The Bottom Line
- Recipes (300 of them!) for about every variety of Melt and Pour soap you can think of
- Most of the recipes are easy to follow and use readily available ingredients
- Great intro section on materials, ingredients and techniques
- Interesting conceptual soaps - very creative
- Excellent photos of all the soaps
- Some of the "designer techniques" could use a bit more elaboration
- Sheer volume of projects might be daunting for a beginner
- If the quality of a cookbook is in its pictures, this book is truly top notch.
- The photos are vivid, detailed and clearly show the soaps being described
- The "designer techniques" explained in the beginning are not limited to just the recipes outlined
- Some of the techniques include painted soaps, layered soaps, decorative accents and embedded soaps
- Some of the sections include soaps with additives, working soaps, fruit favorites and bagged soaps
- Some of the recipes include chamomile oatmeal, fish fossil, lemon loofah scrub and tuscany embossed
Guide Review - 300 Handcrafted Soaps by Marie Browning
Right after the melt and pour basics section, Browning gives basic instructions for 22 "designer techniques" that she uses to create the 300 soaps in the book. Each of the recipes refers back to one or more of these techniques. I wish she had spent a bit more time here, but there's enough detail to at least give the basic idea of how to make the soaps. A beginner might be a bit daunted. Advanced soap makers should have no problems.
The bulk (and beauty) of this book is in the recipes. There are 17 different styles of soaps including chunk soaps, layered soaps, soaps with natural additives, painted soaps and more. Each of the recipes has a large, color picture to accompany it. Each recipe will just make one or two bars - perfect for experimentation - but scaleable if you want more bars.
Any soap maker who thinks that melt and pour soap making is somehow inferior or less involved than cold process soap making needs to look at this book!