Let the beauty and floral scent of this soap recipe win you over
Everything is Coming Up Roses with this homemade soap! Featuring a tangle of pink, white, and coppery swirls and a delicate rosy scent, this soap makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a whirlwind of silky petals—and when you step out, you’ll smell as fresh as a rose. Isn’t it grand when things turn out just right?
Despite the intricate beauty of this cold process soap, the swirl technique you’ll be using is actually rather easy! You will need some equipment and a few ingredients, of course, but it’s perfect if you’ve only made a few swirled soaps before. That said, if the instructions look a little too complicated for your comfort level, you can always start out with My First Swirled Soap. If you’ve never made cold process soap at all before, then we recommend trying out our beginner soap recipe first.
All you need is just a little experience and your homemade soap will be Coming Up Roses!
Before you begin
In this soap recipe, we use mini measuring spoons. Each quantity listed in all caps (DASH, SMIDGEN, etc.), corresponds with one of the measurements listed on the mini measuring spoon set.
Base oil and butter mixture
- 188 g (18.3%) coconut oil
- 217 g (21%) shea butter
- 285 g (27.7%) olive oil
- 60 g (5.8%) apricot kernel oil
Sodium hydroxide solution
- 2 g (0.1%) titanium dioxide
- 2 DASHes brushed copper mica
- 3 PINCHes bordeaux mica
- 2 SMIDGENs bordeaux mica
- Pinch of rose petals (optional)
- Personal protective gear
- Large Pyrex cup or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jar for the sodium hydroxide solution (minimum capacity of 500 ml)
- A jar for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- Hot plate or stove element
- Immersion blender
- Two small stainless steel bowls
- Mini measuring spoon set (for quantities given as PINCH, DASH, and SMIDGEN)
- Large stainless steel bowl
- Three small silicone spatulas
- Regular-sized silicone spatula
- Scale, accurate to 0.01 g
- A few ramekins
- Three measuring funnel pitchers
- A few teaspoons
- Silicone loaf mold
- Soap cutter
Good to know!
- You should never change an oil or butter in a soap recipe without re-entering all your ingredients in a sodium hydroxide calculator.
- The saponified oils and butters provide your homemade soap with these wonderful properties:
- Coconut oil hardens your soap, cleanses, and provides great lather.
- Shea butter hardens the soap, makes it milder, and provides a creamy lather.
- Olive oil makes this soap very mild on your skin.
- Apricot kernel oil makes this soap gentle.
- Any change to the quantity of aromatic essence will affect the superfatting of the soap, as aromatic essences are suspended in vegetable oil. You can replace the aromatic essence with another aromatic essence of your choosing, but keep in mind that some speed up trace. If you choose to not use any aromatic essence at all, you’ll have to re-enter your recipe into a soap calculator to recalculate your quantities.
- This soap recipe uses a water to sodium hydroxide ratio of 1.4:1. The soap is superfatted at 7.5%: 5.75% comes from the lye discount method (that is, by reducing the quantity of sodium hydroxide) and 1.75% comes from the aromatic essence.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution: weigh the water in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE jar, weigh the sodium hydroxide, pour the sodium hydroxide into the water, mix well, and set aside to cool.
- Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter in a large bowl and melt.
- Weigh the olive oil and the apricot kernel oil in the first small bowl.
- When the solid oil and butter have melted, remove from the heat and add the liquid oils from step 5 to the large bowl.
- Weigh the essential oil and aromatic essence in the second small bowl. Mix to combine using a small spatula.
- Weigh the colourants for colours 1, 2, and 3 in three separate measuring funnel pitchers. Add a tablespoon of the oil-and-butter mixture to each pitcher. Use a small spatula to disperse the colourants throughout the oils. We recommend using one small spatula per colour (meaning per pitcher) to avoid mixing the colours.
- Weigh the titanium dioxide in a ramekin. Add the titanium dioxide to the rest of the oil-and-butter mixture and mix with the immersion blender until the colourant is evenly distributed.
- When the oil-and-butter mixture and the sodium hydroxide solution have both cooled to about 35°C, pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the oil-and-butter mixture. Mix with the immersion blender and the regular-sized spatula until you reach light trace.
- At light trace, add the scent blend and mix with the spatula until you reach light trace again.
- Pour 100 ml of the soap batter into the measuring funnel pitchers containing colours 2 and 3 (each with a different quantity of bordeaux mica). Pour 300 ml of the batter into the pitcher containing colour 1 (the brushed copper mica). Stir each batter with the small spatula reserved for it until the colourants in each pitcher are evenly distributed.
- Pour 200 ml of the colour 1 batter (with the brushed copper mica) into the bottom of the soap mold.
- Take one of the three measuring funnel pitchers (it doesn’t matter which) and pour almost all of the coloured batter into the bowl containing the white batter, holding the pitcher roughly 20 to 30 cm above the surface of the white soap as you pour. Pouring the batter from this height will allow the coloured batter to drop further into the white batter and yield the desired swirls. The remainder of the coloured batter in the measuring funnel pitcher will be used to make swirls on the top of the soap.
- Repeat step 14 with the remaining two coloured batters. Again, the order is not important.
- Stick the thermometer into the bowl containing the soap batters and draw it through the batter in swirling shapes to yield more swirls.
- Take the bowl and gently pour the multicoloured batter into the mold, pouring it over a spatula held near the surface of the soap in the mold. This will ensure that the multicoloured batter doesn’t mix too much with the copper-coloured batter at the base of the soap mold.
- Pour what’s left in the pitchers of the three coloured batters over the top of the soap in the pattern of your choosing. Try straight lines, squiggles, or S-shapes—the choice is yours!
- Stick just the very tip of the thermometer into the soap in the mold such that it only touches the soap you’ve just poured on top, and draw random patterns on the surface of the soap to create swirls.
- Sprinkle a pinch of rose petals on top (optional).
- Cover the soap. Leave the soap to harden for 24 to 48 hours.
- Wear gloves to unmold the soap. Cut the soap into bars. Leave the bars in a cool, dry place for four to six weeks to cure.
Use and conservation
This homemade soap is formulated for body use and is suitable for all skin types.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, it will keep for at least 12 months.