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The writing is on the wall. We have Private Label customers transitioning away from plastic bottles. It’s becoming a strong trend now.

And our first test batch is a solid bar version of our amazingly popular Patchouli Lavender Natural Face Wash. Yes, the same ingredients, but in a bar form.

It’s an entirely plant-based product, free of synthetics. We use pure, natural, extra virgin olive oil cultivated and cold-pressed in Australia.

For the fragrance, we use Patchouli essential oil cultivated and distilled in Indonesia. And finally, a dash of Citrus aurantium var. bergamia (Bergamot) freshly harvested and cold-pressed in France.


The Challenge

But hey, pure extra virgin olive oil bars have their challenges. Some say they are too soft. Others complain about the difficulties in producing these bars.

Anyway, developing new formulations is always a slow, tedious, and time-consuming task. It involves many skills. A lot of mathematics. And research.

The first challenge was dealing with the long trace-time. For the second batch, we introduced what we call a “water discount.” Success. The trace time is now within reasonable limits.


The Journey

But that’s just the beginning of our journey. Next is to see how hard these bars are after 30 days of curing. Some research suggests these olive oil bars require 60 days of curing.

And then there is the bar fragrance. Will the fragrance from our liquid face wash translate into solid bars? And who said that transitioning away from plastic bottles will be an easy transition.

Pictured is the cutting of our second 1 Kg test batch.

You will also notice in the background one of our 1 Kg test moulds. We had these made in Ha Noi many years ago. And used them to develop and test our current range of soap bars. The process took two years. Formulate, test, tweak, test, and tweak again. It’s never a quick process.

OK, we have started the journey transitioning away from plastic. How long will it take to complete the first formulation? No idea. Let’s call it a work in process. All good science and artisanship takes time. And transitioning away from plastic bottles is never going to be a quick process.


The Next Step

If we can get a reasonable 1 Kg test mould result, then the next step is to scale up. First, just one of our 12 Kg moulds. We need to understand how the formulation behaves at this mass. And with a good result, we will go into full production with five of our 12 Kg moulds in one production run.

But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to produce good 1 Kg test moulds first. Stay tuned for progress reports of our transitioning away from plastic bottles.

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