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Customer Review

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soap making not simply a craft, 9 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Natural Soap (Paperback)
This book is not only a great introduction to the art of soap making but also describes how you can turn your hobby into a business run from home while not shirking from describing the potential `headaches' that go with this. In her Introduction the author also talks about how soap making has enabled her to engage in social soap making enterprises in Africa. May I add that I have found that soap making is also great for enlarging your own social network through soaping groups?

The book covers traditional cold process soap making, hot process and also a technique where the only heat used to melt the oils and fats comes from the lye solution itself. I have tried this method and found the quality of the finished soaps was actually improved. There is also a comprehensive section on both liquid soap making and creams and lotions.

The book does not spare you the technical side of soap but it does this quite effortlessly remaining thoroughly readable throughout. It is stuff you really have to know if you want to be a serious soap maker. There is even a surgery where you are told how ailments can be cured. The recipes in the book are readily made in your own kitchen often using utensils you will likely have to hand. Each step of the soap making process is fully explained including the basic ingredients, additives, essential oils and fragrances. Particularly useful are the many tips learned from bitter experience. The many diversely sourced recipes in the book ranging from the botanical wonders of Africa to using silk fibres to make your soap feel silky are not to be missed. Accompanying the recipes are equally many elegantly nuanced photographs.

The author at one point states that natural soap making is alchemy. I think this book with its many exotic recipes is an alchemist's guide to soap making enabling you to bring something of the elixir of soap into your home.
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