I posted some pictures of my enchanted Yule soaps and I got asked if I could share a recipe and maybe a Blog as some of you wanted to know my methods, so here you are!
First thing you will need to do is choose your soap base. I use natural organic melt and pour bases because it draws moisture into itself and because lye based soaps are a bit too chemically intense for my liking..
Glycerin melt and pour soap bases are widely available online (Amazon?) and come in a wide variety. You have shea butter glycerin soap, goats milk glycerin soap, honey glycerin soap, and soooo many more. I usually use Organic glycerin BUT if you want to witch it up you can certainly use your own their is plenty to choose from...
Next choosing scents. I use herbs and essential oils in all my soaps, use SPARINGLY and properly diluted. A teaspoon of rosemary oil in a pound of soup is alright. But be careful for skin reactants. However when properly diluted, essential oils really add a lovely scent to your soaps that can last on the skin for hours and hours.
Be sure to pick a good quality brand that doesn’t contain alcohol or other questionable ingredients.
When choosing scents, there are a few things to keep in mind (which you can find pretty easily as perfumers basics online). You want three types of oils in your mixings to create a signature scent^tm. A base note, a middle note, and a top note. Base notes generally consist of your woodsy patchoulis, cederwoods, cloves and the like. Mid notes would be more citrusy or a little lighter in nature like your lavenders, oranges and lemongrasses. And for top notes these are usually more floral like jasmine, ylang ylang and lemon verbena.
The purpose of combining scents like this, is because the top notes are what you first smell from the scent, but are also what evaporate most quickly, then the mid notes and so on.
Some of my favourite oils are (for two pound at a time pours)
4 tsp Vanilla Essential oil
1 tsp Orange Essential Oil
¼ tsp Clove Essential oil
1 tsp Patchouli Essential Oil
2 tsp Lavender Essential oil
2 tsp Vanilla Essential oil
1 tsp Orange Essential oil
2 tsp Tangerine Essential oil
1 tsp Bergamot Essential oil
If the scents arent strong enough, you can always add a little more. When diluted in two pounds of soap a little more wont hurt.
The last element of your soap is mostly for visual purposes, though you can certainly make it witchy, and includes things like colouring, flowers and salts. One of my more recent soaps pictured here
Is Sweet Orange Oil and Ginger The soap above, it included crushed dried Orange Peel.. 3 table spoons of ground Ginger and around 4 Table Spoons of Orange Oil
Alright so now you know what kind of soap base your using and have picked your scents and inclusions, you are ready to begin!
You will need a double boiler OR a pot large enough for a large metal bowl to melt your soap in.
Your soap (I use about two pounds) cut up in smaller cubes for ease of melting.
A spatula to stir with.
A whisk or fork.
Your essential oils.
A mold. I use a Soap Mould Loaf like below
Something to cut your soap. (This can be a knife or a special tool its up to you)
First things first on about medium heat, heat your water to begin melting your soap. DO NOT GET WATER IN YOUR SOAP. A glycerin soap pour can be ruined by water faster than you can say Oh No.
While that’s melting, you’re going to want to prepare your inclusions. If using herbs, peels and powders I like to mix it with a mortar and pestle to be sure everything is completely incorporated.
Now after your soup/soap is evenly melted, you’ll want to add in your powders and whisk it together well in order to avoid lumps. (Think pancake batter.
After this step, you’ll want to remove your mixture from the heat and allow it to cool off a little before adding in your essential oils. If the oils are added too quickly, the scents will burn off and you’ll be left with scentless albeit colourful soap.
Once this is done and your soap is wafting tempting notes of citrus or warm spicy cloves or Ginger in your face, pour the soap into your mold..
As you can see from the mold pictured now is the time to add flowers or other decorations. I infused mine with Citrine Crystal.. If topping your soap with salt i would wait until a thin film starts to form so it stays on top better.
After this step is done, you’ll need to wait for the soaps to completely firm and set. Yet before it does enchant it with some magic.. My simple soap spell goes like this Cleanse and Renew, Nourish and Nurture!! Fill This Soap with Joy and Love, send your blessings from above!! These soaps have Yule in mind, warming and nurturing enchanted and held magically, nurturing the inner spark with the properties of Citrine.. Making beautiful Yuletide Gifts…
Depending on the thickness of your soap, this could be anywhere from a few hours to overnight. I usually wait overnight so that I can be sure everything is set enough to cut. (Side note as with candles, soap should not be cooled in the refrigerator. Firstly because it can cause uneven cooling and a large hollow hole in the middle and secondly because when the soap comes out and begins to sweat it can ruin your soap batch.)
After you’ve let your soap set, its time to cut it into bath soap size slices; about an inch to an inch and a half is usually a good bet depending on how thick your soap is. A fancy cutting tool, but you can just as easily use a good knife, just watch out for fingers.
And there you have your finished product!! I like to wrap my soaps in wax paper.. I plan to make the soaps seasonally using foraged and grown herbs as we move along the Wheel of the year.. Like Mint and Tee Tree or Nettle and Tee Tree .. Orange and Ginger.. and so on..
I hope you all enjoy your soaps you lovely lot and if you do make any please tag me so I can see?