Sunday, May 25, 2014

Chanel No 5

It’s fascinating how certain fragrances can trigger memories and emotions. It’s very comforting, and one of the things that I love about making soap is the emotion that you can elicit just from the way a soap looks or smells.

When I was a child, I always loved to see my mom dressed up. She would have on a fancy dress or pant suit, and her makeup would be just perfect, her hair would be curled and coiffed, and when she bent down to kiss me goodbye before she went out for the evening, she would smell like Chanel No. 5.

I haven’t smelled that fragrance for years, but when I came across a dupe for it, I thought it would be fun to make a special soap for my mom. I got ambitious (why do I do that to myself?!) and thought I would also try to make the famous Chanel logo to put on top of her soap!

I began by mixing some clear MP soap with activated charcoal and poured a thin layer of it into a rectangular mold:

Once it was firm, I cut out a circle:

Then, I chose a slightly smaller circle to cut the middle out of the first circle:

I tried just cutting the circle in half to see if I could form the logo, but it was a bit too narrow:


So, I cut 2 ‘c’ shapes out this time and cut them a little over the halfway point:

They still looked a bit narrow put together: 

So I gently bent and curled the ‘c’ shape around a little more until it was a more pronounced ‘c’ shape:

I glued the shapes in place with a little melted black soap, then I made some flowers out of the rest of the black soap:

And finished!

I was very happy that my plan worked. I turned my back to wash the dishes and when I checked on the soaps several minutes later, they were well into a partial-gel stage; which isn’t a bad thing…normally I would throw them on the heating pad and let them finish up. However, gelling + MP = certain disaster. It doesn’t take much for a thin layer of glycerin soap to melt on top of a hot CP soap. So, I threw them into the freezer as quickly as I could to try to avoid any melting. The logo did start to melt slightly in the center, so the middle of the logo is not as well defined as I would have liked, but it could have been a lot worse!

Here are the worst of them that started to melt from the heat…still not bad thankfully!

Next time, to avoid them trying to gel, I would try soaping at a lower temperature and I would put them in the freezer as soon as they were poured. I also wouldn’t bring the soap to as thick a trace because as soon as I added the fragrance, the soap started to thicken up very quickly. I think I will also freeze the embed slightly before using them on top of the soap, just in case it heats up again. Always a lesson to learn, and I'm thankful that most of them were spared! 

Do you have a favorite fragrance or scent that brings back happy childhood memories? 

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