As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in an herbal class called “Cultivating the Medicine Woman Within” taught by Kami McBride here in the Bay Area. Once a month, our class meets in gorgeous Marin County and we go over all kinds of things from herbal use to diet and history. Next month will be our last class, and I’m pretty sad about it. Kami mentioned that for this class, the students usually bring some kind of token for the other students.
And of course, guess what my token is?
If you didn’t say soap, I’m going to be disappointed.
After I left class, I was debating what kind of soap to make for my classmates. Should it be froo froo or highly herbal? Should I make it super fancy with designs or leave it simple? I kept asking myself what I could do to make a soap that really involved my classmates. I started thinking about the herb walk and how we picked herbs together as a class. I got to thinking about my infused oils and the only one I hadn’t used was the rosemary/lavender blend.
BINGO! Rosemary and lavender herbal soap.
The day I’d picked both herbs was the day we all came together and hugged and cried and hugged each other some more. These herbs were already harvested with love and gratitude and I had grown to love the infused oil I’d made out of it. What better way to use it, than to share with my classmates?
I decided to stick with my basic formula but to use a little more lavender essential oil to enhance the lavender scent already in the infused oil. Between the two herbs, rosemary had the stronger smell, so I wanted both to be represented equally in the bars. I also decided that the bars were to be two different colors (green and lavender) so I did a two level design.
This is how it turned out:
I was actually surprised the lavender came out at all. For some reason when I was making the lavender layer, during the liquid/gel phase, it was a rosy/orange color. I added a little more of the lavender colorant but all the soap did was get even more orange. I figured that after I let the soap sit for a few days (to harden) the color could change. I kept my fingers crossed and hoped that my classmates would be accepting of an orange lavender soap. Lucky for me, it did get a little more purple.
This was the actual lavender I was shooting for:
Medicine Woman soap left, Nahko’s French Lavender soap right.
I used the same lavender colorant and the same amount (initially anyway). I guess with handcrafted, you never know what you’re going to get.
I hope my classmates enjoy the soap I’ve made for them. I know I will miss seeing them and learning from Kami. If you’re interested in herbs and learning more about them, I highly recommend this class. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself.