Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shaving soap

Yesterday, I had my first Lush experience. Lush is a soap store chain from the UK, I think. We were at the mall (Dog help me) mostly shopping for stuff for the terrace since spring seems to have sprung here - yippeee! And low and behold there it was - the smell set you back a little upon entering. Some beautifully presented soaps - and far more rustic than I was expecting. Mostly selling for 4.50€ per 100 grams which would be hard for a small seller to match without their economies of scale.

It turns out that setting up as an artisanal soap maker is complicated. Lots of bureaucratic hoops to jump through. It remains to be seen if this is a viable business idea, or more of an expensive hobby.

I read a lot of soaping sites now, since I like it so well. There are some really beautiful things being created out there. Check out Cocobong, Latherati,Future Primitive, Jaboneando (in Spanish), and the delightful Jenora .

Latest effort - Shaving Soap made with kaolin clay and scented with lemongrass, lavender and vetiver. I kept whipping this for a long time after trace (and blew the fuses a couple of times until I switched from the stick blender to a regular hand blender) to try to get those lovely ¨peaks¨ that look so inviting on other people´s bars. Still need to play with setting times, I think.

We picked up the small bowl in Sober, in the Ribeira Sacra region of Lugo. They burn the ceramic over a wood fire to turn it black (cerámica negra).


  1. Your shaving soap looks AMAZINGLY rich and creamy. I am loving it!! I have made shaving soap for myself and really like it but just haven't come up with that Perfect recipe yet. Still experimenting. As for the swirly peaks, yours came out very nice this time! I used to do them as well and they worked best for me when I poured the soap mix, covered the mould for about 10 minutes, then opened the mould and did the swirls when the mix was partially hardened. xoxo Jen

  2. Thanks Jen! I think you´re right - it´s a matter of timing more than whipping.

    Now I think I have to play with some color and different scents. Endless fun!