as well as a little bit of our best selling fragrance - Rook & Raven. 
After just one use you will find your hair super shiny, and lightly conditioned.On fine hair we would recommend you use a conditioner on the ends of the hair, and leave the roots alone to prolong the shine.You may find that if you wash your hair ever day you may end up being able to go a little longer. It is certainly my own personal experience. I find I can go 2-3 days between washes, especially if I have curled my hair on day two, and have used hairspray. Hairspray seems to stop my very fine hair from becoming greasy to quickly.  
To date, our shampoo bars have been one of our biggest sellers, which is absolutely brilliant, and great news for the plastic free movement!
To get your hands on a bar, click here

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Yule Production 2013

A picture heavy post of our soap production over the past 8 weeks or so...

Freshly peaked 'Ebeneezer' soap - an essential oil blend including Eucalyptus, Pine, 
Lemongrass & Lime.

Unmoulded soaps (Ebeneezer & Cratchit)

Freshly poured, peaked & sprinkled 'Sixpence Pudding'
an essential oil blend of many oils to produce an authentic Xmas Pud scent.

Soap logs of 'In The Pines' soap. 
An essential oil blend of Siberian Fir Needle, Himalayan Cedar, Scotch Pine, Ho Wood 
and Lavender.

Back for Yule 2013! An old classic of ours....Bar HUMBUG!
Originally made in 2007 and on general release in 2009 as par of our Organic range.

A close up of Bar Humbug...

A close up of Cratchit

Snowdrift is back...!

A recent batch of White Witch

A new look for Rook & Raven. The birds will be made of soap next time, this time they are 
black paper birds!

A close up of Chocolatier soap

And Festival....god bless it!

Cratchit...curing on the shelf

Labels at the ready...this weekend will be well spent!

Pure white soap balls that I used in Bar Humbug

and finally....getting ready for product shots (not the best pic but you get the...erm...picture)

Our Yule Release for 2013 goes live this Friday night 
at 7pm (London Time).