When I set out to create soap as natural as it can be I was often met with the comment that it'd be very bland and boring. I destroyed that theory in the first few batches. Bright clays, botanicals and spices add amazing colour. It is natural though, so it will fade, nothing in nature lasts forever. Flowers have a season and soon expire. Spices like turmeric will fade if left in the sun and even clays will too. This was another reason for wanting to create small batch hand made soap rather than mass producing tonnes at once. While it would certainly be easier in the long run, it's a quality product that needs love and care put into it, to produce a bar made with love and intention.
Some colours run, they bleed and look horrific in the shower. Australian Red Reef Clay is a great example if you overdo it. The colour is just like the Australian outback dirt, and if it was a brighter red, you'd think someone was murdered in your shower. Indigo, is a deep blue that also bleeds. This is again from nature. It's crazy to think that a plant leaf can produce a colour so vibrant. My favourite would have be the yellow of Calendula petals. It's bright. Annatto Seed Oil is another yellow, but not bright. Seabuckthorn Oil is very orange, but not bright like yellow. I can't get enough of colour and can't step away from colour matching either. I use Purple Clay and team it with Lavender Essential Oil. I use Green Clay and pop Lime Essential Oil in it. I couldn't have those two the other way around, it'd feel and look wrong. I like to have the contrasts of colour. Charcoal and Kaolin Clay - the very black and the very white. Customers pick up the 'Four Clays' soap and most call it 'Rainbow Soap'. The kind of soap that is suited for patient soap makers...rather than me. Four layers with such a great effect, but I don't do waiting very well between the layers. It's a lot of fun and takes a long time but it's well worth it. Sometimes using less of a colour can create a new colour. Less charcoal creates grey and it looks fantastic in soap. A colour that I now love - I once thought of it as the last choice you'd ever make in a colour line up. I'm constantly creating new soaps and I create them around colour rather than the scent. This is because I have a large selection of non scented soaps (naturally scented) as they sell well - a lot of people can't handle smell, or they want to wash with something natural so they save the scent for their leave-on product afterwards. It's scent that gets customers interested in soap in the first place, but they soon buy more based on colour and the ones that catch their eye rather than scent. It's been a great learning curve watching people with their sight and smell senses.