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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
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.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2010
I own 3 soap making books to date this is the best by far! This book has good sound SAFE advice on soap making, great info on ingreadients and the recipes use vegetable oils. The downside of this book is there are no pretty photo's, of soap just hand-drawn illustrations. Not a book for the coffee table, more for the kitchen and getting stuck into making really good soap, from tried and tested recipes, if you only buy one book on soap making this in my opinion is the one to buy.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 June 2010
The book is very clear and easy to follow.

The suppliers are all British, and the weighing system is dual UK/American.

It's assumed that you would prefer not to use animal fats, and uses a combination of palm oil and coconut oils with no animal fat recipes included.

What is interesting is that the author recommends lower temperatures 95-104 f, whereas other authors recommend higher temperatures of 130 f.
The lower temperatures ensures the oils and additives retain their therapeutic qualities.

A worthwhile buy, despite having no photographs to inspire the novice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2010
This book is THE BEST book I have ever read on how to make soap!!! It is informative yet simple. Other books I have read make soap making seem like rocket science but this book makes it so simple and easy to follow. I also like the suggestions on how to make your soap environmentally friendly by purchasing palm oil not grown in rainforests (they chop rainforests down just to grow it!!). I would really recommend this book to anyone wanting to make their own, chemically free, environmentally friendly soap! Also, there all sorts of different recipes and ways of changing the look of your soap, for example, marble effects. DONT LOOK ANYWHERE ELSE!!! BUY THIS BOOK!! =)
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2010
On the whole this is a super little book for someone like me who is still in the beginning stages of soap making. However do watch out for part 5 of the soap making recipe where Sarah says to add the water to the sodium hydroxide crystals. This is very dangerous ~ always add the crystals to the water. Therefore, what could have been a '10 out of 10' book went down in my estimation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2010
Lovely looking compact book - covers all the areas for a novice in clear concise sections. Great recipes enough to inspire me to give it a go !! may convert our family back to soap from showergel - you can make a soap for your own particle needs using lovely natural ingredients and i am sure the soaps will make super presents.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2010
This book is great for beginers such as me.It will give you all the information you need in a very simple way to make natural good for your skin soap.Not very fancy soap but this is another advantage of this book.Emphasises more on quality rather than appearance.It has though hints for marbled soap and extra additives eg poppy seeds etc.my only complain is that so far the recipes i have tried do not seem to smell what is promised.The chocoholic does not smell chocolate but rather nutmeggy which is one of the ess oils used.Also if you decide to use the saponification chart it does not specify whether it is a strict chart or it is calculated for mild superfatting result.also at the same place of book suggests that lye should be 1/3 of water in weight roughly whereas i have found online that water should be 1/3 of oils in weight.not sure which is right but could both be. I only owe this little sweet book about soapmaking.I made 4 batches and none failed so far. maybe there other good books out there but if your are a beginer definetely consider this one .Happy Christmas soaping :)))
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2010
I am so glad I made this the first book I bought about soap making. It was in-depth and helped me to take the first steps into soap making.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 22 February 2010
This is the first book I have bought on this subject and I chose it through a recommendation in a review for another soap book I was considering. I was not disappointed. Although I haven't had time yet to experiment I find the book clear and not at all intimidating so I am looking forward to having a bit of spare time to have a go. I have wanted to do some soap making for a long time but always thought the process far too complicated - this book has encouraged me to try a few recipes. I would think that for those like me who are just starting this would make an excellent first choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2012
This was the first soap making book I got, and whilst it's a fairly sweet little book with some nice sounding recipes, I've had very little success with it. Firstly, the soap making method seems much more complicated than other books and I really struggled to do it properly first time round. Secondly, I've tried about 4 of the recipes in here and only one has worked.

For first time soap makers, I would recommend Soap Maker's Workshop instead.
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