Yesterday, I had an inquiry from Rob. He stated, "being a guy, I like 'masculine' looking soap... how do I go about making soaps like this?" The site Rob referenced was Juniper Ridge and the soap photo pictured is from their web site. I will be addressing Rob's question in this post, but first, I had to take a peek at the Juniper Ridge web site. I was very impressed with what Hall Newbegin, the owner, has to offer.
All items sold are made from wild harvested plant material with NO essential oils, perfume oils, or colors - all the smell and color of the soap comes from the wild plant. You can enjoy the aromatic pleasures of hiking in the deep, dark woods of the Northwest or the sage blanketed hills of Southern California without ever leaving your tub.
Juniper Ridge makes more than soap. They also sell natural, woodsy smelling wild herb incense, Northwest wild herb berry jams and syrups (the old fashioned pulp style), wild herb teas, and wreaths that stay soft and green for up to two years (they perserve them with an internal glycerin process). While visiting the site I ordered the soap gift pack for my husband who loves all things natural and vegan. He has an upcoming birthday and I'm certain the soap will be a perfect gift.
OK, back to my guy Rob. I can't provide a recipe for the soaps made by Juniper Ridge as this group goes to great lengths to cultivate and gather herbs for their own unique soap recipes. I can tell you they are using a cold process method of soap making which is much different than melt and pour soap making. An Internet google search will provide you with a host of free CP (cold process) soaping recipes. Also, consider joining a soap making forum where soap savvy members are willing to share their soaping knowledge.
As far as what fragrances to use for masculine type soaps, hmmmm, let me think. I would suggest Evergreen Breeze, Spruce & Berries, Sandalwood, Teak & Sandalwood, Pear & Redwood, or Bay Rum. All of these are great men scents and can be purchased at GoPlanetEarth.com. My personal favorite is Spruce & Berries.
If you're looking to reproduce some of the neutral, masculine colored soaps pictured above, I suggest using liquid gel earthtone colors. They produce stable, non-bleeding colors in rich earthy tones. The 1/2 ounce 6-pack is a perfect testing size. Then, there are other earthy colors like tomato red or oriental mustard. All these colors lean toward a traditional male color palette.