For most, there's nothing better than a wonderful warm, relaxing bath. For the creative, there's always an added bonus knowing you made the soap. Or the bubbles and bath salts. Heck, you even made the lotion you're going to use after you come out! Does that sound like it should be you? Here's the goods to get you into crafting Bath and Body product.
Suppliers - Multiple Bath & Body Areas
Bramble Berry: supplies for making soap, lip balm, lotions, bath salts, and more. Includes molds, colorant, exfolians, fragrances, and more. Just starting out and don't know what to do? They also offer kits.
Wellington Fragrance Company: despite their name, Wellington stocks various bases (including body gel, liquid hand soap, bubble bath, lotion, shampoo and conditioner bases), molds, flavor oils, and salts. Not surprisingly, they also stock fragrances (what a shock!).
Save on Scents: I love these guys. While they originally primarily fragrance oils (their selection is great, they've started to expant their collection to packaging (vials, bottles, rollons, and more), melt and pour soap bases, colorants, and a variety of other bases including shower gel, lip balm, scrub, lotion, and other various bases.
Sweet Cakes: if you're looking into bath and body as a business opportunity, Sweet Cakes offers bulk supplies for melt and pour soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bases. They also supply packaging, lip balm bases and flavor oils, and a wide variety of fragrance and essential oils. Want to test out the scents? They also offer themed 1 ounce fragrance sampler packs.
Wholesale Supplies Plus: offering molds, fragrances, various bases, and packaging, WSP has a good selection that covers all of bath and body crafting. There's a particularly good selection of melt and pour bases to suit anyone's personal preference.
Suppliers - Soapmaking Exclusive
Creation Herbal: offering essential oils and soapmaking ingredients, Creation Herbal also offers organic alternatives for those crafting for that market. If you're interested in doing a more advanced soapmaking process than simple melt and pour, they have beginner recipe kits complete with all necessary ingredients and a step-by-step book to help you through it.
Suppliers - Fragrance Exclusive
Scent It: various fragrance oils available in various sizes, including sample sizes if you'd like to experiment before you buy a bulk size.
Suppliers - Packaging Exclusive
SKS Bottle: a really, really great variety of packaging options for bath and body products. I've used them before while I was in school developing a fictious bath and body line for a packaging class - and I'd use them again.
Books - Soapmaking
The Soapmaker's Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch: featuring recipes and techniques, this book helps inspire new ways of making your soaps unique. Probably the best feature of all, Cavitch also offers insight on soapmaking for profit, including the hardest part for all of us - understanding the government's rules and requirements!
The Natural Soap Book by Susan Miller Cavitch: also by Ms. Cavitch, this book features soap recipes in the cold process method using all-natural ingredients. In addition to the recipes, Cavitch also discusses ideas for creative packaging and presentation.
Soapmaking for Fun and Profit by Maria Nerius: geared slightly more towards the business side of soapmaking, including pricing and marketing, it also addresses how to develop recipes and setting up a workspace.
Melt and Pour Soapmaking by Marie Browning: through great imagery and easy to follow directions, this book will help you make your melt and pour soaps even more unique with discussions on fragrance, additives, colorants, embossing, embedding and more. Though the title would suggest it's only a book about melt and pour, there are also recipes included on hand milled soaps, bath salts, bubble baths, massage oils, and bath powders.
Making Natural Liquid Soaps by Catherine Failor: in addition to all-natural recipes for shampoos, bath and shower gels, and bubble baths, this book gives insight into the chemistry behind bath and body product, and how to use different hard fats and soft oils to the best advantage. There's also information included about how to formulate your own blends, and addresses basic techniques that everyone can follow.