This pretty speckled, swirl-topped soap smells of soft lavender and vanilla. It brings to mind warm, dry summer days in Provence (in my imagination, at least). I can see pretty pastel-painted wooden furniture, bundles of lavender hanging to dry in the window, and a basket of fresh produce on the counter. A bar of this soap rests in a chipped porcelain dish next to the wash basin, with a striped dish towel hanging nearby.

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If you’re familiar with cold process soap making, you’ll find this soap comes together quickly and easily. A fun mica swirl on top looks impressive, but certainly isn’t difficult.

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Whip up a batch to have on hand for gifts and the soap dish 🙂

Lavender Vanilla Soap

25% olive oil
25% coconut oil
30% tallow (why?)
15% shea butter
5% castor oil

Per 500g (1.1lbs) of oils:

Use SoapCalc to calculate your final amounts of oils, lye, and water based on the size of batch you want to make. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it!

Follow my standard soap making instructions. If using, add the sodium lactate to the lye water after it has cooled and stir to combine. If you’re using the sodium lactate I strongly encourage you let your fats and lye water come to room temperate before combining. I haven’t tried using the sodium lactate above room temperature, but I did notice a much, much faster trace than I would usually get at room temperature, and it’ll only get faster at higher temperatures.

Once your soap has reached a pudding-like trace, blend in the clay, vanilla flecks, and essential oils with your immersion blender. Pour the soap into the mould.

In a small dish, blend the silver mica, oxide, and liquid oil to make a shimmery purple liquid. Drizzle the liquid over the surface of the soap, and then swirl with a toothpick. Discard the toothpick once it looks swirly enough for you.

Cover the soap, lightly insulate it, and let it saponify for 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, remove the soap from the mould, cut it and let it age for at least 3–4 weeks before using.

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