Now that the holiday rush has passed, the store is settling back down to what feels more like a 'normal' and relaxing pace. The practice of making soap can be a very calming and relaxing process in itself, so it was a pleasure to take time this morning to whip up a 3 pound batch of cold process soap to test a group of new fragrances in the silicone mold.
All of our fragrance oils are tested for bad behavior such as discoloring, seizing, accelerating or decelerating trace, super-heating, and weakness in scent. It is important for us to see the stability of the fragrance through the entire month-long waiting period because there are usually significant changes that occur at a later point.
I like experimenting in the rounds because it's not such a let down compared to making a full loaf when fragrances act up. We've had our share of loaves split down the center from super-heating and of course discoloration finds its way into the soaps we are sometimes most proud of-- particularly one that was a beautiful blue with orange square embeds that ended up going all brown and the scent faded into a lovely Play-Doh aroma. I'm not holding and grudges or anything :-p