EO Blends for Soap from 1904

Back around the turn of the (last) century, synthetic fragrances were just making their debuts. Soapmaking manuals and books for the time still gave recipes for scent blending based on essential oils. My Manual of Toilet Soap-Making by Dr. C. Deite lists a number of scent blends for what were “traditional” toilet soaps at the time.

Wool and Soap

I found a reference in The Art of Soap-Making by Alexander Watt (1918) which describes “fulling soaps”. Being unsure of what, exactly, “fulling” really was, I wasn’t sure if the soap described would be suitable for washing woolens as well. Turns out not, but I did make some interesting discoveries along the way. And I learned how to wash and … Read More

Manhattan Garbage & Soap

Imagine New York City and the island of Manhattan in the 1840’s. The city was rapidly expanding with an influx of immigrants from all over the world. Industry was expanding with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The northern part of the island, was still providing the city with dairy products and meat. Sewage disposal was non-existent and garbage was … Read More

Kitchen Grease Into Hand Soap

It seems that what goes around, comes around – even with soap. What was once a distasteful chore of country housewives or the task of garbage entrepreneurs has now become the new eco-friendly activity of chefs. According to a recent article at Food and Wine there’s a new line of soaps made from the byproducts of turning restaurant kitchen grease … Read More

Elk in the Yard

Tonight after dinner I looked out the window and saw an elk in the yard. The picture isn’t very good since it was dusk and he was about 75 yard s away, but it is proof that he was there! We have several small elk herds that wander through the ranch, but they generally stay near the tree lines and … Read More

The Many Careers of Soapmakers

Of all the soapmakers I know, not one started out young in life saying,”When I grow up, I’m going to be a soapmaker.” While some have said they “always had an interest”, most were in other careers when they discovered (and got hooked on) soapmaking. Pre-soapmaking careers include accountant, journalist, engineer, chemist, housewife, teacher, internet guru, IT professional, computer programmer, … Read More

What We Watch – Television and Soap

It’s interesting how the American public is so fascinated with and influenced by the trials and tribulations of fictitious families. The success of all soap operas (daytime and prime time), as well as shows like LOST, is all about getting people vested in a form of imaginary voyeurism. And it started with … soap. Earlier this month, CBS announced they … Read More

Soap Bubble Close-Up

Ever wondered what a soap bubble looks like close up … VERY close up … like 50x magnification? Absolutely, amazingly beautiful! Mr. Sykora won Image of Distinction in the 2008 annual Nikon Small World photomicrography competition. And rightly so!