All images and text are ©Artisan Soaps so please don't steal them &/or claim as your own!

01 June 2011

Vanilla Files (final) - Yep it's the end of the Vanillas!

I have lots of new photo's of soap, experiments, & projects I want to share, so time to finish this thing off!

Quick Recap of my last VF entry:

All the Vanilla Bars are now aged around 1.25yrs old ..
Last week (or was it the one before?) - Recently! I took a layer off the top of each bar to show the fully cured colours .. And lined them up for comparison:

Scented at only 3% FO you would expect quite a dramatic fade-out after all this time, particularly if the bars weren't stored away in boxes right ?! Well today I sniff-tested each of the bars that HAVE been fully exposed to air - though kept out of sunlight etc, their entire life, and found the following:


Musk Vanilla, Vanilla Bean, Drizzled Honey Vanilla, Buttercream Frosting, & Sandalwood Vanilla are all super strong! As strong as when first made!!

Marshmallow Fluff, Pink Sugar, Very Vanilla, & Vanilla Bean Noel, & Black Raspberry Vanilla are all moderately strong (still very obviously scented) - when held to ones nose .. That said, BRV, a scent I know well as I've made many batches of it since this experiment began, has unfortunately taken on a slightly different note .. Dare I say it's a little plasticy at a mature age ?! It's not too bad, and I will still use it as it's super popular with my family & friends .. But it's definitely not sweet & rich like it once was :(

And then we have Warm Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Abricot, Vanilla de Madagascar which you really need to touch your nose and take a few good huffs to smell .. *Vanilla Abricot nearly made it into the 'moderate' list but fell just a tad short as you really do need to almost eat it to smell it if you kwim lol ..

Now these are my opinions on the DRY bars .. To be perfectly honest I'm kinda over working with these so haven't gone through them all to see which, if any, still come alive in use .. I do know that Sandalwood Vanilla, Pink Sugar, & (this may surprise you) Vanilla Bean are the stand-out's that I absolutely ADORE and NEVER want to be without!!!

And that Pink Sugar, Sandalwood Vanilla, Musk Vanilla, & Drizzled Honey really linger on the skin .. My neighbour says the Black Raspberry Vanilla & Marshmallow Fluff do too, but personally I don't find this so, or at least not enough for me to praise them on it .. A fresh bar of BRV yes, at this age nope - I smell 'soap' but not a specific fragrance ..

So what happens to all that soap now the projects complete?

THIS is the vital ingredient that gives my Salt Spa Bars their distinctive 'crushed shell where the ocean meets the land' look .. Only I use colours in my Mermaid Bars that some of you have tried :)

You see I'm all about rural-coastal living, and spend many many hours at the beach; camping,walking, kayaking, taking photo's,collecting bits of driftwood, shells, sea-glass, and whatever other jetsum & flotsum I find for various art projects .. And I don't know what it is bout the combined (absolutely heavenly) smell of these Vanillas, but they along with my love of all things ocean inspired what I now make and call my 'Sand Dollars' ..

So finally I want to say Thanks to everyone who has been following me down this Vanilla Scented Path .. I really hope you gained from my experience, and I really appreciated your feedback, emails & comments etc .. I just hope you stay around to read what I get up to next!

~°¤ Vanilla Files - Complete ¤°~


  1. Thank you for the wrap up. I have been following with interest and am so glad you came back to blogging <3

  2. Good bye vanilla files! You'll be missed! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photography and experiments. Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

  3. Thank-You both so much for following along - and commenting! {{hugs}}

  4. Welcome back. I've followed your blog and Vanilla Files with great interest. As a guy, I don't care for the sweet scents, but since I like to give CP soap as gifts, you've done all the hard work of scent selection for me. I'm thinking my first vanilla ever will be Vanilla Bean. I sincerely thank you. Will Cleveland, OH, US

  5. Thanks Will .. VB is an excellent choice (imho)!

    Want to hear something funny?

    As a girl, my personal preference is for herbal, spicy, sea & spa like scents :P

  6. I love your attitude and VERVE!

  7. Hello! You've done really outstanding job with your vanilla files!
    Could I use you picture for my post about FO with vanilla? Of course with a direct link to your blog. My soap blog is . It's in russian language, but it's possible to translate it if you like to read ("translate site into your language" button in the right).

    In any case, you've done very good and usefull research! thank you!

  8. Thank you so much for chronicling your vanilla adventures. Like Joanna said verve, attitude and artistic aplomb~! I must try these fragrances also as my favorite as a girl was spicy herbal and clean fro's.

  9. Wow, that was amazing, thanks for all that hard work and all the note keeping!! I wish I was this organized!
    I am currently looking for a decent Vanilla Scent and I really do not like sweet Vanillas. I do like Superchef/Dr Oetker Vanilla Flavour for cakes. Does any of the FOs smell like that? Almost the complete opposite of Pink Sugar, which is a fragrance I cannot stand. (Sorry, I know it is popular, but to me it is sickeningly sweet). I have tried several ones from UK suppliers and they all smell the same to me, a sweet powdery smell with no warmth. Not what I was looking for.

  10. Thank you for your generosity and sharing this wonderful experiment with us all!

  11. Another guy here - found this right on time as I was thinking about making something with vanilla for the significant other for Valentine's Day. I think I'll try the Vanilla Bean as I might be able to enjoy that, too. Thanks for sharing your efforts, it was very, very generous of you.