Most people bake cookies and make candy around Christmas. I find pleasure in making soap to give as gifts. I doubt that there will ever be a soap exchange in my neighborhood, although my soap making friends would love the idea.
The first soap I made was from rendered beef tallow and I’ve also made soap from bear and buffalo fat, but bubbling vats of fat aren’t a pleasant experience. Now I use olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil to make the bars, but the fun part is mixing the essential oils. Most perfumes give me terrible headaches, but for some reason, essential oils are soothing. It brings me great pleasure to mix them up and pour them in the saponifying mixture. One blend I call, “Glacier Rain” is a simple blend of Siberian fir and lavender. I asked friends who had traveled to Italy what fragrances I’d smell in the air and so was born “Tuscan Morning”, a blend of rosemary, peppermint and lemon. “Tuscan Breeze” is rosemary, orange and cedar and “Tuscan Rain” is bergamot, lavender and rosewood.
What gifts do you give that bring you pleasure?