Figuring out what kind of soap to make with a particular fragrance is sometimes simple, and other times, challenging. When I wanted to feature Cucumbers & Melons Fragrance Oil, I turned to the colors of the real deal to make a fresh and pretty soap.
I like to match the color or technique of the soap to the fragrance. This time I’ll be making a dark green base layer like the dark skin of a cucumber. Then I’ll make an in-the-pot swirl using colors of melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, and yellow watermelon – in a white base. My vision for the soap is to look clean, fresh, and inviting.
Cucumbers & Melons is a refreshing fragrance. It’s sweet, fresh, cool, green, and gentle, and it is not syrupy sweet. I like the green, fresh notes; they speak of the cucumbers that are so often lacking in other cucumber melon fragrances.
This fragrance oil behaves very well in cold process soap, too!
Colorants I will use for this batch are Titanium Dioxide, Moss Green, Blaze Orange Day-Glo Color, Yellow Oxide, and Mint Green. All my colors are premixed in glycerin using a mortar and pestle to make sure all the clumps get mixed well. I store the premixed colors in small squeeze bottles like these with a disk closure. Bottles used for cake decorating work great for colors if you want to mix up larger amounts. Since I don’t use up my colors quickly, I only premix smaller amounts.
When formulating this recipe, I wanted to keep the amount of hard oils lower to hopefully keep the soap from thickening too quickly. It drives me nuts to have a great swirl in mind and have it go wrong because my soap batter accelerates. I do not expect that to happen with this batch.
This recipe contains a lot of different oils, which makes things a bit more complicated, but here’s why I did it. First, I was almost out of Sunflower Oil, so I could not use more than I had. (If I’d had enough, I would have used Sunflower Oil rather than Olive Oil.) Second, I really like Rice Bran Oil in soap, so I wanted to include it. Third, Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil have been my favorite luxury oils forever, but I’ve never used them together.
Because of the greater amount of liquid oils, I expect this soap to stay soft and possibly need longer cure time. I will be leaving it in the mold a bit longer than usual, and I am adding Sodium Lactate to help harden the bar.
Want to make this with me? Here’s what you’ll need.
For 44 oz Mold
9.68 oz Coconut Oil
22% 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.
This soap may be frustrating for beginners with the long list of ingredients and techniques.
Weigh oils into a microwave-safe container; fragrance oil into a small glass container; and lye. Set these aside.
Measure the liquid you will be using.
Slowly add the lye to the liquid, stirring. Do this in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling the fumes. 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 they are completely liquid, set them aside to cool.
Here is your break to clean up your workspace, set out the mold you will use, visit the restroom. 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.
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.
When the soap was at a light trace, I separated the batter for the different colors. I had about 10 cups of soap batter, so I poured off 2 cups for the base layer (which would be green), then I poured off 1.5 cups for the colors to make the in-the-pot swirl (orange, yellow, and green). I left the rest of the soap in the large container to be white.
After adding some Moss Green and Mint Green to make the green, I whisked that soap batter and added a bit of the Cucumbers & Melons fragrance oil. Then I poured that into the bottom of my soap mold and set it aside.
I added TD to the largest amount of soap batter and whisked it by hand; then I added the rest of the fragrance and hand stirred it.
For the cantaloupe color, I added several drops of Blaze Orange Day-Glo Color and whisked, adding a few more drops to get the hue I wanted. It took less than one-eighth teaspoon of Yellow Oxide to make that soap batter pale yellow. Again, I added several drops of Moss Green to the third cup of soap batter to make a pale green. After whisking to mix, I poured each color into my white batter in several places; then I used the spoon handle to swirl just a bit.
I poured the swirled soap batter over a spatula into the mold on top of the green layer I’d poured earlier. Pouring over the spatula helps keep the soap batter from breaking through the base layer. The soap was still too liquid to do any texture on the top, so I left it for about 30 minutes; when it was thick enough, I did a cross-hatch design.
Waiting for 24 hours was hard! I really wanted to see how the colors and the ITP swirl had come out, but I made myself wait. I’m glad I did! When I unmolded the soap, it was still a bit soft to the touch, but it cut cleanly, and I was thrilled to see pale colors and a beautiful swirl!
The scent is strong, but it is not overpowering. Though cucumber/melon fragrances have never been my favorites, I genuinely like this one.
Have you tried our Cucumbers & Melons Fragrance Oil? Do you like it best in soap or lotions?
I had a thought while making this soap, so I’ll be doing a bit of fragrance blending soon with Cucumbers & Melons and making a lotion. Check back for that!