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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sunset Stroll

I have an event next month called Sunset Stroll where I’ll have a booth.  It’s in Overbrook, KS at the fairgrounds (if you’re in the area, please stop by!  It’s Wednesday, Sept 28th).  The Stroll is actually at 6pm, but vendors will be set up at 4.  It’s a one mile walk to raise money for The Race Against Breast Cancer.  First off, I’m honored to have been given a booth at such an awesome event.  Second, it’s a near and dear cause.

Anyway, I have one preorder for around 100-150 sample breast cancer ribbon soaps.  I want to have some available at my booth anyway.  What a great way to raise awareness and have some fun – give them a scent ribbon soap!  I’ve made 20 so far. lol  I don’t want to make them too far ahead, since I want to give customers the longest shelf life that I can (typically 1 year is recommended).  I’m also trying to keep the pink color consistent throughout the created soaps.  That’s actually a lot harder than one would think! *grin*  Vanilla is actually in most FOs.  If the FO has a moderate or high percentage of vanilla, then it will change colors.  Vanilla will turn most anything a brown color after a while, no matter what it has been dyed.  I have blended a few colors to make a close pink to the ribbons that I have and prefer to have them all match.  The longer that these soaps sit, the more chance that by the time of the event they will be brown.  It’s not bad, just not as attractive and the color isn’t appropriate to the theme.  I just got in some vanilla stabilizer, but honestly I really hate the idea of adding chemicals to keep something a specific color.  I want to have natural benefits, and although there are chemicals in everything, I try to keep mine to a minimum.  There isn’t nothing beneficial (or harmful!) to this other than to keep the color.  It’s a tug of war with how to get things sold and what I feel is best for my line.  Anyway, if I make the soaps right before the event, they’ll still be pink if I don’t use the stabilizer.  What do you think – add the stabilizer or keep as natural as possible with the caution that the color will change due to the natural nature of it?

I plan to have a stash to donate to cancer survivors.  I’m not doing the greatest financially, but sometimes you just have to do those things since it’s the right thing to do and makes you feel better. 

They’ve also requested that I have some Christmas products available since some people will be doing their Christmas shopping.  I plan to have a few of those available with quite a variety of my standard products.  I will put some lotions in my 1 oz body oil samplers and then the spatulas will let me put a few others in some jars for easy sampling.  I’m debating having oil samples, since you don’t get that off and they may not want to be doing the walk with it on. *grin*  I may have a package of disposable baby wipes on hand.  Anyway, if I can get it to a satisfactory stage, I want to have my acne facial cream to sample too.  Just to get a feel for it.  I’m debating having the different types of items in baskets (the ones that won’t be sampled).  I have a lot of deciding to do!

When Larry took me to Hobby Lobby recently he found the cutest little glass jars half off.  I think that I’ll do the holiday bath whips in those.  They’ll hold a little less, but be a lot nicer for gift giving than my plastic jars, I think.  Being half off, they make them affordable for customers too.  I so suck at decorating stuff and making them look all artsy that I have a friend giving me tips on what to do to make things look better for gift giving. lol  We’ll see how that turns out.  I got a lesson in using my new sewing machine and managed to break it the first time I used it.  *embarrassed smile* Larry’s working on fixing the machine, but honestly, I don’t know that it’ll matter in the long run.  I may have a few cute little squares for jar toppers, but it’ll still end up looking odd.  That’s just one of my quirky issues. *grin*

At Hobby Lobby they had a few molds that were perfect for the holidays, too, that I plan to use for Stroll items.  I am loving my little gingerbread men mold.  There’s another with some harvest shapes; pumpkins and leaves.  I admit that it’ll probably be disappointing if no one wants the new soaps from these molds.  They’re so cute!  That’s just part of the roller coaster, though, I know. 

Anyway, I have the Stroll stuff all percolating in the background and am slowly working on them.  It’s always exciting to plan stuff for events.  Soon I’ll write about the November event that I’m the most excited about. *grin* I think that’s really where I have a good chance at sales and actually fitting in.

Today’s delivery

It’s always like Christmas when I get my supply deliveries.  Today was no exception, although maybe a little more exciting than usual since I also got some stuff for a few booth events (I’ll discuss later).  Anyway, the best part, well second best part since the very best is getting to dig through the packaging to find the new items, is getting to sniff the new fragrances and let the ideas start flying around in my brain. 

Lump of Coal turned out to be a very fun scent!  I admit to being a little surprised that the Tahitian Vanilla is a very light note and very hard to discern when first sniffing.  I may have to play with adding some other vanilla to see what I come up with, but it has a very nice licorice scent.  It’s not the strong scent of anise, so that makes it a little more child-friendly I think. 

I found that the Naughty or Nice FO is incredibly complex and I’ll have to experiment with it to see if I truly like it.  *grin* I’m not usually on the fence with scents, but that one is so complex that I don’t know what to make of it.  I have my product information sheet that tells what the notes are and what have you, but I prefer not to look at it, honestly.  I think it’ll be a great heavy note in some baking scents, since I get the dark note of clove, but the other spices are so well blended that it’s hard to pick them apart.  It may be a good addition to the pumpkin FO. 

My customer loyalty sample of Root beer Float FO isn’t quite what I expected.  Root beer itself has a licorice undertone, but it is a little stronger in this FO.  I’ll add it to some base and see how it changes, then let you know.  *smile*

Sex in the Shower FO truly does smell like fruit punch!!  I want to come up with a child friendly name too, so please leave ideas in the comments if you have any!  *grin*  Or even if you just have some ideas and we’ll find FOs to match the ideas.  I had some fun ideas, but they were a little misleading, so I discarded them.  The scent is so nostalgic and fun!  I love the adult name though.  Catches your eye, doesn’t it? lol  I’m so using the FO’s name!

The Maraschino Cherry FO is absolutely divine.  *sigh* It will add such an awesome note to some other fragrances!  It is the best cherry scent I have ever smelled.  I’m so excited to try it out and really hope that the scent does not change in product.  I think that it’ll make a very sexy body/massage oil too. *sassy grin*

I also got Santa’s Tree Farm FO.  It is definitely more of an evergreen.  I’m glad that I have some empty amber bottles, because I really look forward to blending this one.  I want to try blending it with Christmas Wreath and maybe a few spice scents.  Christmas in a bottle, basically.

I couldn’t resist getting a massive bottle of Bubblegum FO too.  I’ve used almost half of my first bottle all ready. 

To top it off, I got several ingredients for some acne facial remedies that I’m going to work on, a gallon jug of shampoo base, and the cutest little spatulas for people to use to sample when I have events.  They’re these tiny, adorable little black spatulas.  Of course, the picture made them seem a lot bigger.  I guess I really need to read dimensions a lot more. *grin* I know I have fat fingers, but these cute guys make me feel like a giant! 

Today I need to focus on court stuff, but I have to say that I always itch to drag out my supplies and play mad scientist when I get new stuff.  *grin* My app will get a lot more ideas typed into it today, I bet.


I have so many dang ideas that they’re overflowing, I swear.  I downloaded the Scatterbrain app to help me keep track.  Now that’s sad lol.  One of my goals if I get the money together is to offer more basket options.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the spa basket would be a delightful treat and the couples seduction basket is rather fun in my opinion *grin* (with erotic dice and couple coupons, and a few of my favorite products, that’s the makings of a fun weekend).  I want to do so much more though.

I would love to do a few teen options.  I’m getting ready to start making a few acne products to help out my niece (wow, still getting used to that) and start filling a sad lack in what I offer.  I’ve had a blast researching (I’m very up front about being a nerdy bookworm) and learned a lot more than what I all ready had in the vaults, so now I’m just waiting for my supply shipment to get into production.  The thing is, that’s just a few options.  I have this mental image of assembling several baskets for the holiday shopping extravaganza.  One I would love to do focusing on teaching teens the basics about skin care, with an emphasis on prevention.  I mean, if I’d known putting on sunglasses and not reading in low light would have prevented some of the crows feet, then I’d have definitely changed a few habits, I like to think.  I’d have in this basket some facial wash, scrub, soap, and maybe a few things that I don’t make, like a loofah and some facial wipes.  Another basket would be a teen spa kit.  It would have my absolute favorite book (“EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bombs for you and your friends” by Janice and Lauren Cox) with a few of the non-perishable ingredients that are common.  A lot of the ingredients in the recipes are perishable, which is why I don’t make the ideas in the book and sell them, but there are some basic ingredients like honey that would be perfect in the basket.  Then a few fun items like what’s in my spa basket; nail files, pedicure kit, etc.  I think that would be such a fun birthday or special sleepover project or gift.  It would also give the girl a great start to learning how to enjoy taking care of herself and some fantastic natural, and usually easy, ways to deal with whatever is going on with her body.  Plus, I’d love to put it all in a clear drawstring tote bag, instead of a basket.  I think they’re so cute!  Another basket would be a young man’s version.  I would probably get a plastic tote or something a little more practical for a guy to replace the basket, then focus on sexy and clean masculine scents to the products.  I’d make sure that they’re extremely easy to use items (not to be offensive, but most guys won’t do something for their body if it takes too many steps – I learned that when I sold Avon), with items that address their needs more (natural shoe odor/sweat absorbent powder, basic grooming kit, shaving whip, etc.).  It’s an exciting idea.  I personally love buying baskets for people who I have no idea what to buy for *grin*.  There’s bound to be some useful stuff and there’s a lot of thought put into them.

I’d also really like to have some additional seduction options.  I’d like to get more EOs, especially some natural aphrodisiacs.  The one that I have that is a more dominant aphrodisiac has a smell that I can’t stand, so I don’t push that one much (I usually blend it into others in a small quantity).  It’d be nice to have a seductive bath oil that helps a woman get into the right frame of mind *wink*.  A few body/massage oils that I can actually say can be used without as much care.  Pampering extends to a lot more than just putting some lotion on, after all.

Someday I also want to have a baby shower option.  Some chamomile and lavender products, some naturally healing balms, and some gentle items to pamper mom’s body too.  On a side note, that’s one of my biggest pet peeves about baby shower combos.  They typically always leave Mom out.  Seriously?!  That adorable little bun in the oven is causing some not-so-adorable physical issues for Mom, so let’s not forget her too!  Okay, I’m done with my complaint lol.  There are some really soothing scents out there (by the way, scientists believe that vanilla is the closest scent to a mother’s milk, which is why you are instinctively drawn to and soothed by it) and the cutest little soap molds to make some adorable party favor soaps! 

I like to think of the baskets as my chance to add neat little items that I don’t make that I’ve found along the way.  My wholesaler has the neatest shaving brushes.  I know it’s a bit nostalgic, but that’d be a cool little thing for the young man’s basket, in my opinion.  A jar of shaving whip with a shaving brush…cool!  There are these neat soap dishes that I read can be embedded into soap bars, so your soap has a built-in drain dish and never has a nasty side (super brilliant idea!), that I’d love to get and make.  I think I’d want to include that embedded soap in every regular basket.  I’d also love to do well enough to strike up a deal with a small business candle maker and include some handcrafted candles in the baskets, tailored to the theme of the baskets.  *happy sigh*  I could sigh from being frustrated that I can’t do even half of what is racing around in my brain, but it’s a happy sigh because I have some really fun goals and dreams.

My love of fragrances continued

I’m really excited to get a new FO for the holidays.  I’ve been pondering what would be a really cute soap that would make a great stocking stuff.  Finally I found it and am as antsy as the kid that will be opening said stocking – “Lump of Coal”.  Before you wrinkle your nose, rest assured that it’s a blend of vanilla and licorice.  Licorice is a logical choice for a black soap (by the way, anise EO smells like licorice and has some awesome natural benefits) and I just found a black soap dye, so I’m pretty excited.  I even got a pre-order of 4 just in talking about it!  No cute little holiday mold for this one though.  I’m going to take a medium sheet of foil, crinkle it up really well, and then make a nice tall rim on all sides.  When I pour the soap into it, it’ll get this neat texture from the jagged crinkles and it’ll be broken up into shards.  Not quite a lump, but it’s soap, so I’m not too worried about being precise. *grin*

Santa’s Tree Farm and Root Beer Float are two others that I’m pretty excited about.  I have Christmas Wreath, which is an awesome balsam fir scent (interestingly most people identify the scent of balsam with Christmas over evergreen I read), but the thought of a crisp evergreen scent had me clicking add to cart immediately.  I might blend the two, but I kind of want to play with the idea of putting some of this with some baking scents into my oil burner, and seeing what I think.  A lot of blend ideas come from the random mixtures I add to my oil burner.  *shrug* I guess inspiration comes from even the most simple places.  Now, root beer float is a whole other kettle of fish!  I have this mental image of a luxurious body scrub that reminds you of a soda fountain.  Swirls of brown and white, brown scrub and white being the creamy bath whip, looking beautiful in a small glass jar.  I think I’ll scent the plain bath whip with vanilla buttercream.  When you dip your fingers in to get some scrub, you’ll get a bit of both swirls, and you’ll get a delightful treat for your body.  Come to think of it, maybe I can do that with gingerbread and the new “naughty or nice” FO, since it’s mostly Christmas spice scents…

I have another fun one that is in the works that I think I’ll need to make two names for.  The FO itself has a risqué name that isn’t quite blog appropriate, which kind of explains why I need a second label name.  The risqué version will be for the adults and I’ll have a cute, child-friendly name for the younger or more conservative customers.  The scent is very similar to a popular fruit punch that we’ve all grown up on that is trademarked rather well. *grin* Honestly, I never would have thought of having another fruit blend in my line, except for the name.  As I’m scrolling through the “s” FOs for more Santa variations, this one dragged my attention right to it.  We’ll say it’s “‘fun’ in the shower”, but with an s variation. *wink*  Um, yeah…who can resist seeing what in the world that is about?!  Even a good girl has to check that out!  I read it and scrolled on, then scrolled back and hit add to cart when it dawned on me that if it made me look at it, then it’ll catch the attention of others who are just browsing.  I guarantee that there will be some more fragrance only entries, but for now, I’m just about out of space.  I hope you’re as anxious as me for the new scents! *grin*

My love of fragrances

I have a love affair with fragrances.  The idea that something that I create can comfort, invigorate, or even arouse someone is mind boggling.  At first I was incredibly precise and used the names of the fragrances that I had purchased and liked.  I admit that there are a few fragrances that will never make it into the products that I sell, sadly.  Once I got into things and learned more, I love to mix things up and make the fragrances mine.  That’s when it starts getting fun. 

I am all for food scents, primarily sweet.  The smell of an apple pie, pumpkin spice, or any variety of buttercream makes me totally happy.  I can be crabby as can be and take a whiff of cake batter FO, and I start to mellow out.  I don’t care for the straight up FO of pumpkin pie, so I blended it with some buttercream and now I have a scrumptious blend that makes me think of the dessert table at Thanksgiving. 

The funny thing to me is that essential oils (EO) are natural scents that are from plants that have proven natural benefits, yet I tend to have more effects from FOs.  I think it’s all about that trigger in the mind.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to become a certified aromatherapist, but cake batter always makes me think of a yummy cake for a childhood birthday, with tons of family and presents.  A plant can’t remind me of that.  I love that idea that an EO can lower my blood pressure, help me concentrate, or help my libido.  The entire concept is totally intriguing.  I keep dragging massive books home from the library that talk all about aromatherapy.  It’s just like in school; the more you learn, the more you find out that you don’t know squat.  So I’ll keep reading and researching, then applying it to my products.

Back to what I originally set out to tell you *grin*…One of the most awesome things to me is to have an empty amber glass container and starts adding scents.  I have pipettes rubber banded to each FO and EO bottle, to prevent contamination.  So I take a drop of Black Tie, a drop of musk, and a few drops of this and that (can’t give too many details or else it wouldn’t be my secret anymore *teasing smile*), and suddenly I have this sexy, deep scent.  I used some strong, heavy scents, which are called base notes.  Then a few others that enhance the scent, that you only pick up individually if you either have a great sniffer or are trying to pick them out, but those scents, called top notes, really help round out that scent.  Suddenly I have what I think is perfect for the character Jacob from Twilight (the reasoning will be in another post).  And then I get to toss around names.  I all ready have Edward’s Kiss and Bella’s Kiss, so I figured another kiss would be pretty lame.  Jacob’s Embrace sounded just right.  The custom scent has that dark, masculine scent that I would imagine from snuggling into him, that musk undertone from shifting and most likely not having the best hygiene *grin*, and the middle notes of the woods, since that’s where he is so often.  I really do think about my product names and try to coordinate to the notes in my scents.

There are a few scents that I just don’t mess with the FOs or the names, like Bubblegum.  It is just that and you can’t really mess with perfection.  The name and the scent automatically take you back to your childhood, and I don’t want to mess with that.  I left the name Dreamsicle, because I want to make you think of orange and vanilla melting on a hot summer day.  That one I add some vanilla to really boost that scent and what a difference a few drops make!

I think my favorite scent remains Edward’s Kiss.  It was the first blend I ever made and isn’t that complicated to make.  The scent itself is delightfully complicated though and I think it works well for both genders.  I personally find it to be a very sexy scent.  The secret to making the deeper, masculine notes pop is citrus.  Probably not what you would think, right?  The citrus makes the scent so crisp and fresh to me.  *happy sigh* It’s one of those scents that I could spray on a flannel, wrap up in, and fall asleep with a smile.  Just a touch of heaven.

My next custom scent I want to try making is Black Forest Cake.  I thought that it would make an incredibly indulgent scent for the luxurious bath whip line.  I just need to make sure to make the warning part on my label to not eat very bold.  I think it would be a really fun scent to make…those delightful layers.  Building a scent is a lot like making a luscious layered cake such as Black Forest.  Sure chocolate is dominant, but when you dig your fork into those layers of cake, you get a nice note of cherry…not too sweet and not too sour…usually a hint of vanilla is between some of the layers…maybe you like a dark chocolate curl on top of your cake to give a little pop?  It’s all of those little touches, those small notes, that really rounds out a scent.  I want you to smell the best cake you ever had, not the one you made in home ec that you want to forget. *smile*  I really love trying to figure out just what should be in a scent.

Just starting out

It was recommended to me that I start a blog to give an inside look at the mad scientist behind my homemade bath products. I can’t guarantee that you’ll find this a very witty blog, but I’ll strive to be interesting and informative. A word of warning, I love to emote. *grin* I’m also incredibly eccentric.

A little about my business. I’m all about “pampering with natural benefits”. The sad truth is that we are surrounded by chemicals and we slather them on, drink them, eat them, or breath them. It’s a fact of life. I figure that I can at least try to have a few chemicals in my life that are beneficial. I ended up researching aromatherapy and first started out making my own melt-and-pour soap (MP). Now, MP soap isn’t really making my own soap, but I can pick which base I use, what to add to it, and make it into neat shapes and colors to suit what I need or want. Somedays I just need a cute reindeer smiling at me when I’m grumpy. Don’t we all? That was a few years ago. I now make various MP soaps, bath salts, shampoo, multipurpose spray, lotions, and body oils. There are so many fun options that I am working on or dreaming about trying once I have the money, too.

Now, I don’t make some of my items from scratch. Much like MP soap, there are tons of bases out there, and if they’re more beneficial than what I can do on my own, and safer for everyone involved, then I’m all for it. When I order a base I do a lot of research. I find out what beneficial ingredients are in it, the reviews of other crafters who have used it, and what version will best suit the needs of me and my prospective customers. I have a very picky body with lots of sensitivities, so I figure that I’m probably the pickiest customer, and often shop with my own limitations and needs in mind.

When I make something I try to have a purpose behind it. Start with lotion…I love a certain not always in my budget bath store at the mall. My complaint is that I’m shelling out $9-$15 for a lotion that smells incredible and moisturizes, but doesn’t do much else. Plus, I have to be fluent in latin to know what’s in it. So, when I picked a lotion base, I found one that had less ingredients, had sunflower oil and allantoin (I’ll go over benefits of ingredients in other posts) in it, and didn’t cause irritation. I found an awesome wholesaler that has great explanations, incredible customer service, and lots of products that are so great that I can stand behind anything I make with them. And then I really had fun! I bought fragrance oils (FOs for future reference). I’m constantly looking at, buying, and making my own FOs. Love ’em like crazy. Then I started thinking about what scents would evoke a response…

And I’m out of space so I will pick this up later *grin* I hope I haven’t bored you too much yet!

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