Chinese Star Anise Soap

There is an early morning market that happens daily in my new neighborhood. Everyone gets up and goes to the market to get fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, grains, tofu, meats and even spices. The Chinese want the freshest products they can get, so it is easy to find produce that was picked just this morning. The prices are very reasonable. I got 1500 grams (3.3 lbs) of green beans for only 5 RMB! This is less than $1 US! It is fun to go to the market to pick the produce I want to use to make dinner each evening.

When I saw the spice vendor, I was impressed by the HUGE pile of Star Anise that was for sale. Anyone could buy as much or as little quantity as wanted. They were having a special sale because they had just brought in a new crop of the Star Anise. Spend 3 RMB ($0.50) and get 50 grams or spend 10 RMB ($1.60) and get 200 grams. Seeing this pile of Star Anise inspired me to make a batch of soap for those hunters and fishers as it is in the middle of summer. Come join me in the kitchen to make Chinese Star Anise soap!


Coconut Oil
Shea Butter
Olive Oil
Palm Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil
Microwave Safe Container


Recipe in Grams 
227 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Shea Butter
113 grams Olive Oil
454 grams Palm Oil
128 grams Sodium Hydroxide
340 grams Water
7 grams Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil
Recipe in Ounces
8 ounces Coconut Oil
4 ounces Shea Butter
4 ounces Olive Oil
16 ounces Palm Oil
4.51 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 ounces Water
0.25 ounces Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil
Recipe in Percentages
25% Coconut Oil
12% Shea Butter
12% Olive Oil
49% Palm Oil
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Water
1% Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil


Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold. Allow to sit until soap is firm. The next morning cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.


Note: We noticed that the cut soap had a beautiful white swirly color to it when we first cut it due to the stearines in the fats.

Buying Chinese Star Anise at the Market
Chinese Star Anise
Weighing Oils
Mixing Lye
Mixing Oils and Lye Solution
Mixing Soap
Mixed Soap
Adding Chinese Star Anise Essential Oil
Soap in Molds

Cut soap
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Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
Chinese Star Anise Soap, 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

7 thoughts on “Chinese Star Anise Soap”

  1. Hi, Andee, what is the significance of the anise for hunters and fishermen?

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    1. Carolyn,
      Anise is said to negate the human scent and make it so animals (including fish) don’t smell the hunters and fishermen. I hope this helps!

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  2. I love star anise and regular, too. I bet that soap smells amazing – like Good-n-Plenty. Mmmmmm.

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  3. I would love to go to one of those markets. My mom was in Japan for several years and would tell me of the wonderful markets and prices. And anise soap smells amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I am absolutely intrigued by this soap and am going to make it tomorrow….I can’t wait!

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  5. The smell is beyond wonderful. I will cut into bars tomorrow. Why only a few days before I can use it? I’m so used to waiting a month before I get to try it that a few days didn’t sound right…

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    1. You can wait a few days to a month for the soap to cure. A longer cure time will result in a harder bar. This is why you would choose a longer cure time over a shorter one.

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