Time: 1 hr
Yields: 600 g of soap
Mould: small square 4″ silicon mould
I love these rustic looking natural soaps, which contain gentle exfoliating green and yellow clays and a blend of essential oils that is herbaceous, yet also fresh and uplifting. Rosemary and mint stand out, but not overpowering due to the refreshing citrus scent from the lemongrass essential oil. The fragrance is well-liked by both men and women, and great for the morning shower to wake you up and energise for the day!
The recipe is calculated for the small 4″ silicon mould, that holds roughly 600 ml of soap, but can easily be doubled to fit a standard loaf mould, such as the 10″ silicon mould. Both moulds are available from Pure Nature.
Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!
If you have never soap before, I strongly recommend you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first, and make several other easier soaps before continuing.
ONE: First prepare your lye by weighing out the caustic soda and water. And then, carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and stir until the lye water is clear. Set aside to cool down.
TWO: In the meantime, weigh out the coconut oil in a heat proof jug and melt in the microwave.
THREE: Weigh out and add the olive oil, sunflower oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil, and give the oils a quick stir. Set aside.
FOUR: While you are waiting, prepare the essential oil blend and the clays. Add 1 teaspoon each of green clay and yellow clay into a separate container. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of water to each and stir to a slurry.
FIVE: Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing your goggles and gloves, carefully add lye to the oils and then, using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified (does not separate).
SIX: Add the blend of essential oils to the emulsified soap mixture and give it a quick stir.
The essential oils that I am using is an fresh, herbaceous blend of rosemary, mint and lemongrass. I purchase my essential oils from Pure Nature in 250 ml bottles, which makes it a lot more economical than buying small amounts.
SEVEN: Separate the soap into roughly two equal portions and add the clays. Using your stick blender, mix each pot until the soap has thickened to a medium trace.
EIGHT: Pour the green soap first and sprinkle with poppy seeds. We’re creating a thin pencil line of poppy seeds between the two layers. And then pour the yellow soap over the top. To decorate the top, pull a fork from side to middle along the length of the mould. Repeat for the other side, and then sprinkle poppy seeds on the peak in the centre.
Place the soap somewhere warm and dry to set and cure.
NINE: The following day, check if the soap has hardened and isn’t sticky and soft anymore. Carefully unmold, and cut it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.
Rosemary and mint soap
- 300 g olive oil
- 100 g coconut oil
- 75 g sunflower oil
- 25 g castor oil
- 68 g caustic soda
- 150 g water
- 1 teaspoon green clay
- 1 teaspoon yellow clay
- 10 ml lemongrass essential oil
- 5 ml rosemary essential oil
- 5 ml peppermint essential oil
- poppy seeds
- Measure out 150 g of water into a heat proof Pyrex jug. Weigh out the caustic soda and carefully add it to the water, avoiding any splashes. Gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the lye solution is clear. Set aside to cool down.
- Weigh out the coconut oil and melt in the microwave or stove top.
- Add the olive oil, sunflower oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and give the oils a quick stir. Set aside.
- Prepare your essential oil blend. Set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon of yellow clay to one container and 1 teaspoon of green clay to another. Mix each colour with 1 tablespoon of water to a slurry. Set aside.
- Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
- Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
- Add the essential oils and give it another quick mix with the stick blender.
- Divide the soap into roughly two equal portions and colour each portion with one of the clays. Stick blend until you have medium trace.
- Pour the green soap into the soap mould, and sprinkle some poppy seeds over the surface of the layer.
- Carefully pour or scoop the yellow soap over the poppy seed layer, and then using a fork, form a peak by pulling the fork from side to centre for both sides. Sprinkle some poppy seeds along the peak in the centre.
- Place the soap in a warm, dry area to cure.
- The following day, check if the soap is firm enough to unmold. Remove from mold and cut into bars. The bars will need further curing for about 6-8 weeks until ready for use.