Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hoya flowers : a fragrance for cosmetics ?

With Hoya flowers can I make fragrant soaps in the kitchen ?

Yes !! this is how with SHORT ANSWERS in  3 steps :

- the Soap :

[1] wearing gloves pour 1 weight of pellets of sodium hydroxide ( for dry soap ) or of potassium hydroxide  ( for more liquid soap ) into 2 to 3 weights of water - ( but never add water to these chemicals, the reverse is an explosive reaction )

[2] mix with 7 to 8 weights of an oil of your choice

A food coloring gave the pinkish touch 
[3] heat to 80 - 100 celsius ( or at lower temperature but then wait longer an get a milder soap ) and stir until you get a paste. Avoid breathing the fumes, they are toxic. If some liquid remains ( skin damaging ) add more oil, which in excess can only increase the quality of the soap. You can add your own fragrant compositions in the mix, preferably when it is colder to prevent evaporation. Cooled soap can be re - hydrated to receive frgrances and re - dried.

For precise proportions, on the internet look for saponification charts that give the corresponding quantities of sodium hydroxide and oils. But, as said above, if some liquid is remaining just add more oil and carry on the saponification.

Such homemade soaps retain their glycerin content, which is very useful for all skins, ( glycerin is a main ingredient in cosmetics ) and free of toxic ( or numerous ) chemicals they are safe for the children. More glycerin can be added, ( sold in shops as a soap making ingredient ) to soften the soap.

Some soap makers add glycerin up to 10%, to the total soap, .  For a bubble bath much more glycerin in water will be added : here is the precise ratio.

Heat and added glycerin produce a viscous paste


The saponification process is slow, even if accelerated by heat : three days to several weeks may be needed for the soap to be safe . If used too early , even dry the soaps will burn the skin.

    Children love making foam that is big, thick and makes bubbles that last. A good foaming agent derived from coconut is coconut diethanolamide. But all the glycerin ( from the homemade saponification of sodium hydroxide and oil , and that added to the paste ) will generate a lot of foam when in contact with water ! ( pure glycerin can harm the skin by taking its moisture, so a dilution in water is needed )

In the picture below some paste from the stainless utensil was mixed in the orange bucket containing water and glycerine : the result is a lot of long lasting foam !

- the Hoya flowers for the distillate : carnosa and in general white flowers of the Hoya genus have more scent. You want to make a steam distillation of the flowers : the result is an hydrosol with a rich fragrance, suitable for the making of cosmetics. Your hydrosol ( distillate ) , more complex than essential oils will contain water-soluble components of the Hoya flowers that may not be present in the essential oil;  also essential oils are not as safe to use.
[1] inside a pressure cooker put on an elevated perforated plate above the water level at least 100 gr of fresh flowers if you aimed a production of 100 gr of hydrosol . About 160 fresh , hydrated flowers of Hoya lacunosa would be needed for this quantity of hydrosol : more on the weights of fresh hoya flowers that are fragrant

[2] fix a copper coil of 3 meters long and 1 cm large on the opening of the pressure cooker

[3] lay the coil in a container of iced water, with the end outside of this container. From this end the hydrosol will flow out.

The distillate is produced by the condensation in the coil.
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