Shelf life of a fixed oil

Shelf Life of a Fixed OilWe are regularly asked about the shelf life of a fixed oil (you know, the animal and vegetable oils we use for soap making). There are a few things we would like to address for storage.

To have the freshest material I would like you to use up any oil you purchase from us within 1 year from the date of purchase.

To get the longest life you should store your oils in a dark, cool, dry place. Dark because UV rays break down the oils. Cool because microbial activity, including oxygen exchanges, happen slower at cooler temperatures. Dry because moisture encourages growth of yeast, bacteria, and mold which can contaminate the oil by either growth inside the oil if water is introduced or by odor from growing populations of these organisms.

In the event you live in a very moist and warm climate I would recommend refrigeration, including freezing. The one reason I hesitate to mention refrigeration to most people is they do not have a dedicated refrigerator for low odor vegetable oils. There is nothing like an oil that was stored in a refrigerator next to a cut onion. Your soaps and lotions will have an onion odor that can not be removed.

Freezing will not harm a fixed oil. Liquid oils may congeal but they will melt when warmed to room temperature and it takes nothing more than removing the oil from the freezer and setting it on the counter. Zero energy melting of a congealed oil! There are some oils (waxes) that really have a long shelf life and I rarely worry about their stability. These are beeswax, jojoba oil and lanolin. If you plan for the 1 year rule and treat your oils with care, you will have a fine time making soaps and lotions!

Cheers!
Tina

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Reminder: Our Birthday Present to You!

birthdayThere are just a few more days left of the month of September and I wanted to remind you about our super cool birthday present for you! Since it is our 18th birthday, we have a shipping special that is our way of thanking you for supporting us as we have grown over the last 18 years.

What is the special?

  • Any orders that have an item total of $150 or more will have a $10.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $200 or more will have a $20.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $300 or more will have a $40.00 shipping discount.
  • If your shipping is less than the amount discounted, you get FREE shipping!

How do you get this awesome special? Enter the code 18-BDAY into the Item Code field in your shopping cart, then choose a quantity of 1 and you are ready to go!

This special ends on September 30th at midnight Mountain Time.

Check your cupboards this weekend and put together a shopping list! This is one shipping special you don’t want to miss out on!

Have a fantastic weekend!
Andee

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Caramel Apple Cold Process Soap

Finished bars of soap after being cut.
Finished bars of soap after being cut.
I remember being a teen and having braces. While they were uncomfortable to wear, I remember helping my mom make batches of soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramel that I could eat without damaging my braces. One time, we made a mistake and ended up with a fantastic caramel sauce that was delicious drizzled over apple slices. We still make the caramel sauce to this day and it is always enjoyed!

The release of our new Green Apple and Caramel Toffee flavors had me thinking about the caramels that we used to make and how I loved to pair the caramel sauce with apples. Since I’ve made a Caramel Apple Lip balm, I have to make a soap that is complementary. Come with me and we’ll make a great batch of Caramel Apple Soap!

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Season Change: Autumn Equinox

Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Today, autumn officially begins. While the weather has already started to cool down here in Northern Utah and I’m beginning to see pumpkin stands by the side of the road, I still think autumn hasn’t begun until the equinox. I love the cool weather, changing colors of the landscape and even breaking out my baking books for some new recipes. What is your favorite thing about autumn?

Now that I’ve given myself permission to think about autumn (Halloween is the only exception), I’m going to share some of my favorite scent blends that have me thinking of autumn. Let’s go check them out!

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Halloween Lip Balms

Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.
Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.

As I told you on Friday, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’ve decided that now I have some adorable Halloween labels, I have to put together some lip balm samples for the Shipping Department. If you are lucky enough, you will get one of these lip balms in your order when it ships this week.

I had fun making this recipe several times as I made a batch for each flavor featured on the labels last week. Let’s go make some yummy lip balm with the new flavors!

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Lip Balm Label Special!

The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
If you have ever heard me plot for and gush endlessly on the subject of Halloween, then you know it is the number one ranking holiday for me out of all the holidays in the year! I always have my Halloween costume planned by early summer and spooky music is usually playing in my car after Easter. This year, I have the chance to share my love of Halloween with you in a new way!

I asked our Graphics Team to design several super cute Halloween themed lip balm labels using our new flavors. If you haven’t checked out the new flavors, STOP! Run, check them out and then come back to read about the label special I have for you.

Are you back now? Which flavor is your favorite? Are you excited to try Cantaloupe, Caramel Toffee or Green Apple? I love all of them, but the little kid in me absolutely loves the combination of Caramel Toffee and Green Apple for a perfect caramel dipped apple. Yum! Doesn’t that just say Halloween and fall to you?

Back to the labels! I loved the labels they designed so much, I asked if I could share them so you can have them too! Guess what? We’re printing a special run of these labels just for you!

Let me tell you about this awesome deal! Each style of label is available in a bundle of 50 labels. These labels are printed on vinyl with UV stable inks. This means these labels are basically water-proof! Can you say sweat-proof?(I still don’t recommend running your lip balm through the washing machine.)

How do you order these labels?

When you place an order, you can add a bundle of 50 labels to any order for only $4.00! Simply enter the item code for the design of your choice.
OCT1 = Green Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT2 = Caramel Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT3 = Caramel Toffee Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT4 = Cantaloupe Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50

Can you order more than one bundle? Absolutely! Order as many as you want for favors, limited edition lip balms, treats or even just for handing out to friends and family. The labels don’t have ingredients listings, so don’t feel limited to a specific formula.

Want to look at the labels a little more closely? Click on the image above to see all four labels in a larger format!

Don’t delay! The last day to order these adorable labels is October 20th, 2014!

Andee

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Salt Potpourri

Salt is a very diverse product. I use it for cooking, topping popcorn, mixing scrubs and even making salt potpourri. Salt potpourri is a simple way to incorporate your favorite scents into any space. I think that salt potpourri makes it so you don’t have to worry about hiding the bottle of room spray because the scent is coming from a part of your decor!

I enjoy walking into a softly scented room. It is so pleasant and refreshing, and it feels like a miniature celebration. Today I am going to make several jars of salt potpourri and use some of our recently released fragrance oils. Let me tell you about these yummy fragrances!

Amazon Fragrance Oil
This fragrance is a mixture of a tropical breeze and refreshing floral scent. A very fresh and delightful scent! I’m going to put a jute bag filled with Amazon salt potpourri into my car. It beats having the miscellaneous odors that come with having kids!

Coconut Cassis Fragrance Oil
You can never go wrong with a coconut scent and this scent has a wonderful mixture of coconut and currants! The cassis or currant part of this scent is sweet and fruity with a touch of spice that is paired perfectly with coconut. This is a new favorite of mine! This jute bag filled with Coconut Cassis salt potpourri will go into my office, for an uplifting scent for me to enjoy while I work. (Say it ka-sees and consider yourself a pro!)

Dirty Mimosa Fragrance Oil
The mimosa is a classic brunch cocktail and one of my favorite to make. Made from one part chilled dry champagne or dry sparkling wine and one part chilled orange juice, it is a enjoyable way to get some Vitamin C. Dirty Mimosa is our take on this delicious cocktail. You get dazzling citrus and sparkling green leafy notes balanced with earthy tobacco, sugar cane, coconut and vanilla. I’m stashing a jar of the Dirty Mimosa salt potpourri in the living room to bring some cheer into the evenings when I’m not busy running kids around!

Napa Valley Vineyard Fragrance Oil
Our Special Reserve fragrance is filled with fruity and rich Cabernet grapes with complementary notes of berries, clover and musk. I think this luscious scent is wonderful soap, lotion and naturally, salt potpourri. This jar of Napa Valley Vineyard salt potpourri is going into my bathroom as a way to pamper and soothe the soul after a long day. Bubble bath, here I come!

Cabana Boys Fragrance Oil
A summertime dream of vacationing at the beach or poolside, enjoying pineapple packed beverages served by cabana boys while sitting in a chaise lounge enjoying the tropical scenery. A new drink fragrance with sweet pineapple and citrus (no speedos here). Cocktail umbrellas are optional, but I think it makes the drink taste better! I’m going to tuck the jar of Cabana Boys salt potpourri in the kid’s bathroom.

After describing all these fragrances, I’m feeling a bit like a mixologist. Are you getting the sense that cocktails are the word of the day?

Ingredients
Salt, Extra Large or Jumbo
Fragrance or Essential Oil
Equipment
Pipettes
Strainer
Containers of choice

Directions:

Take the size of salt you desire, either Jumbo or Extra Large, and place enough salt that will fill your container(s) of choice into your strainer. We want to do a quick rinse of the salt to remove the powdery coating on the salt. Check out the photos and you will definitely see how the rinsed salt has more shine.

After the salt has dried, it is ready to place into your container. I have shown two options 1) glass jar with a lid that has holes (I’m using those small glass cheese containers) and 2) jute burlap drawstring bags. If you prefer any small open bowl or container can work as well. Always choose a glass container or natural fabric bags for displaying your salts. Fragrance and Essential Oils are strong solvents and will break down plastics.

Once the containers are filled with salt, then you add 1-2 ml of any fragrance or essential oil of your choice directly to the salt. Place the lid on the glass cheese containers and give a little shake when you want to freshen up your space. For the jute bags close the drawstring and give it a squish. I placed the jute bags onto a cardboard piece until ready to use.

When your salt potpourri starts to lose its scent, then add another 1-2ml of the same fragrance or essential oil or use a complementary new fragrance oil and start the fun all over again.

Enjoy the Salt!

Tonya

Extra large and large sized salt. Salt Potpourri. blog.thesage.com
Extra large and large sized salt
Salt in strainer
Salt in strainer
Large salt rinsed off
Large salt rinsed off
Rinsed salt
Rinsed salt
Containers filled with salt
Containers filled with salt
Adding fragrance to salt
Adding fragrance to salt
Finished product
Finished product
Assorted containers
Assorted containers
Salt placed in bag
Salt placed in bag
Adding fragrance oil
Adding fragrance oil

Bags filled with salt potpourri
Bags filled with salt potpourri
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DayGlo Discount!

Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
I love the holidays and they are fast approaching which means plenty of preparations need to be made. This is the time of year where my UPS man and Postal Lady become very familiar with each other. I have plenty of gifts or the materials to make gifts that start arriving in the mail. It also means that I do what I can to make sure that my money is being stretched as far as I can. This is why I am delighted to announce we are having a Dayglo discount!

The manufacturer of the Dayglo colors has discontinued this particular line of colors but not to worry. They are going to be releasing a new line of very similar colors. So what do this mean for you? This means that you get awesome colors at amazing prices! Don’t wait! These prices will only last as long as our limited stock. Treat yourself to some budget friendly fun!

If you are looking for some inspiration, I recommend checking out Andee’s Music Inspired Swirl Soaps. If you have your own ideas, share them. We would love to feature you and your soaps. Happy soaping!

Taylor

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Planning for the Saponification Values of Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and 5%

Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
I love to learn. It is my passion. It is what gets me so excited to get up in the morning and start my day. And you, dear readers, contribute so much to everything I am exposed to. You also encourage me to continue to the question the “familiar”. I have some exciting news to share with you. Are you ready? Drum roll please.

Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and Rosemary Oleoresin 5% both have saponification values. Now what does this mean for you if you add it to soap? Well, this is dependent on how much Rosemary Oleoresin you are adding to your soap. Anything that is added 2% or more will greatly affect the superfat of your soap. This means unless you account for the saponifation value of the Rosemary Oleoresin, you are actually superfatting at a higher rate than what you may realize. It doesn’t mean it is bad, it is just something for you to be aware of.

If you make soap with either Rosemary Oleoresin, you may notice that batches that use it have creamier, silkier lather. Later this week I will be making soap with Rosemary Oleoresin versus without for you to try in samples. Request a comparison in your order! Don’t wait though. I only have a limited amount of samples.

If you don’t want to wait, make your own comparison batches to see the difference. And before you go off to make those tests, allow me to tell you the saponification values. Are you ready?

Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
has a saponification value of 260 mg KOH / g of Fat.
Rosemary Oleoresin 5% has a saponification value of 295 mg KOH / g of Fat.

Wow! Can you believe those numbers? I was pretty astonished myself. Those numbers are pretty high compared to what we generally deal with. See how that can make such a difference in your soap? I am getting more excited for this comparison batch. Stay tuned to see what happens!

Taylor

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Specialty Ingredients: Ingredient Listings Do Change with Location

ExoticOilMy experiences in China have opened my eyes to how location changes the ingredients that are viewed as specialty and/or exotic ingredients. Here in the USA, we often use ingredients that bring exotic and unique locations to mind. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Argan Oil are all oils that we consider to be specialty ingredients due to their exotic origins and the higher prices that are needed to bring them to the USA. Marketing for big cosmetic brands has also helped bring these ingredients to the forefront of our minds (and our customers too).

Yet in other countries and even regions within the same country, different ingredients may or may not be considered to be specialty ingredients. Here is a comparison for you. Soybeans grow in most of the USA and we use a lot of soybean oil in cooking and frying. It is easy to purchase anywhere, including most grocery stores. While I was in China I could not easily buy any type of Soybean Oil, liquid or hydrogenated. They eat lots of soy based products, but they don’t use the oil in cooking. When I did find it, the price was almost triple the price of Coconut Oil! Sometimes we don’t think about the oils that we find locally as special and it takes new experiences to remind us how special that oil is.

Do you remember my blog post about Snake Oil? Many of you commented about how you found the snake oil to be interesting and some of you even said it had you grossed out! Do you remember Jerry helped me get some Snake Oil so I could try making my own hand cream and soap? Here in the USA, we consider Snake Oil to be a specialty oil because it is something so unique to our markets.

Would you want to try a small amount of Snake Oil? I’ve been able to get a small amount of it for testing purposes and I would like to share it with you! It isn’t something that we will add to the catalog so when my *very* limited supply runs out, I won’t be able to get any more. How do you get some? Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Contact Us page and select Blog Team.
  2. Send a message including your Name, Address, City ST ZIP, and a comment telling me what you want to do with the Snake Oil. Click SEND MESSAGE.

So, what happens after all of this? Well, I send each valid MMS customer who submitted information, a 2 fl oz sample of Snake Oil AND a handwritten note. (See the catch? You must be a Sage in order to participate.)

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and even something to play with!

Andee

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Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.