Rose essential oil is one of the most precious essences available, so it’s extremely expensive. Luckily with this homemade rose soap, we can substitute it for a rose fragrance oil.
There are so many other great natural ingredients in this recipe. I find the coconut oil, sunflower oil, and cocoa butter make for a wonderfully exotic soak after a hard day’s work running around after little ones.
I’ve used cardamom essential oil in this recipe as I love the fragrance, but you can feel free to substitute it or add other floral essential oils that you enjoy or that suit your skin. For example, lavender works very well with this rose soap recipe. Lavender originates from the Latin word ‘lavo’ which means ‘to wash’, so perhaps that’s why its always a good ingredient to use in recipes for soap!
It’s also possible to substitute the water in this recipe for rose water or even add a little homemade rose oil infusion.
- 312g (10oz) Vegetable Fat (Shortening)
- 312g (10oz) Coconut Oil
- 250g (8oz) Sunflower Oil
- 125g (4oz) Cocoa Butter
- 146g (4.5 oz) Lye (Sodium Hydroxide/Caustic Soda)
- 300g (10oz) Distilled Water
- 10ml (2.5 tsp) Red Soap Dye
- 20g (4.5 tsp) Rose Fragrance Oil
- 10g (2.5 tsp) Cardamom Essential Oil
Notes On The Color
For the rose color, I’m using a highly concentrated liquid soap coloring that is suitable for use in cold process soap. If you are unable to get hold of this you can use pink mica. This will need to be added at trace. You will need to remove a small amount of soap batter, add the mica to it then blend it back into the remaining batter. As the soap hardens and cools the color will lighten and fade so make it a bit darker than you want it to be.
You can also color this soap with pink clay. Once you have stirred the lye into the distilled water add 1 teaspoon of pink clay and stir. Continue with the soap method as usual. Take a look at my pink clay soap recipe to see the finished color.
Make sure you add the color at very light trace and before adding any fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are well known for seizing (speeding up trace to the point where it becomes very thick and difficult to handle) the soap mixture. Floral fragrances oils are notorious for this, hence why there are no photos after adding the color. I was messing around with my camera and it almost cost me the entire batch of soap. By the finish I was forcing the soap into the mold, so take my advice and make sure you have everything ready so you can work fast after adding color.
Just for the record if you are unhappy with the look of any finished soap you have a few options, you can:
- Trim it, the crinkly soap cutter is a great way to disguise a ‘not so smooth’ soap batch!
- Rebatch it, with this process you can save botched batches that you would normally have to be thrown out.
- Use it as bath curls or in many other recipes such as Cleopatra’s Milky Cocoa Butter Bath or put it in bath bags etc.
If You’ve Not Made Soap BeforeStart by watching the short video below and take a look at my full cold process tutorial here.
Using the cold process method
- Make sure the room you are making the soap in is well ventilated.
- In a large-sized stainless steel pan, melt the vegetable fat, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and cocoa butter over low heat.
- Put on protective eyewear, mask, apron, and long rubber gloves. Pour the mineral water into a plastic jug. Slowly, add the lye, using a plastic spatula to stir until dissolved. (If using pink clay ad this now)
- Keep an eye on the temperatures of the oils and lye, you need them to cool to around 120f (49c) to 140f (60c)
- When both mixtures cool to 120f (49c) to 140f (60c) immediately pour the lye mix into the oils.
- Give your electric hand blender a quick blast to remove any air bubbles before placing it in the soap batter.
- Blend the batter until the mixture becomes thick enough, (when a bit of the soap is drizzled over the top and it leaves a line/ trace before disappearing back into the batter.
- Add the color at very light trace (see notes if using mica).
- Adding the fragrance oils. You will need to work quickly here as Fragrance oils are well known for seizing (speeding up trace to the point where it becomes very thick and difficult to handle) the soap mixture.
- Pour or spoon the mixture into the mold, place a lid on it or cover with a piece of cardboard, store in a warm, dry place for 24 hrs in order for it to set.
- Line a wooden board with greaseproof paper, put some protective gloves on, and turn the soap out onto the board.
- Use a carving knife to cut into your desired shape/size, or use a biscuit cutter.
- Put them into a tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave for four weeks in a warm dry place, turning them occasionally.
Photos From Making Rose Soap
I hope you enjoy making rose soap, please feel free to add any comments or ask questions below, and please let me know if you have any other interesting rose soap recipes.
Soap Calculator & Formulation Guide
Select your chosen oils, along with the weight or percentage. The soap calculator will then show the total weight of lye and water required. The result can be instantly adjusted by changing your preferred superfatting level or water/lye ratio.