Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie Faiola

This is, by far, one of the best books on the subject published today. Comprehensive, beautifully presented, lavishly photographed, and suitable for beginner to advance soap makers. Designed like the highest quality cookbooks, directions are simple and very easy to follow. This is a one-stop, everything included manual for the hobbyist or enthusiast.


The first section of the book details the soapmaking process: choosing equipment and molds, step-by-step cold-process soapmaking, all about oils, using herbs and natural additives, scenting your soap, and designing recipes. The rest of the book includes a wide selection of soaps to make, broken down into three categories: simplicity, pure beauty, colorful and creative.

The book is brimming with high quality professional photographs that show the process, tools, and final results. All of the bars presented are beautiful – from swirls to stripes to sandwich layered. You’ll almost not want to use them after you make them since they look so good. And with ingredients such as black tea, pale ale, and goat milk – they definitely beg to be used.

Safety is important (using caustic lye, of course) and calculations are important to ensure the bar is made correctly. The author covers all of these in detail to ensure that there are no costly mistakes or accidents. Fortunately, the directions are so easy and thorough as to really facilitate success with soapmaking.

Whether you have never made soap before and need a starting point – or a veteran soapmaker looking for inspiration, you’ll find it here in Pure Soapmaking. This is very well done and a treat, guide, inspiration, and bible for the art. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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