my own experience
My own soapmaking journey began with a search to find a soap that didn't cause skin irritation or leave me with dry, itchy skin.
That search that ended with the discovery that I could make my own soap at home, far superior in quality to any mass produced product.
My first attempts involved using animal fats. Refined and deodorised tallow can be purchased, but I rendered my own from suet purchased at a local butcher's shop.
The odour was unforgettable, and helped make my decision to make vegetable based soaps.
I started collecting soapmaking books and they contained recipes for so many different types of soap, the possibilities seemed endless.
Every soapmaking book I read told me that castile soap, made from olive oil, was the mildest and most suitable for sensitive skin.
I made "just one batch" to find out what made it so different. The rest is history...
Vicki Younger, soapmaker