Soap Homecoming 3 - Discoveries
THE TFM OF SOAP - WHO KNEW?
Did you know soaps were once graded for quality and, in India still are? The decisive measure is called TFM - Total Fatty Matter. It describes the percentage of fat in the soap which equates to how well it cleans and how good it is for skin. Once upon a time, "toilet "soaps were graded as follows:
Grade 1 - min 75%
Grade 2 - min 65%
Grade 3 - min 60%
Grade 1 is a very high quality soap and Grade 2 is very good. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fatty_matter Bath soaps have TFM between 40-60%. So when a brand calls itself a bath soap, that is not a good thing.
This is a big subject in India where the meaning of TFM is understood and printed on the soap label. Here in the USA, a soap's TFM is unknown.
I researched and found that Dove, for instance is called a bath soap, not a toilet soap. Therefore its TFM is below 60%. My skin attests to this. I found no way to discover the TFM of other soaps. Yardley's soaps are said to have a TFM of 76%, but it's not on the label and to confuse things, some are called bath bars. However, I found this wonderful-looking Indian site and promptly ordered one of each high TFM bar. http://neevsoaps.weebly.com/products.html. They arrived yesterday. Fabulously mucilaginous if vigorously scented bars, herbs and flowers incorporated within.
Also wonderful are most of Arran Aromatics' soaps. I emailed them in Scotland and asked. They confirmed TFMs 75-85%. My favorite is their delicious Olive Oil soap.
In short, I learned the chemical reason why most commercial soaps dry my skin, but the soaps I make at home don't. Apparently high TFM soaps can only be purchased from small or artisinal manufacturers now. Caswell-Massey soaps may have high TFM, especially their Dr. Hunter's Castile Soap, still made in the original way. Not sure.
I found this nifty calculator to analyze homemade soap. Not precisely sure how to use it, so I wrote for advice. http://www.soapworld.biz/soap-calculator-handmade-...
I've abandoned imitating great perfumes (except for my version of Homage Attar) and gone in search of materials to duplicate my magic soap of 30+ years ago. It was a wonder and the scent was simple: Jasmine, Lavendar, Sandalwood — but not the synthetic or weak dilutions I've found over and over in what passes for essential oil today. I used a sultana's Jasmine, a sovereign's Lavendar, a maharajah's Sandalwood. Glorious essential oils were once available to the general public at reasonable price. No more. I can't tell you the number of suppliers I've tried, only to be disappointed. Exception. I do have a Jasmine Grandiflorum from The Perfumer's Apprentice to make a grown perfumista weep. In desperation I asked Josh Lobb at Slumberhouse, who saved me. Turns out lavendar from Liberty Natural Products is actually lavendar and so forth. I have a labdanum absolute from White Lotus Aromatics to make you fall to your knees. Problem solved.
So now I'm ready to make my Homage Attar facsimile Castile. I doubled the scent formula given in Soap Homecoming 2. However, one batch has my old lovely rose oil and the other batch has a possibly natural Taif rose oil I had to send off to a foreign country for. It's super gorgeous. Should I blend them? Or risk excessive mildness in the scent after soap's caustic accosts them?
Guess I've mused away enough time for today, but there's a reason for agenda departures.
will not flow
of their own
planning to meditate
but first playing music
beautiful essential oils
into scent for soap.
will not flow
where they're told.