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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 January 2017
I have an earlier book of hers, used like a bible, so got this one too but yet to have time to read and do more soap making
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on 24 September 2017
Great ideas and goes into what's needed to go commercial too. Simple recipes - though most use sodium hydroxide, which I don't feel safe to use yet.
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on 8 October 2012
I purchased this book several months ago, and have been trying many of the soap recipes. The book offers a considerable variety of soaps to make from basic ingredients, using the cold process method, including hard and soft soaps. The book is easy to follow with comprehensive instructions, and descriptions of all ingredients.

All but one of the soap recipes worked well, the sea salt soap did not work for me. The recipes are varied and offer an insight into possibilities for making your own soaps.

The book also includes sections on creams and balms. I am about to make some of these, and given the success of the soaps, I am fully confident the recipes for these will work well.

Some of the ingredients e.g. watermelon oil, have proved impossible to source in the UK, at least I haven't found a source. However, I think this book deserves a 5 star rating.

If you are looking for a book to instruct you in how to make soaps I can recommend this one.
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on 31 October 2013
As I started with soap making, after a lot of searching, I decided to get this book to start off. I feel very annoyed now at how this book taught me the wrong from the start, not a great way to get going. I quickly corrected it by reading other books and forums and realising that the technique used in this book is very lazy and nowhere near traditional.
The safety guidelines are good and the backgrounds as well. But when it comes to the recipes, I would not bother! 3 batches failed, and this after using the highest quality ingredients and following the recipe word by word. The images are completely misleading. Reading this book back now after months of experience I'm quite shocked that some of these recipes have actually passed safety assessment tests! Massive amounts of essential oils are NOT good for your skin, and you can certainly not call something 'natural' when it contains oxides and dyes for colouring, not to mention animal fat!

If I was to take anything form this book, it would be combinations for recipes, but start your recipe from scratch and run everything through a lye calculator, as the recipes in here are definitely not correct.

The are many other books out there at a fraction of the price, and 10 times better. Try "Make your own soap" by Joy James, fantastic little book with the proper foundations and flawless recipes.
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on 20 September 2012
This is the most recent of Melinda's books on soapmaking and, as she herself admits, incorporates certain changes in procedures from those described in her earlier books, which experience has shown her to be beneficial. The end result is a comprehensive and well-written book which tells it like it is. Some may not like to hear that healing properties of oils will to a large extent be destroyed by the soapmaking process or that setting up a soapmaking business requires skills which are at least if not more important than the ability to make nice soap.

However, this is a good buy and even experienced soapmakers will find something of interest in it as Melinda has included formulations based on her experiences in Africa and the product she found there.

There is a section on spa products which is just the right length, constituting an introduction to the subject rather than attempting to go into the creation of spa products in depth.

The photography is excellent and in general enhances the book both visually and as a means of providing information.

It is, in fact, hard to fault this book. Will you learn everything about soapmaking from it? No. But you will learn enough to start making nice soap and to gain a realistic idea of what running a soapmaking business involves
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on 7 March 2017
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on 9 November 2011
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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on 25 October 2011
This book is so lovely to look at and has good instruction. The soaps look lovely and are made with good ingredients. The lotions etc at the back are also really nice, I can not wait to try them. There are even instructions for making liquid soap. Very good value for the price.
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on 23 June 2017
Very good book would recommend this as a first time read for anyone interested in soap making and potential business venture good advice and pointers as how to go about it.
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on 17 September 2017
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