I played with fragrance blending several months back, and the blend I most loved was The Meadow Fragrance Oil and Lavender Essential Oil.
Andee teaches a class on fragrance blending, and in the class, she shows photos to inspire fragrance blends based on the image. At the right is one of the photos she has used, and that was the one she showed me. I immediately thought of lavender, of course. The other component I wanted to highlight was the smell of a grassy field; I wanted a scent that would smell green. She gave me several options, but none was quite right until The Meadow Fragrance Oil passed under my nose. I settled on one part The Meadow and two parts Lavender Essential Oil 40-42 Select. I kept the perfume test strip, which sits on my desk and reminds me to do something with that blend.
Today is finally the day – I’m making a batch of soap scented with my blend, which I’m calling Lavender Meadow. I’ll use Titanium Dioxide, Lavender Fields, and Moss Green colors to give a visual of the scent.
About the Recipe:
I’m also soaping with a bit different blend of oils than I generally use. I’m using the 6-5-4-1 method with a bit of modification. The highest number is usually a base oil that is solid at room temperature such as Soybean Oil or Palm Oil. These oils make a firm bar and don’t negate lather. I’m using Coconut Oil as my base oil. This may mean a softer bar, but I’m okay with that. I’ll give it a longer cure time and see how it comes out.
I’ve been interested in trying Babassu Oil in soap, so I decided to incorporate it into this recipe. Babassu Oil comes from the palm fruit, and its appearance it is very similar to Coconut Oil, and it has the same properties in soap. Both Babassu and Coconut will add big bubbles. Babassu Oil is the “5” oil.
For smaller, dense lather in the “4” spot, I chose Rice Bran Oil and Sunflower Oil. Both offer great cleansing and moisturizing properties, and I like using them in place of Olive Oil, which is my usual standby in this slot.
I chose Hemp Oil as my luxury oil – the “1” in the formula. It is a generous source of fatty acids, and it boosts lather in cold process soap.
This should make quite a bubbly bar of soap!
Want to make this along with me? Gather these supplies and equipment, and let’s do it!
Here’s the recipe for a one-pound batch plus in percentages so you can adjust to whatever size mold you want to use.
6 ounces Coconut Oil
Before getting started, please prepare to soap safely! Long sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and close-toed shoes are a must. If you have never made cold process soap before, we’re glad you’re here! Please check out this blog post, which is the first in a series on beginning soapmaking.
Weigh all the oils into a microwave-safe container; set aside.
Make the fragrance blend. I used one part The Meadow Fragrance Oil and 2 parts of Lavender Essential Oil. Use the Fragrance Calculator to calculate the amounts needed for a one-pound batch of cold process soap. I wanted a stronger scented soap, so I looked at the strong usage rates for both parts of my blend. Luckily, both Lavender and The Meadow have the same usage rates, so I decided on a 2.75% total usage rate and divided that 0.45 ounces by 3. That gave me the weights for a single part of my blend (The Meadow), and the Lavender was double that amount.
I weighed the needed amounts of Lavender Select and The Meadow into a small glass beaker.
Weigh the lye.
Weigh the water.
Slowly add lye to water, stirring. Do this in a well-ventilated area. It will give off toxic fumes that you do not want to inhale. Once the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.
Pop the oils into the microwave to melt, using 30-second increments. Once the oils are completely liquid, give the mixture a stir and set it aside to cool.
While the lye mixture and oils cooled, I put about 1/2 ounce of Liquid Glycerin in each of three paper cups, adding a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon) of colorant to each paper cup and mixing well with a mini stick blender to disperse the colorant in the glycerin. Those were set well out of the way of my work area.
Once the oils and the lye mixture are within 10 degrees of each other and have cooled to about 110-130 degrees F, you’re ready to make soap. When I checked the temperature of the oil mixture and lye mixtures after giving them some cooling time, the lye solution was 104 degrees F, and the oils were 91 degrees F. Perfect!
Carefully pour the lye mixture into the oils, taking care not to splash. Stir with your soap spoon, then pulse the stick blender several times to emulsify the soap batter.
After the soap batter was just emulsified, I weighed it to see how much I had. I wanted to divide the batter into three equal parts to color, and weighing is the most precise way to do this. After getting my three separate containers, I added a colorant to each; Titanium Dioxide, Lavender Fields, and Moss Green. After stirring with a whisk, I added the fragrance blend and stirred again.
After lots of consideration about what mold I was going to use (I settled on the Oval Silicone Mold because I really like the size of the bars) and what technique I’d employ to mix the colors, I decided to do an In-the-Pot Swirl. I poured the green into one side of the white soap and the lavender into the other side, then I swirled them a little bit with the end of my spoon. I was dismayed to see that the batter was becoming quite thick by this point, so I quickly poured it into the molds before it could get too thick. I ended up having a bit more green and purple than I’d really wanted to mix into the white, so I added those colors on top of the swirled soap on a few of the bars for a bit of base layer.
I placed a plastic box over the top of the mold and insulated it well so the individual bars would hold enough heat to avoid stalling.
Fast forward a day to the great unmolding. I am looking forward to seeing how this soap turned out!
Happily, this soap unmolded with no difficulty. The bar was harder than I expected it to be, given that I did not use Soybean Oil in the formulation. I was disappointed that the thick batter had left air pockets when I poured it. I had a great time photographing this soap; maybe it was because the aroma of lavender and greenery wafted over me as I worked. Or perhaps it was the enjoyment of filtered sunlight gently lighting my work area after days of overcast skies and rain. Whatever the reason, I like everything about this soap! Here are a few glamour shots. I wish you could smell this!
Do you think you might give this soap recipe and/or fragrance blend a try? If you do, we’d all love to hear about it and see photos! Or just tell us what you think.