Hello! I have to admit I've been lurking a bit on the forum for a few weeks now and as I'm about to embark on making cold process on my own for the first time, I figured I should actually introduce myself. Long story short, I've been interested in indie perfumes and bath and body products for years (15 actually) and that love, along with my own chemistry and biology background contributed to my interest in making my own products but...it always seemed so far away. I always thought you'd need a ton of expensive ingredients and equipment and years of training to even approach doing any of it. Recently, a friend introduced me to another friend of hers who's been making her own cp soap for several years....a whole new world opened before me. My new friend and I had a teaching afternoon where she led me through and helped me take a concept I had from start to finish. The end product was beautiful(thanks to her expertise and supplies) and I'm totally hooked now. Since then I've dived into research and reading and note taking and forum watching . I'm absolutely in love with the process, the combination of creativity and chemistry, the level of control and the ability to transform ordinary, humble, basic ingredients into a product that is at once beautiful, luxurious and useful. It's alchemy and I love it. It doesn't hurt that I'm impatient and, excepting cure time and research, you can essentially take an idea/concept you have from start to finish in a day. I've tried other handy crafts and creative ventures and they never really stuck with me. I think because in those cases it either required a level of dexterity and physical capability I don't have, and/or the creation process spanned too long, too many weekends. I have a cold process kit from brambleberry (it seemed the best way to get all the basic supplies at once) on it's way and in the meantime I'm working my way through "Scientific Soapmaking", "The Soapmakers companion", and "Smart Soapmaking". I have several other books on my wishlist including one on GMP. I've already got a notebook full of notes and a new one ready to start recording batches. I'm so excited to start on this hobby(and maybe it'll become more than that?) and it's really nice to have a such a large, well-learned community to interact with. My friends are loving, but they kind of think my obsession is crazy and perhaps a bit less interesting to hear about. I've already seen a wealth of knowledge from this group and I'm looking forward to learning more and contributing. I currently am in sunny Central Florida although the dream is to move to Seattle or the PNW someday. I use LilianNoir as my username (an old name) and you can refer me to as that, or just Jess. It's so good to meet you all! PS- I'm also a would-be novelist and prone to being long winded. Oops.