Hot. Process. Soap.
I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous about the idea of “cooking” my soap, but I’m more convinced that I’d like to try offering a truly natural line, scented only with essential oils.
While there are a few that have tremendous sticking power in cold process soap, my experiments have shown that many of the more delicate oils, in particular two of my favourites – lavender and orange – cannot survive the saponification process without some damage, and sometimes a total loss of scent.
Can this be mitigated by increasing the amounts? Probably. Do I want to risk the quality of the soap by having too much EO in it, possibly leading to a greater chance of irritation and maybe a failed batch or two? Not really.
So from what I understand about the way hot process works, is that the soap is fully saponified in the pot – cooked until all the lye has reacted with all of the oils – and then, while it’s still soft, you can add fragrance and colorants and additives, which will not be affected by any free floating lye, since it will have been used up by the oils.
I’m really hoping hot process will be gentler on my essential oils, and will allow me a little more creativity with additives, for example, superfatting with luxury oils or topping with delicate botanicals such as rose petals.
Wish me luck!