Few things smell as good to me as freshly made cold process soap. Something about soapmaking appeals to the mad scientist in me. I offered to donate a basket of handmade soaps to the silent auction at the Cheval Bayard release party. It was a little more adventure than I bargained for today, though. When I climbed up on a chair to reach the lye in the cupboard above the refrigerator, I almost dropped a box of jelly jars. After I added my lye water to my oils (olive, coconut and soybean), the soap wouldn’t trace. That’s never happened to me. But then I discovered a big lump of lye in the bottom of the jar. I briefly thought about dumping in the chunk and breaking it up with the stick blender. I could have labeled it “Mini-Peel in a Bar!” But I dumped that batch and made another, which nearly set up in the pot when I added the lavender oil. I got a little pre-soap spatter on my cheek (yes, I always wear safety glasses!) and had to put some vinegar on it. But I could only find mirin (seasoned rice vinegar). And I knocked over the jar of lavender EO. I ended up smelling kind of like lavender sushi. But that batch of lavender soap used up the last of my olive oil and I had to take the kids to Phoenicia on the way home from school to get some more. I love that market. Made another batch of unscented soap when we got home. I may throw in some bath fizzies and MP glycerin soaps, if I have enough time.