Thursday, June 8, 2017

Four Thieves Soap

I love fancy soaps. I do. I love the sudsy-clean feeling of a really crunchy soap and visualizing a squeaky-clean aura. But the price tag…not so much.

A few times a year, I decide that it’s time to make soap. I squirrel away supplies for a while. I collect blossoms from the garden and dry them in paper bags: violets, rose petals, apple blossoms. I pick up pink Himalayan salt and essential oils when a new smell or texture intrigues me. I keep on hand a selection of soap molds, all ready to be greased up with coconut oil and filled with melt and pour soap mix.

Would I like to try more ambitious lye processes someday? Sure. But with so many critters around the house and backyard, it’s impossible to find a place where I can play with toxic somethings undisturbed. So I make do with the melt and pour mixes.

This past weekend, a friend and I got together to make soap. She has a huge dining room table, and we spilled out all our soapmaking treasures on it to graze through. Some of these goodies included:

·        Lavender blossoms
·        Coffee
·        Four thieves’ oil
·        Crab apple blossoms
·        Rhododendron blossoms
·        Blueberry seeds
·        Oats
·        Rosemary oil
·        Cinnamon
·        Mint
·        Cloves
·        Pink peppercorns

…and whatever bits and bobs came from the spice and oil cabinets. There’s a lot of stuff that smells wonderful that doesn’t agree with my skin or my sinuses, and I assume that other folks are similar. Use only what you’re not sensitive to! Test things out, and be careful, as with all kinds of DIY endeavors.

We greased up our molds with coconut oil, stuffed them full of herbs and oils while the melt and pour soap melted in the microwave. We managed to get most of the soap in the molds without tragedy and a few hours later…viola! Out came some very cool textured soaps I can’t wait to try.

My favorite recipe from this batch was a purifying soap I’m gonna call “Four Thieves Soap.” I used:

·        Four thieves oil (I used Nature’s Truth, because I was feeling too lazy to mix my own. Inexplicably, their blend is called “Four Thiefs.” My internal grammarian is screaming)
·        A big handful of dried mint from my garden
·        Pink Himalayan salt
·        A bit of red coloring, because I liked the contrast between the green mint and pink salt

Four thieves’ oil has been around for centuries. I like the Nature’s Truth blend. That one is a very benign blend of lemon, rosemary, clove and eucalyptus oil. Delish. It just smells like a good aura scrub.

There’s a lot of interesting history about four thieves’ oils and vinegars. It supposedly was created during the plague times, when a group of four thieves made it their business to rob the bodies of the dead. Somehow, they managed never to pick up the plague. They attributed their success to their potion. Of course, no one knows their exact blend, or would be able to duplicate their incredibly bizarre luck.

There are about a bazillion different recipes out there…no one who makes it ever makes it like anyone else does. Some are pretty noxious and are suitable only for outdoor work…and these are very vinegar-y acidic concoctions that you wouldn’t want to make contact with your skin. Some of that stuff strips paint and will eat through nails…I’ve learned that the hard way. Ahem. Live and learn, right?

Others are softer and perfumier, like this one. I’m a big fan of citrus, and it does a fine job of purifying the body for me. I’m looking forward to soaking up some of these lovely new soaps in the bath and seeing how they work!

Do you have any favorite soap recipes to share?

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