Most helpful positive review
on March 13, 2003
First, I want to mention that in my edition, she has corrected the instructions regarding adding lye to water. Mine clearly states to add the lye to the water, which is the correct (safe) way.
After running her recipes through an online calculator, I agree that they're a bit heavy on the lye. She has zero superfatting, which for a beginner seems a little risky - if you short your oils at all your soap might turn out too caustic. I also reduce the water in her recipes by about 20% unless I'm using a fragrance oil prone to siezing. So I recommend taking her recipes and running them through a good online lye calculator and deciding for yourself if you want to reduce these - I generally use a 5% lye discount and have had great results.
This book focuses rather heavily on rebatching. Personally I enjoy rebatching but many soapers consider it a nightmare and reserve it only for failed batches. So just be aware that this book is a little shy on base soap recipes, but great if you're looking for rebatching recipes.
I also have an aversion to using tallow or other animal products, and there are only 2 base soaps that are all veggie. I would have liked to see more all-veggie recipes.
Overall I think it's a pretty good book, and I'll be keeping my copy. I just write in my own water and lye amounts. :)