Is it too Early to be Thinking About Christmas?

Jun 10, 2021

The joy of designing festive soaps in June!

First things first I would like to apologise for the lack of a blog post last week! I had a migraine that started on Tuesday and carried on until Thursday so I wasn't able to get my post done in time. I did think about working on it once I felt better and posting it late, but I decided that you wouldn't mind if I missed one week and I used the time to recover instead. The problem with migraines is that even once you have finished the actually attack, you still have the postdrome (migraine hangover) which although we feel (so much) better we still feel completely out of sorts and exhausted! And if I am honest it is normally at this phase of my migraine that I tend to try and catch up on everything I wasn't able to do during the attack - instead of what I should be doing, which is taking it a bit easy. So this time I decided to be kind to myself and rest instead of writing the blog post. Which actually turned out to be really useful as it gave me time to think, reflect and plan which I don't often have time to do when I am just trying to get things done.

So what have I been up to this week? Well strangely enough I have been thinking about Christmas! I know it is way too early, but it suddenly dawned on me that by the time I launch my soaps we will be fast approaching Christmas (especially in soap terms as they have to cure for 4 weeks before they can be sold). So I really need to decide soon (like now!) if I want to have a few special festive inspired soaps meaning that I can get them safety assessed with the rest of my soap collection. So in answer to the question do I want to produce a few special festive inspired soaps the answer is a definite yes - I love Christmas, and I think the idea of having a couple of soaps just for the festive period brings me a lot of joy!

Ok, so festive soaps are definitely happening, but what about the design? For this I went down a very deep Christmas soap YouTube video rabbit hole - there are so many amazing festive inspired soaps people have done, you really could get completely carried away! So I had to keep reminding myself that I need to be able to make these soaps fairly easily alongside my other soaps and it shouldn't be something that will take days to set up. So the design I am thinking of trying is a fairly simple (in comparison to the complete labours of love some people have done) Christmas tree design that is based on a swirl technique called the hidden feather swirl. As a feather swirl is one of the designs I was hoping to include in my core soap collection too this is something I am going to try this week as I suspect that is going to take a bit of practice, particularly for the Christmas tree version! 

Ok so design sorted, what about fragrances. In keeping with my core soap collection I only want to use essential oils rather than fragrance oils, so I started looking into possible festive essential oil blends. As I have fairly sensitive skin I was looking for essential oils that are gentle on the skin and this is where I came across a potential stumbling block for my Christmas soaps. One of the scents that I associate with Christmas is cinnamon, however there is a high risk of skin sensitisation with cinnamon bark essential oil and it should only be used at very low levels (0.07%). So cinnamon bark essential oil is out, but there is also an essential oil made from cinnamon leaf. This is still defined as a potential skin sensitiser but it can be used safely if diluted and in products that are not left on the skin (like soap). If I am honest I am still a little bit reticent about using it in my soaps and the only way to put my mind at rest is to test it on myself. So I have ordered a small amount and will include it at a low dilution in a test soap (0.5% is the limit you can use it in soaps in the UK) and then we will know whether or not cinnamon leaf essential oil irritates my skin. If it does then I obviously won't use it in my festive soap. Although that will be a shame I do have a few other festive scent combinations to try instead including ginger and mandarin and possibly cardamom for that "mulled" fragrance. The other type of scent I am thinking of including is a Christmas Tree fragrance. The plan for this essential oil blend is to avoid it smelling too much like toilet cleaner and more like a winter forest!! So for this I am thinking a combination of juniper, fir, cedarwood and possibly rosemary essential oils.

I hope to get started making these festive soaps later this week or early next week (depending on when the essential oils arrive). It is going to be very strange to have the house filled with Christmas smells in the middle of June!

I will report back next week as to how it went with the hidden feather swirl and the Christmas essential oil blends!

Until next time, take care

Kelly xx



I am Kelly Townsend and this is the Small Kindness Blog. I am a scientist, a bee lover, a rewilding obsessive, and I want to spread Small Kindnesses through the medium of soap. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your daily dose of kindness (as well as to see how the soap making is going!)