October 3, 2013

Basil, Lime and Coconut Milk

Originally, I was going to name this soap '9th Avenue' because it has all the ingredients for Thai food (coconut milk and oil, basil, lemongrass, lime, ginger) and there are a ton of Thai restaurants on 9th in Hell's Kitchen—too many really—on some blocks there're four of them. But in light of this soap's appearance, I've nixed the snarkiness and am being straightforward.

It's a rebatch of soap I'd made using some of that beeswax I'd rendered last year. I made balls with some of the overly rustic honey/beeswax soap then rolled them in powdered lime basil before embedding them. The effect just didn't work. Hideous, actually. The embeds had a regulated look to them—although the embeds I made with the same soap looked great in Plan Bee. Go figure.

So everything got shredded and melted down in some coconut milk. It's still not a pretty soap, but the coconut milk makes for a creamy lather. And it smells great. And makes your skin feel fab.

To make up for the soap's humble appearance, I package it using fabric samples that a decorating store on the Upper Eastside was tossing out. My mother was a decorator when I was growing up and she had tons of swatch books that would get tossed when the fabric was discontinued. She gave a lot of them to a neighbor who pieced the swatches into quilts and cushions. My Barbie doll house also had its fair share of brocade draperies.

The look is a little clunky (so were my Barbie's drapes), but no glue or sewing was involved and it's kind of sustainable.

If you like this blog, check out my new one: The Haley Maxwell Soap Making Mysteries