I love stirring in the botanicals I've dried and the essential oils. The whole house smells wonderful as this caustic (yes, caustic) mix gets poured into a lined wood mold. There it will stay for 24 hours, after which time I will unmold the soap and cut it into bars.
The soap loses its caustic property as a chemical reaction between the lye water and oils takes place over the next 6 to 8 weeks. That curing process renders a fine-grained, fragrant, and luxurious bar of soap. What's so lovely about handcrafted soaps is that they contain none of the common chemical additives and preservatives that are found in most big name-brand soaps, so they're kinder to your skin.