Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1200 g of soap or 10 bars
I love a good rose fragrance. I’d prefer the real thing, but pure rose essential oil is one of the most expensive oils there is, and to be honest, it would be a total waste to put it in a soap. Did you know that it takes about 20000 rose petals to produce 1 ml of rose oil! That’s when fragrances become a really good alternative.
The Rose fragrance I’m using in this soap is from Candlescience, available from Pure Nature, which has a beautiful rose aroma, with hints of geranium and violet. Unfortunately, it is also known to accelerate in cold process soap. And because of that, I was told it was unsuitable for cold process. But those of you who know me, know that I can never stay away from a challenge and, when you tell me that something isn’t possible, I have to go and prove you wrong. Working with accelerating fragrances isn’t impossible, but it is challenging.
Tips for working with accelerating fragrances:
- Use slow moving oils such as olive oil, and stay away from butters and solid oils
- Soap at low temperatures, no warmer than room temperature
- Add your fragrance to the oils before adding the lye
- Don’t add a water discount to your lye – less water means higher temperature, which increases acceleration
- Stick to a simple soap design and avoid colour work
Instead of playing with colour, I decided to decorate the top instead. The curls I used for decoration I made from a previous soap, one I didn’t like how it turned out. Using a simple potato peeler, I peeled off curls from a bar of soap. It’s very easy, but you have to do it before the soap has become too hard and brittle. By the way, this is also a very cool way to use up the end-bits of soaps. I’m all for zero-waste, and that includes using every last bit of soap!
If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.
Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!
ONE: First, prepare your lye. Weigh out the caustic soda in a small container. Measure the water in a small pyrex or other heat proof glass jug. Then carefully add the caustic soda to the water and gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Set aside to cool. To help it cool down quicker, I placed mine in a container of cold water in the sink.
TWO: Weigh out and add the olive oil and castor oil into a large jug or pot. Pure olive oil soaps usually have a poor lather, and castor oil will help increase the lathering properties.
THREE: Add the fragrance to your oils and stir well until the fragrance is thoroughly dispersed through the oils. Adding the fragrance to the oils, dilutes the fragrance, which helps slow down acceleration.
Wait until the lye has cooled down to room temperature, or maximum 25C (77F).
FOUR: Making sure you are still in protective gear (goggles and gloves), carefully pour the lye to the oils, avoiding any splashes. Then, using only a whisk, stir briskly until the soap mixture has emulsified and starts to thicken.
FIVE: Pour the soap quickly into the mold. The soap will start setting immediately, so you’ll have to work quickly.
SIX: Stick the soap curls into the top of the soap, leaving about half of the curl above the surface. Cover the whole surface with the curls. Make sure you work quickly, because the soap will set and it will become more difficult to push the curls in if it has set too hard.
SEVEN: Sprinkle gold bio-glitter over the curls.
EIGHT: Let the soap harden overnight. The following day, carefully unmold the soap and cut into bars. Leave the bars to cure for a further 4-6 weeks.
- 950 g olive oil
- 50 g castor oil
- 128 g caustic soda
- 260 ml water
- 40 ml Rose fragrance from Candlescience
- rose coloured soap curls (optional)
- gold bio-glitter (optional)
- Prepare your lye: carefully add the caustic soda to the water and stir gently until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- Weigh out the oils in a large jug or pot.
- Add the fragrance to the oils and stir to disperse the fragrance through the oils
- Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and, using only a whisk, stir until the soap starts to thicken.
- Pour into mold.
- Optional: stick curls into the surface of the soap, leaving about half of the curl above the soap. Cover the whole surface with curls
- Optional: sprinkle some gold bio-glitter over the curls
- Let the soap set and harden overnight. Unmold and cut into bars. Leave the bars to cure for a further 4-6 weeks.