In many ways, the soaping process reminds me of clay work: the chemistry, the waiting, the big reveal. In one way, soaping reminds me of fiber art, which I spent some time in, in college. Back then I was always finding or making little bits of things - beads, buttons, dyed fabric - and saving them to use in some future project. I find that I do that with soap, too: each batch makes more soap than will fit in the mold, so I use the extra to pour into candy molds - like these little seashells - or tube molds for inserts, or just bricks of color. Then I get a design idea, and go through my saved-up materials to see what would make a nice grace note.
I find I always want a grace note, in this case the scattered shells, and the gold mica shimmer. That is what makes the bars special, sets them apart at a glance from a perfectly-serviceable bar you can get in the grocery store. (Most of those aren't actually soap; they are detergent, but for most people that's a big ol' whatever.) The chemistry is important, too - the soap needs to feel amazing, lather generously, smell delightful. Those are all function. People never get to experience that part, unless they look at the soap and think, want.
Like clay, a boring piece can serve the function just as well as a special one. The grace notes are what make using it a great experience.
These are on the curing rack, and will be available mid-September.