Patchouli essential oil is distilled form the patchouli plant which is a herbaceous plant from the tropics which grows a bit like mint. For more see here.
|Oil and caustic just mixed|
|Freshly poured logs of soap|
At this stage I spilt a little of the batch into another bowl and add some cocoa for colour. These are poured into lined wooden moulds and the tops textured with a spoon.
|Insulated soap in the moulds|
These moulds are then covered to keep in the heat and left to react for about 6 hours. My soap I let gel which basically means it gets hot enough to melt the soap. After the reaction finishes the soap gradually cools down on sets hard.
I use a cutter I imported from the USA to cut my soap AKA the "tank". It basically uses strained stainless steel guitar strings to slice through the soap rather like a cheese slicer. The soap is then lifted out of the cutter.
|Soap produced from 8kg of oils|
And yes I do have genuine bright yellow laminex from the 70's on my benches.