Two more soaps to go! This soap is from our recent “My Favorite Recipe to Share” soap swap on The Sage Forum. I hope you have been enjoying these wonderful soap recipes. I hope you have been enjoying these wonderful soap recipes and using them as inspiration.
When I received Elaine’s package, I couldn’t help myself and I just had to hold a bar up to my nose and inhale deeply! She used a great combination of Vanilla and Lavender that is soothing and relaxing. (At least I think so!) This soap looks great and I can’t wait to take it home and try it! She even used a long fiber mulberry paper on her cigar band and I think the final result is adorable.
Lye Solution for 8% excess fat:
20 oz water
8.46 oz Sodium Hydroxide flakes
Oils & Butters (62 oz):
20 oz Olive Oil
16 oz Refined Coconut Oil
12 oz Palm Oil
8 oz Avocado Oil
6 oz Refined Shea Butter
½ to 3/4 cup sifted, ground oatmeal (not quick oats) – Optional
1 oz Lavender Essential Oil of choice (I used Bulgarian in this recipe)
½ oz Vanille blend essential oil (a blend of vanilla absolute, benzoin and Peru Balsam prepared by my local herb shop)
This is one of my favorite blends of oils and butters, but I tend to save it for special occasions because the Avocado and Shea are a little more expensive. This is also one of my favorite scent blends. I’ve always used oatmeal with lavender and vanilla and have blended the vanilla in the whole batch for a brown bar, but I think if I would leave out the oatmeal next time if want to swirl the soap since the oatmeal thickens the soap (go figure).
I like to begin when the oils and butters and the lye solution are 90-100 degrees. Add the lavender eo at light trace and gently blend. If you would like a solid brown bar, add the vanilla eo now, too. Add the oatmeal and gently blend until mixed thoroughly. (Once the oatmeal is added, the blend will thicken quickly, but don’t worry about it. This batch REALLY thickened up and it still turned out great.) If you want to marble the soap, pour about ½ of the mixture into a glass container with a pour spout and blend the vanilla eo in thoroughly. You’ll need to work as quickly as you can from here because it can get very thick, especially if you’re using oatmeal. Carefully pour the vanilla mixture in drizzly swirls back into the lavender mixture. The closer you have the vanilla to the lavender as you pour, the more shallow the vanilla will be in the soap; hold it higher up as you pour if you want the vanilla to reach the bottom of the bars (thanks gravity!). Quickly pour the soap into your prepared tray/mold and jiggle it to even it our and then use a chopstick to create additional swirls or designs in the soap. It’s up to you if you want a super smooth top using a spatula or if you like the grooves made by the chopsticks. Cover with a piece of wax paper and cover tray with a piece of heavy cardboard and insulate the soap with blankets, towels, etc. and tuck into a warm spot our of the way for at least 24 hours before cutting the bars.
Ok, so I must confess, I intended to marble the soap as I described above, but I was distracted by how quickly the soap thickened after I added the oatmeal and started to pour the soap into the mold and forgot about the vanilla! Oops. Luckily, I figured it our before I poured it all into the tray, stopped and added the vanilla. It was pretty thick by then, not at all thin enough to drizzle, but I still added the vanilla mixture a little at a time to the lavender in the tray at different heights (plop, plop, plop) and then swirled it with a chopstick. It didn’t go as planned, but I was still very happy with how it turned out! I hope you agree!
The Vanille blend that Elaine used was purchased from Artemisia Herbals in Sonora, California.