Conceptual Soap Opera

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Notorious Lyear
Jan 14, 2021
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I'll open this thread to dump ideas and results of some (more or less experimental) approaches that came to my mind (and my curing rack) over time. There will be updates in loose succession. If you think you have something in line to present, feel free to join!

I know too well that, in our ruthless times of postmodernist relativism without bounds, nobody cares any more about the motifs and opinions of originators, but I'll at least attempt to clarify my title choice anyway:
Conceptual – focused on inner values, not so much optimised for beauty or superficial appeal. Beauty shots are present, but are intended to reveal the unflattering/boring/ugly reality of the soaps, rather than attract attention.
Soap – self-explanatory
Opera – plural of Latin opus (n.): “work, accomplishment, product”
Canology (age 34 days)

  • 85% canola, of which 57% unrefined canola oil and 25% canola wax (hydrogenated canola oil). There might be a reason in case these numbers appear familiar to you.
  • The remaining 3% are canola lecithin. Opinions of this community on lecithin, a natural surface-active agent, are inconclusive. Some report that it is useful to slow down trace, or to tame accelerating FOs. The colour can be deterring, lecithin formulations vary between bright yellow and dark brown. I thought it is worth a try (or, in fact, several). As a potent O/W emulsifier, lecithin is able to stablilise emulsion in split-batter recipes, so far that it can dissolve a few % of liquid soap into oils – to a clear solution! Unfortunately, once the lye is added, the emulsion breaks up, and it is unclear if anything is gained from this (apart from not needing a stick blender).
  • Balance is 15% palm kernel oil
  • Lye was dissolved in apple cider vinegar
  • Hot process: batter as lye-neutral as possible with kitchen precision, with 1 % of each the canola oil and the lecithin saved as superfat. After the previous observation, I don't expect the fragile lecithin molecules to survive prolonged lye contact, so I added some of it as late superfat, to observe if it had any lasting impact on the soap. I emulsified these remaining oils with water (they turned into a gloopy, egg-yolk like gel). Once the batter reached gel phase, I added the canola yolk into the batter, and scooped the goo into silicone moulds (at 17%ppo residual moisture).
  • It was rock hard merely one day after making it – little headspace to harden up in the meantime! I'm not sure what to expect from curing it longer than a few days.
  • Sink performance: confusingly similar to castile soap (?). Ropes of castile slime sloughing from the bar, to slowly turn into a glassy lather that is neither particularly creamy nor fluffy. It washes off well, and the skin feels castile-dry (slightly chalky) afterwards, not so much lauric-dry (stripped, irritated). It appears that these bars have an incredible longevity, in line with these observations. In the future, I will incorporate KOH and/or castor oil and/or sorbitol again. I've also found my personal upper limit for stearic acid (23%) with this batch. Shea butter and soy wax aficionados – what are your experiences with high-stearic soaps?
  • If all you have are chocolate silicone moulds, everything (including canola wax) will turn into a bar of chocolate! (see left in the photo). Once I've molten it out of the candle jar, I poured it into the bar moulds, and now they are so easy to handle and dose! The downside of stocking up with hydrogenated oilseed wax from retail candles is that you have no idea about the type/manufacturer of the wax, let alone its precise properties/composition.
  • Presentation with apologies to @Albertina 's avatar 😉
Maximum Sunflowers ft. My First Purposeful Dreaded Orange Spot (age 61 days)


Can you spot it? (pun intended)

Some semi-systematic research on oils, fatty acid profiles (oleic vs. linoleic), DOS & prevention in CP. Each bar is made up by 80% soft oil, 15% palmitic/stearic acid, and 5% babaçu oil. I added the hard oils (plus sodium lactate) to ensure that the soaps would harden up in a reasonable time. Taking the cute sunflowers off their silicone moulds was easy two days after making.
The topmost bar is made with extra virgin olive oil, the second with high-oleic sunflower oil. The three remaining are based on high-linoleic sunflower oil (49% PUFA), with different ROE additions to them: The first has none; the second 70 ppm ppo carnosic acid (about the time-proven dosage of 0.1%), and the third got 480 ppm ppo, way more than recommended.
Upon addition of ROE, the lightly yellowish soap batter had turned orange-brown; this faded quickly with the low dosage, but was a lot deeper and turned into a dirty turquoise at the high levels; some rosemary odour is still noticeable too.

The outside of the high oleic soaps (> 55% oleic acid) is covered by a matte, chalky and crumbly layer (not soda ash, which had developed on the open surfaces of all soaps; rather I have the lactate under suspicion). Meanwhile the high-linoleic soaps look shiny and slightly translucent, like polished marble. Two months in, they still feel soft and silky, and hold their precise replication of the silicone moulds.
Obviously I haven't made a wash test yet. I've wanted to give DOS a chance! Only today, my waiting had an end: I found that I finally have got one shy yellowish speck on the un-ROE'd HL soap.
I will watch closely (and share) how this soap and the others develop over time. First success is that I was able to provoke DOS. Secondly, this translates into an upper limit for shelf life of high-linoleic soaps under fair storage conditions (dark, dry, room temperature with air exchange, no contact to metals). I'm thinking to wait another few weeks, and then cut the soaps open, to see how they look inside (and to test their wet properties, but still have untouched surfaces to watch).
Red Palm liquid soap (age 113 days)


80% red palm oil + 20% castor oil, KOH lye at 4% discount, cold process. Added 20%ppo glycerol.

Dilution to a liquid soap initially gave a deep red, clear solution, that developed an orange sediment over a few weeks (most probably potassium salts of palm stearin). I decanted, took the clear liquid on top and let it evaporate slowly about a fourth of its water content. It turned into this gorgeous pumpkin cream soup. A bummer that it's such a mess to actually use it. It stains everything with a notorious yellow, including the lather! Initially, it even stained the skin, although it became a bit more tame over the weeks and months.

I like the odour of the soap. Unrefined palm oil has a strange, sweetish-sour but also floral smell that isn't very agreeable all in all. But lye appears to break down many of the unpleasant components, and what remains in soap is sweetish, a bit malty, and reminds me of popcorn/cinema. Free of lauric oils, the soap still lathers nicely, and leaves the skin moist with no sensation of stripping/dryness.

An interesting aspect of LS that is high in hard fats (estimated 30% palmitic acid in this case) is its behaviour under the clarity test.
Although seemingly fully dissolved, the soap fails to produce a clear solution in cold water (left). But this is a false positive! The clarity test is meant to detect unsaponified oils (which I can exclude due to lengthy storage and decantation). Instead, the same soap crystal carpet that lends the concentrated soap its opacity just doesn't fully dissolve into cold water. Heating up in the microwave increases solubility, and the solution becomes entirely clear within seconds (middle). Cooling down again, the crystals precipitate again, initially in form of beautiful, ever-changing mother-of-pearl swirls (I could watch them for hours! 😍), and eventually the milky appearance is restored.
Too bad about that red palm causing staining... the gorgeous pic totally had me wanting to try it. I was thinking about a pumpkin FO and giving it to a friend of mine who loves anything pumpkin (as in, she waits in the long line at Starbucks the day they release the pumpkin spice lattes for the holiday season).
There is probably no reason (except my bias towards excess) to go that high with the red palm oil. 20% of it + 20% soy wax + 60% whatever usually is in a LS probably gives a very similar look, but with a lot less staining danger.
Or better: make the batch of red palm soap separately, and mix it into an uncoloured LS until you reach your desired depth of colour. This stuff is really crazy intense, beyond carrots, think of the brightest Hokkaido squash, nearly like safety vests or price tags.
There is probably no reason (except my bias towards excess) to go that high with the red palm oil. 20% of it + 20% soy wax + 60% whatever usually is in a LS probably gives a very similar look, but with a lot less staining danger.
I've never made liquid soap. Occasionally I use red palm oil at a max of 5% -- can't imagine 80%!! It reminds me of Dial soap, not sure if it's still on the market. 1619637273259.png
PumpKinG™ (age 3 hours)


I was astonished to find how little attention pumpkin seed oil gets from the soapmaking community. Sure, it isn't probably any “more miraculous” than most other high-linoleic oils, and its incredible so-green-that-it's-red appearance doesn't make it over into a soap. But still. I wouldn't rest until I knew how it is like. Circumventing the dosage limitations of bar soap, by making liquid soap instead. That way I can ramp up all the way to 84% pumpkin seed oil, plus 8% each of palm kernel and castor.

Another first-timer for me is the airless bottle that will keep out air from the container even after broaching. Ideal for bottle fermentation, heh? After ensuring that the plastic is lye-safe, I dissolved KOH in a quarter of the final amount of water within the airless bottle, and weighed the castor oil and half of the pumpkin seed oil directly into it. Still warm from the lye dissolution, the reaction started quickly, and reached applesauce phase after a few minutes of gentle shaking.
I let it react for two hours. In the meantime, I grated up 11%ppo of pure palm kern oil NaOH bar soap I had lying around from a previous experiment, and dissolved it into the remaining water (heated). Added the residual pumpkin seed oil and stirred to emulsion.
The primary soap has already entered gel phase when I added the second-stage oil milk. As an extra gadget, just before closing I injected a bit of lighter gas (butane) on top of the liquid, to displace any air inside the bottle.

Another hour in a hot water bath, everything has combined to a honey-like liquid with the appearance of chocolate sauce. From minor lumps of soap gel floating around, I expect that this mix has the potential to become a clear, dark red liquid (after full saponification and settling of air bubbles), but I'm not sad if it doesn't. I'll give it all the time of the world to reach equilibrium. The airless bottle/butane protective atmosphere (hopefully) excludes the air over a prolonged time. For now, it's back in the water bath, that will slowly cool down to room temperature overnight.
Oleic/Exotic MUFA chain length comparison – Japan Castile series (age 7 days)


Oleic acid is not the only mono-unsaturated fatty acid, but little anecdotal reports circulate about the others. Not too surprising, since they are really rare (<1%) in most oils that are accessible to soapmaking. However, there are a few outliers:
  • Macadamia nut oil resembles HO sunflower oil, just with a third of its oleic acid C18:1 replaced by palmitoleic acid C16:1 (chain length shorter by two carbon atoms, see molecule model below). Sea buckthorn oil is another good source, but it is totally out of question as a base oil for several reasons.
  • Some Brassica species contain considerable amounts of erucic acid C22:1 (chain longer by four carbons wrt oleic acid). High-erucic rapeseed/canola is an industrial staple, but crambe/abyssinia oil is easier to get in sample quantities. It has a C22:1 content of whopping three quarters of its MUFAs, and otherwise is very similar to HO safflower oil.
So I went ahead, and made three boring castile-inspired soaps, who differ only by the oleic (or better: MUFA) oil. Full equality is impossible due to the different saponification values (a direct consequence from chain length: the shorter the chains, the more lye is needed to saponify some mass of oil). So far, each recipe contains 93% MUFA oil (macadamia, HO safflower, abyssinia), 7% Japan wax (to help with hardness, and lift the content of saturated fats roughly onto the level of olive castiles), and as much of 43% lye as needed to end up with 3% lye discount. ROE to taste, mild CPOP.


The safflower (18) soap behaved in the same boring manner as to expect from ordinary Castiles (slow emulsion, slow trace, slow unmoulding…). It has become quite opaque, and developed a slight amount of soda ash.

The abyssinia (22) soap was worse: slower emulsion, slower trace, and after 5 days of impatience, I had to cut open the PP mould to get it out in one piece. Unexpectedly, it initially (first few days) hardened up quicker than the safflower soap (you see that I couldn't engrave the 22 into the surface as deep as the 18), but little happened afterwards. No soda ash. Note how it looks much more translucent than the safflower castile. The refined abyssinia oil was the lightest coloured of all three, but the high transparency nullifies this.

Finally, the macadamia (16) soap surprised me with an instantaneous colour change into a hazelnut spread like hue upon lye addition! Mere stirring for a few seconds resulted in emulsion already, and it traced fastest. Just to find out after a few days that it was even worse stuck to the mould than the crambe soap, and I had to cut apart that mould too (You don't want to see the undersides of these soaps 😜).

Quick recap from this early stage: Chain length is a secondary parameter. The number of double bonds really is what distinguishes classes of fatty acids (hence oils, hence soap types) from each other. Yes, it makes a difference if a MUFA has 16, 18, or 22 carbon atoms, but all in all, they're still similar enough to technically justify grouping them together. What is a luxury problem (single-digit percentages) with most oils, can for some be a major question mark for soapy maths. Not least animal fats (tallows), that contain considerable amounts of palmitoleic acid.

Can't (but must!) wait for wash/solubility/lather test!
Sweet & Salty Crunch Bars (age 1½ days)


Salt bars everywhere! They've finally come here too.
Just the simplest of all recipes: 100% lauric oil (I used half-half palm kernel and babaçu), 20% superfat, 25% NaOH lye concentration, and 100%TOM addition of “filler crystals” stirred in somewhere between emulsion and light trace.
But that's of course not the whole story. I remembered a discussion with @Orla, @szaza and a few others a while back, about the worth of erythritol in soap. Now, erythritol differs from most other sugars and polyols in a rather low water solubility, that is more in line with NaCl table salt (!) than with cane sugar, sorbitol, or let alone glycerol. It also “feels” dry, isn't hygroscopic, and doesn't clump as much as other sugar alcohols are infamous for.
[ETA: Nearly forgotten the other motivation: I had added erythritol, albeit only a few %, into a rebatched high-oleic many months ago and had forgotten about it. Rediscovered a few days ago, it had become rock hard with some crystals shimmering on the surface, that reminded me of what people report from salt bars.]
Hombre time! I started with making the bare batter, separated it into two, and added 100%TOM sea salt (regular salt shaker granulation) to the one, and 100%TOM erythritol (in similar crystal size) to the other. The leftmost (salt) and rightmost (erythritol) soaps in the photo are these pure soaps, and in between 75/25, 50/50, 25/75 mixes of either. So either bar has 100%TOM solid content, and the erythritol fraction increases from left to right.

In all batters, the crystals stayed noticeable by touch of the spatula for the whole time, as they are still visible to the eye. Noteworthy with the erythritol-rich batters was that it underwent some false trace, I attribute this to the negative heat of solution of erythritol (gets cold when dissolving in water), that thickened up the oils – nothing a well-meaning CPOP couldn't solve 🤣.

I had some sweating issues on all of the soaps. The “dew” had different appearance between the more salty or more diabetic blocks, but all were affected. Nothing too serious, within 24 hours after pouring the droplets either reabsorbed or dried up.

Unmoulding was a breeze with the pure salt bar, reasonably decent with the pure erythritol bar, but more or less catastrophic with the mixed bars. For some reason having both types of crystals in the young soaps made them very brittle, and the slowly hardening soap couldn't keep the crystal sediments together.

I'm not sure where the yellowish colour of the intermediate bars come from. They have some odd smell to them, but DOS after one day, from 100% lauric oils? Idk. My other suspicion is that it were residues that leeched out of the silicone; I had used the moulds before for messing around with red palm oil.
Anyway thanks to the brittleness it is clear that it is a superficial issue, and I'll know better a few days/weeks/months in how things go.

One stunning detail during CPOP is transparency: The higher the erythritol content, the more translucent the soap was when hot. It seems like the heat reminded the polyol-bearing soap of its close relation to M&P base. The soaps opacified again after cooling down, but the pure erythritol bar still looks a bit like ice.

Now it's time for P A T I E N C E . . .
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Hardness/Longevity additives for castile (age 121 days)

Too long that I didn't clear up the backlog of posts & updates in this series, lol. Today I eventually took the opportunity to test a simplistic high-oleic soap with five types of mostly-hardness additions.
Each soap cubelet is 78% HO safflower + 22% hard fat (see table below), dual-lye with 7% KOH aimed at 2% SF (a bit difficult though, due to the tiny batch size of 15 g oils per soap), and as the fanciest other additive: lime juice as a source of citrate (DOS/soap scum protection).
Due to the high melting points of some ingredients (up to 60°C) I made a “medium process” somewhere between CP/HP/CPOP: I pre-heated all ingredients to CPOP temperature, put the mould into the oven, then stirred after 20 minutes to judge tracing behaviour, and again after 1 h (sloped top to judge thickness of batter).
The very photogenic soap samples:
After giving each a test under realistic shower conditions, I let them sit in water for four hours to compare endurance under wet conditions.
At making time, the additives behaved quite differently, but in the finished soap, they behaved very similar. Hard to find any distinctions at all. Hadn't I marked which one is which, I couldn't tell them apart. The only exception is the candle stearin, that was soap-on-a-stick and got some whitish specks on it.

All have a silken look and waxy feel to them, terrible tendency to form castile slime, and give off hardly any lather. Soak tests were more or less devastating (to little surprise): each soap was covered in a several mm thick layer of soft, white goo.

(No comment means no noticeable difference from the average behaviour)

22% hard fatRemarks from makingWash test remarks (dry)Wash test remarks (soaked)
Canola wax (low mp type)very well-behaved/slow moving, stays fluid for quite some timeLittle goo, creamy, virtually no lather
Japan waxwell-behaved, slight accelerationCreamy, slightly sticky latherGoo appears “curdled”
E 471 (mono- & diglycerides of hydrogenated palm oil (?))slightly accelerates trace (false trace?)Noticeably slimy and ropy, but also halfways decent lather
Palmitic acid (FFA stearin candle)instantaneous ricing“Short” slime, harder/slowest to rub off soap
Dermofeel Viscolid POFeasy to incorportate, but prone to false traceThickest layer of goo, best lather

The Viscolid (INCI: Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil) is actually sold as an oil thickener (not made for soap, but that doesn't keep me from using it here 🤣). I've made a few experiments with it so far, and none contradicts that it is essentially pure tristearin. (Haven't bothered to titrate its SAP value, though)

All in all, my conclusions from this survey are:
  • All tested hard-fat additives are better for HP than CP. Some are strictly HP (FFA stearin, E 471, Viscolid), while canola wax and Japan wax have limited use in CP (keep an eye on false trace).
  • All tested hard-fat additives behave essentially the same in the final soap. That's a particularly valuable point wrt canola wax, since it obviously doesn't matter so much that it's by far not fully hydrogenated: it isn't worse in adding hardness to a problematic soap recipe (castile after too short of a curing time) than the others. I've previously used the Japan/canola wax combo in a few other recipes, and these observations confirm (for me) that I've done nothing wrong and I can stay with that comfortable route to raise palmitic and stearic content with hardly any side effects.
  • Neither additive (not even in conjunction with KOH/dual lye) can effectively fight ropyness of castile slime. Oleic acid comprises around 61% of the oils, and none of the presented recipes can mask that. On the other hand, the skin feel of the soaps is considerably different than castile (no chalky dryness), and more similar to balanced oil blend recipes than to HO/true castile (weren't there the rather disappointing lather). So these are not just castile soaps with a step up in hardness/curing speed short-cut.
  • Viscolid isn't magic. It's just not worth the extra hassle with provoking false trace. It has its value for jellifying liquid oils (for balms, creams, lotion bars etc.), but that's about it. Soft/low-melting hydrogenated oils are more universal and don't perform worse for hardening up soap.
  • More confetti/mosaic embeds! 🤪
A soap with a “Very Balanced Recipe™”, with an accidental gel ombré (age 1 day)

Ucuuba butter (among the closely related nutmeg butter) is the only oil that has more myristic acid than any other FA. That's of course, at best, tangential to the actual reasons why it is a worthy addition to cosmetics 😛. So it is pure incidence that, with a tiny jar of it finally in my hands, I now have all the ingredients to formulate a “very balanced” soap recipe:
Like already noted elsewhere I didn't rely on SMFriend's buggy Ucuuba profile, but emulated it by its FAs (but I actually used it for SAP/lye amount). You might notice that I seemingly failed to get the P/S ratio straight, but don't worry, since I've used fully hydrogenated canola (rather than soy), it's everything perfectly balanced (an embarrassing amount of math has gone in there…), and the reading error of the scale is definitely the largest source of uncertainty.

Besides the obviously pointless sporty challenge of the flattened FA profile, I'm actually curious how it'll turn out after curing. Lauric oils (PKO, coconut & friends) always give you lauric:myristic at ~5:2, with little variation; so there is little chance to learn how to distinguish what the separate FAs can add to soap on their own. But heh, 24% PUFA, that's really the sort of quality content that my linoleic heart wants to see!

Back to topic. Palm stearin, Japan wax, but (worst) hydrogenated canola (Viscolid), are, well, let's call them “self-willed” ingredients to make CP soap with, due to their high melting points and notoriety for false trace. Not that I didn't know this from previous disasters – but what options did I have?
So I melted up the blend (needed to stay above 60°C to get a clear melt – decide yourself if you still want to call this “cold process”), added still-hot lye solution, and had trace after two stirs with a spatula. So far so easy. A few seconds later it decided to turn into a gloppy goo, just after I've started to pour it into silicone moulds (here comes the false trace!). I somehow still scooped it into the moulds and got the top somewhere near level.

Clever me then remembered to fetch my infrared spotlight (originally intended for heat therapy, but alsas, who am I to abstain from off-label use?)!
(Poor white balance despaired upon that light colour, lol)

So I irradiated the soap with heat rays, and could literally watch the soap first sweat, then melt up, and eventually enter gel phase, within minutes. It felt softer and softer to the touch (sides, through the silicone), while the un-IR-ed stayed stubborn hard. When it started blistering (boiling off water at the top), I heightened the lamp to increase the distance (lower the heating rate). After about half an hour of in-the-mould emergency HP, I decided to let the lye to do all the rest of the work.

The next morning, it was unmoulding time. Look what the one-sided IR treatment has caused:
It fully gelled at the top, but the infrared obviously wasn't penetrating deep enough to support the lower half of the bar to go through gel. So I ended up with a gel gradient, that really looks like ombré, just not caused by a gradual mixing of colourants, but temperature gradient.

The sandy colour is partly due to the flaxseed, but mostly from the deep brown Ucuuba butter (its texture and colour resembles a grainy, sticky gianduja, and it smells/tastes like mediocre BBQ potato chips seasoned with an extra portion of nutmeg).
Time for some wrap-ups and status reports!


Canology (7½ months in)
Pro: It's got abundant yet creamy lather, and it's all in all a nice bar of soap. It stayed with its muted creamy olive colour. and is remarkably long-lasting. Warm, dry, yet slightly chalky skin feel. The tightness mellowed out.
Con: A bit too hard and brittle for my taste. Slightly rough and “sandy” to the touch (but less severe than earlier on)
Verdict: A few months in, this soap had made me wonder if high-stearic/elaidic (canola/soy wax) was any good, but it turned out to be alright. I like a more balanced P/S ratio better.

Maximum Sunflowers (8½ months in)
Pro: The turquoise colour of the 480 ppm ROE completely vanished. None of the soaps smells in any way.
Con: All three soaps, with and without ROE, caught some (more) DOS! But it's still superficial spots only, not an invasion of the complete soap body.
Verdict: The ROE advantage wrt rancidity has gone. 50% linoleic acid is just too much to keep the DOS demons at distance over the months. I love how silken the soaps feel. DOS danger aside, high-linoleic soaps really are worth the waiting. Time to test these as soaps?

Red Palm LS (10 months in)
Not much left, but still going strong! The colour speaks for itself. And it kept its sweet smell.

PumpKinG (6 months in)
Leakage! It turns out the airless bottles aren't quite as watertight as I had expected. A good part of the LS has found its way past the movable stopper inside the airless bottle, to collect at the bottom of the cylinder – and worse: since airless bottles are open at the underside (for air pressure reasons), it leaked out of the bottle!
The LS itself has a lovely, honey-thick consistency, is deep brownish-red and fully transparent, but I had to dilute it once. Since the invention of the PumpKinG™, my understanding of LS viscosity has grown a lot, and should I aim for “on point bottle fermentation” again, it'd be much less guesswork.

MUFA chain length comparison (6 months in)
HL Safflower (18:1) – Typical castile: hardened up nicely, made up the mediocre lather but a surplus in ropy slime instead. Not overly long-lasting. Leavesthe skin with the archetypal “castile dry”, chalky-dry feel.
Abyssinia (22:1) – kept its translucent look and gummy feel. Pulls and soaks moisture from everywhere and becomes even softer then. Dissolves quicker into thick slime, that however has less of the “castile ropy” character. Virtually zero lather, even than the safflower castile. Very roughly speaking, it appears that erucic acid somewhat compares to oleic acid, but it seems to complicate/impede hardening, and lowers the onset of gelling, to give soap that is very soluble, translucent, and flexible, at least over months of curing.
Macadamia (16:1) – Initially hardened up quickest, but also avidly soaks up any water it is in contact with. Dissolves very quickly and gives off glue-like (but “short”, non-ropy) slime. In contrast to the others, it lathers up very nicely to give fluffy and dense (but not creamy) lather. On skin, much less of the chalky castile-dry feel. FWIW, palmitoleic acid isn't easily integrated into the raster of “major” FAs. For one, it resembles oleic acid when it comes to the solid, dry soap (cure time, hardness), but from the lathering, it resembles more the likes of lauric/myristic acid from coconut & friends. Hence, while my observations are in line with those of @ngian, I can't fully agree with his conclusion to treat C16:1 like C16:0. In any case, it's another building block in debunking the lard myth (lard contains some palmitoleic acid, and becomes exchangeable with the introduction of macadamia).

Salt & erythritol bars (5 months in)
So far, I've only given the salt bar and the 50/50 bar a single test. They're bubbling up nicely, no skin irritation, but scratchy and rough to the touch. Guess I'll give them another few months. At least they have lost their yellowish colour (pretty sure it was some red palm oil cross-contamination), and their weird off-smell.

Hardness-boosted safflower cubes (6 months in)
Soon after review, I've grated them up to have some white confetti. Several weeks later, these gratings are still soft and slightly sticky/greasy (like parmesan cheese), and don't crumble into powder easily. I suspect that the tiny batch sizes somehow messed up with superfat.

Very Balanced™ (2 months in)
Crazy stupid idea, but it turned out to be a lovely soap! Hardened up nicely, agate-like shine, handsome to the touch, dense & through-the-roof lather – in short, a bit of everything!