Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Is it possible that milk “does a body good” in more ways than one? Any woman whose skin has ever been softly kissed by the smooth-as-velvet lathery richness of a milk-based soap would consider the question rhetorical. Referring to most beverages, the phrase “I’d gladly take a bath in it” is mere hyperbole. When it comes to milk, the phrase is quite literal. For as it turns out, as uber-soapmaker Anne L. Watson demonstrates in Milk Soapmaking (the indispensable companion to Smart Soapmaking), milk soaps made properly are well-known for a quality of luxurious buttery softness that is undeniable. Watson also proves, through the use of recipes as seductively named as Chocolate Silk, Cinnamon Oatmeal, or Avocado Cream, that once milk is added to the basic fat-and-lye combination at the heart of most soaps, the possibilities are deliciously far-reaching. For those of us who need help with the basic questions (Cow, goat, or plant milk? Whole or nonfat? Farm-fresh, or pasteurized?) of dairy, let alone the chemical quandaries of the soapmaking process itself, Anne once again acquits herself ably as a scholar of the suds and a natural communicator. We can’t all be professionals, but we can certainly show a little love for someone who knows her Shea Butter from her coconut oil (and isn’t afraid to use them). To order a personal copy of Milk Soapmaking, click here.