Most helpful positive review
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Make your own lovely soap!
on 12 December 2009
I already own a couple of soap-making books, and have had a few goes at making my own soap. I wish I'd had this little book from the start though, as it explains the chemistry and processes of soapmaking very simply but comprehensively.
There's lots of lovely recipes to try, with detailed but clear instructions, and the emphasis firmly on natural ingredients. As well as the traditional cold-process method, it also covers how to make translucent and liquid soaps. A few of the recipes use some very expensive essential oils, such as jasmine and neroli - personally I think these are far too costly to use in soap and would substitute them with something cheaper myself! However there are plenty of less extravagant recipes, and also recipes for shampoo bars, shaving soap and even a soap for washing dogs! I learnt some new things from this book and the recipes look a bit more interesting than some in my other books, for example it explains how to make herbal infusions to use in your soap, instead of always using plain water, and how to make milk soaps.
It's a slight pity that all of the soap recipes contain palm oil, which is a rather controversial ingredient (due to rainforests being cleared to grow palm plantations). The author does stress to only use ethically produced palm oil, still it would have been nice to have a few palm-free recipes included.
Overall though I thought this book really good value for money, and surprisingly informative - I must say I only bought it as I came across it at a very cheap price, and I wasn't expecting such a small book with no photos to be that useful or interesting, but I was pleasantly surprised!
If you're wanting to try making your own soaps, I think this book would be an excellent place to start.