Fiona Catherine Botanicals

Soap Stories


(v) Sa-po-ni -fi-cation​

Verb: To undergo a process in which fat is converted into soap by treatment with an alkali.

It’s important to understand that although the label may say “handmade” it doesn’t necessarily mean that your soap bar has been made entirely from scratch by hand, or that the ingredients would be good for you or the environment.

All is not equal in the world of soaps.

I hope to explain here, the differences between the 3 methods of soap making, being the Cold Process method, the Hot Process & Melt & Pour.


Cold Process Soap

As the saying goes, all great things take time!
Cold process soap making allows us to control how much and which oils we use in our formulations, together with the designs of our soaps. This ensures a more sophisticated kind of soap in terms of ingredients as will be explained further down below, this type of unique soap is unlikely to be made with the other two methods. 
CP allows for the saponification of the oils, lye and chosen liquid by using lower temperatures. The batter is then poured into a mould, wrapped in an insulating blanket for up to 48 hours before being removed off the mould, the bar is dried naturally for between 4-6 weeks, thus allowing for the oils to develop fully into the luxurious bars of creaminess which they are. This also results in a completely natural chemical-free bar of soap. 
Our recipes have been thoroughly researched & a wide variety of oils, each with its own unique benefits is used in each of our unique formulations.

Hot Process Soap

Another method of soap making is what is known as Hot Process Soap in which the oils, water & lye are combined together & heated up in a double boiler. This involves “cooking” the mixture & speeding up the soap making process as early saponification is forced by heating the liquids. Technically the soap will be ready in about 48 hours but ideally would still need a while to cure in order for the bars to dry fully. So, whilst this method may be handmade, it is not ideal as the soap will still need to cure & the “cooking” limits us in terms of design.


Melt & Pour

Bought at your local crafter’s store, Melt & Pour is a pre-made base which is simply melted in a microwave, poured into a mould & then cut into slabs. The problem here is that all too often these bases contain many of the potentially harmful preservatives & ingredients which we are avoiding in most commercially produced soaps.
In addition to this, we have no control over the quality & types of oils which are used. To all intents, you could be buying a rather expensive, inferior quality bar of soap which has the same yucky components as the regular commercial soaps sold in supermarkets & has no benefit to either your skin or the environment.
Our recipes and the wide variety of oils we use have all been thoroughly researched. Each oil has its own special and natural benefits, which is used in our unique formulations. 
But more about this in our next blog!


Well, Hello! It’s been awhile

It’s been a busy few months since launching! There have been numerous changes and exciting happenings along the way. We’re happy (and humbled) to say, our little business is growing steadily and Our Kind to your skin, Kind to your environment, Kinds of soaps may now be found in a number of outlets across South Africa (insert a little whoop whoop sound and a smiley face here).

These past few months…

We zooshed up our look by getting a gorgeous new logo for our range of organic soaps and other products.
I wanted something that depicted a celebration of all Women & an appreciation of the skin we are born with as well as my love of nature and the environment we share. Not an easy one, considering I insisted on the importance of all this being depicted in one image – but, I think we achieved this and I’m rather chuffed with the results!

We believe strongly in evolving and our formulations continue to change and improve where we think we can, bringing you the exceptional quality and the high level of standards that may be expected with our range.

Body Creamers

There are some Fahbulous Fiona Catherine Botanicals new products, namely, our triple butter body creamers which are available in Botanical which is a blend of all our absolute favorite florals such as bergamot, lavender and neroli essential oils. The other, is the lemongrass and ginger triple butter body creamer. Both are luxurious, gentle exfoliators with really great moisturizing properties because they contain mango, Shea and cocoa butters. Try them in a bath or shower. We use each one upto 3 times or more! Available in a gorgeous, re-usable glass storage canister. Just perfect for gifting.


New Soaps

We have formulated a bunch of new soaps which have been flying off the curing racks, starting with The Face Bar! Aptly named because it is the ideal facial bar. The Face bar contains goat milk which is super moisturizing. The lactic acid in the goat milk provides provides nourishing and moisturizing properties. The addition of plant based oils, such as olive oil, caster oil and coconut milk further contribute to the nourishing effects of this super gentle bar of goodness. It is has a pleasing, earthy, nutty scent to it. Ideal for the youngest of skins to the oldest.

Then, we made changes to our, (ssssssshhhhhhh….. I’m saying this very softly, because there were some who didn’t like the use of our name for The Guinness bar), so, we obliged by changing it to The Bro! bar. Still made with beer and just as good! This bar packs a big punch when it comes to moisturizing. The brewers yeast contained in the beer acts as a powerful anti bacterial agent and the sugars in the beer contribute towards its fabulous lather, which is what makes this the ultimate shaving bar for our bro’s! We added sandalwood essential oil and vanilla which together with the earthiness of the hops create a kind of nutty, masculine scent. Your man will love you even more for this!

We continue to say NO to plastic by using sold shampoo bars. The All-Rounder Shampoo and Body bar currently comes as a handy set of two or alternatively as a pretty, little cupcake The set of 2 bars contains 2 pink clay bar with rosewood and geranium oils. The other is scented with lavender. All have low PH levels, thus ensuring your hair and a scalps’ natural oils are preserved. We have added nourishing golden jojoba oil for added conditioning to your locks.

Mineral Bath Soaks

In other news, both our Mineral Bath Soaks, Oooh! and Lalaaa! have received a revamp with new packaging.
You can now receive your favorite, de-stressing & detoxing bath soaks in a larger, compostable kraft tub.
Oooh! Contains pink grapefruit oils, geranium and vanilla oils, whilst Lalaaa! contains neroli, bergamot, ylang-ylang & rosewood essential oils.
Both are de stressing and just perfect a long bath. The minerals provide relief for tired feet and aching muscles Both my mineral soaks contain sweet almond oils for moisture.

Soy Wax Diffusers

And, finally, we are excited to share that we have been working on expanding our range of ever popular soy wax cupboard and drawer diffusers. Yes, we’ve heard you! Soon, they’ll be available in smaller sizes in sets of 6 so that you can pop one into each drawer to enjoy the heavenly scent. Think lavender, citrus & Ginger, wild rose, lavender, sandalwood and bergamot, cedarwod, peony rose and a few more magical infusions for the olfactories.

In rounding off,

We are offering our subscribers less 30% on their favorite soaps, making them just R49.00 each!
Minimum order of 6 applies.
That’s R296.00 for 6 and a savings of R126.00.

Excludes postage
Gift wrapping
Face bars
Valid until 31 March

Thank you for your continued soapport!

With love,
From us to you!