Customers have been asking us for years to make bar soap. Why? They are waste free, they look pretty and they make great gifts. Plus, our reputation of using high quality, low-allergen, synthetic free ingredients appeals to more and more people.
Early in 2022, we started researching bar soap and ingredients. I had informational meetings with my business besties who have been making bar soap for decades and they helped a lot with the science and the process. I dug deep into oils I wanted to use. I wanted to make a bar soap that was hard (so it would last a long time), creamy (so it would feel amazing on your skin), cleansing (because it's soap!) and have a slight lather. We tried a dozen different recipes with a base of Olive oil and castor oil as the two oils that did not change.
The clear winner was recipe number 12. Each oil has a specific job, is organic when available, high quality, has a low allergen level and won't give us a headache trying to source it! We used non-GMO Olive oil and Rice Bran Oil for the conditioning, Mango Seed Butter for the hardness and the creaminess, Babassu Oil for the cleansing, hardness, and lather, and finally the Castor oil for the lather, conditioning and the creaminess.
We called it Number 12 for months as we thought of a name that would convey exactly how amazing we thought the soap was. It was coming down to the wire with the name and we were not coming up with anything that felt right. Finally, during a planning session with my friends someone said, "oh my gosh Michelle just call it No. 12! It's perfect!" and they were right!
We made No. 12 unscented, mostly because it's hard to find unscented soap and we love that we are known for unscented products. Then we went to work on a seasonal scent. We were inspired by a walk in the woods and our Production Manager (and owner of the Red Oak Refillery) Cory came up with a blissful blend of Pine Scotch, Clove and Eucalyptus. It smells like the forest floor. I can't accurately describe the scent other than to tell you when I walk into the Soap Shop the day after we make it, it puts an instant smile on my face.
We also knew we wanted to make a bar version of our MamaSuds Castile Soap so we made an unscented version and a scented version. The Scented version is our signature scent that can be found in our MamaSuds All-Purpose Cleaner.
We can't wait for your to try it and get your feedback!