Sandalwood Powder

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Jun 6, 2016
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A reeeeeally long time ago I purchased a stash of all natural soap colorants. One of these was called "red sandalwood powder" but it looked really orange... think the skin of a naval orange type-of-orange.
I read briefly about sandalwood turning soap red, maroon, or purple-ish. I am going for a light orange color in my soap.
I am not going to be adding the actual powder to my soap (no scratchy soap for me!). Instead, I have placed some in a jar with OO and have been shaking it and gently heating it. When the powder settles, the infused oil looks like a deep orange... perfect to add to a sweet orange scented soap.

So, I guess my question is, when I add this infused oil to my goat milk soap, will the soap turn out maroon or purple? I am going for orange and don't want to set my hopes too high.

Any help would be appreciated
What I read about red sandalwood powder is that in high pH environments it turns purple and in the presence of lower pH levels, it turn maroon, so I would expect it to turn purple in lye soap. I have not tried it myself, but I'd love to see photos or your results.
Just made the soap and will post pictures when I cut it in 48 hours.
Here's what happened:
I was planning to make an orange and white marbled soap, scented with sweet orange and lemon. I separated the infused olive oil and plain olive oil and mixed half of my oils and butters with the infused and the other half with the plain. My goat milk and lye mix was white. So now I had one container of beautiful orange oils, one of light yellow oils, and one of white milk and lye.
I poured some essential oils in the oil containers. Then I split the lye mix and poured it in the oil containers. I brought the plain oils to trace and it took a yellowish color... probably because the sweet orange essential oils were really orange in color, who woulda thunk?
Then, I began to bring the gorgeous orange oils to trace. It looked amazing. And then, when I least expected it, as I kept mixing the trace... IT TURNED RASPBERRY COLORED RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES!
I was SO disappointed. So, I threw in some floral essential oils and made my "orange and creme" soap a "raspberry lemonade" soap.
But yeah. It was a good experiment. I think it is safe to conclude that orange-looking sandalwood does turn out purple-ish.

Can't wait to see what it looks like though! I am hoping it turned out marbled, yellow, and raspberry colored.
Thanks for your help :-D
Couldn't wait any longer. Took it out of the fridge and cut into it. The ugliness is from the rough, barbarian way I cut the cold loaf but this is what the end piece looks like. That purple is from the sandalwood.
I will wait for it to warm up a bit before cutting the rest.

I also like that purple. It looks better than any purple I've got so far from Alkanet root. In fact, if I had known this before purchasing alkanet root, I would have bought red sandalwood powder instead.
That is one pretty purple! While reading through the thread I expected to see a picture of an ugly greyish purple but that is just gorgeous. Post cure pictures would make me really happy :mrgreen:
That first cut gave me high hopes!
It has been almost a week now, soap has been cut and is curing and is much harder now. Unfortunately, the color hasn't stayed and we have a different purple now.
It is a lighter in real life, the photo doesn't do it a lot of credit. It is still really pretty just not what I was going for. I would say it is more of a lavender than hibiscus.
I do plan to experiment with using less infused oil to achieve a lighter look. Will be using it in my lavender soap. What do you think?

... off to buy some more coconut oil!

image1 (3).JPG
Oh, and I really am hating how grey it turned out. Still, will use it for the lavender bars but does this color scream "hibiscus lemonade"??? I don't think so. Now I have to redesign some labels too!

Dear Sandalwood,
why must you be so deceiving?
I wonder if the color will come back or change when the soap gets wet. One of my soaps that I used alkanet root to color the soap started out grey (very disappointed, was I) but after cure and hand washing, the grey turned purple and stayed purple.
Very interesting, that's about the purple I want for my lavender soap, so I may need to keep sandalwood powder in mind lol