The pure luxury of soaps made with coconut butter, almond oil, aloe vera, oatmeal, and green tea is one of life’s little pleasures. And with the help of author Anne-Marie Faiola, it’s easy to make luscious, all-natural soaps right in your own kitchen. This collection of 32 recipes ranges from simple Castile bars to intricate swirls, embeds, and marbled and layered looks. Begin with a combination of skin-nourishing oils and then add blueberry puree, dandelion-infused water, almond milk, coffee grounds, mango and avocado butters, black tea, or other delicious ingredients — and then scent your soap with pure essential oils. Step-by-step photography guides you through every stage of cold-process soapmaking.
My first thought? Pretty!!!! The photos and the soaps themselves are absolutely lovely. My second thought? Yummy!!! These soap recipes sound delicious. Rose and Champagne Peaks. Coconut Milk Sideways Swirl. Dark Ale Loofa Bars. Coffee Swirls Layered Cubes.
A feast for the senses, for sure. What is better than hopping in a hot shower and enjoying lovely scents from soaps you made yourself that leaves your skin feeling silky smooth? But how do you make soap yourself that won’t dry your skin, and how do you choose the right ingredients? As we become more and more knowledgeable about the effect our actions have on the world’s ecology, how do we choose products that are sustainable and don’t destroy the environment, like cutting out palm oil, the harvest of which causes deforestation and loss of habitat for some of the most wonderful, and most endangered, species in the world? Not to mention cutting GMO products out of your life.
Soapmaking doesn’t require a painter’s eye or a sculptor’s hand, but it can still turn out as beautifully as a sculpture and a painting all rolled into one. It is also a ‘science project’ in a way, as you learn cold-process (no outside heat source used) soap making. Anne-Marie Faiola takes you through the science of the process – why and how soap is soap – through the curing process that turns the base formula ((triglicerides (fatty acids) + sodium hydroxide = Soap + Glycerin)) plus various natural oils, herbs spices, etc. into luscious handmade soap. She is also very thorough when it comes to safety instructions – you are, after all, using lye in the process.
From choosing ingredients and molds to cleaning up, Faiola takes you through the steps meticulously to ascertain that you have the most fun, and work in complete safety.
When I was asked to review this book for the publisher, I spent some time looking over other soap making books at the library and I have to say – this one is better. Not only is it absolutely lovely to look at, and the recipes are luscious for your senses, the level of detail is better than the other books I have looked over. I have never made soap before, but I would feel quite comfortable starting out with this book. For an experienced soapmaker, the recipes are new, fresh, and use all natural ingredients. Faiola also spends a lot of time describing different oils and why you would use one over the other, as well as why you would or would not want to make certain mixes. Wine soaps, coffee and tea, lavender, my mouth waters at the idea of enjoying these fragrances in soap I made myself! Faiola even gives you tips on designing color palettes for your soaps based on whether you use green tea or black, chardonnay or merlot!
The book is coming out on February 9, 2016. I am putting it on my wish list to get a paper copy. Some books you simply have to hold, touch . . . and be able to lay out by your mixing bowls, of course.
I received Pure Soapmaking from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.