Today we’re swirling up some luxurious bars of Argan Rose Soap, made with vitamin-rich argan oil and dusty pink Australian clay. Crimson rose buds and rustic Himilayan pink salt stud the top of the bar, and a rich pink swirl dances through the middle of the bars. These bars are part of our ongoing Argan Rose theme, so if you’re looking to create a themed gift basket you’re in luck!
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The fat blend for this soap is mostly inexpensive but lovely olive oil, bubbly coconut oil, and hardening tallow. A small amount of castor oil serves to really amp up the lather, and a small amount of argan oil adds that luxury touch. The inclusion of argan oil is definitely an indulgence—pouring 75g of argan oil into my soaping pot definitely got my heart rate up! can’t say I notice a huge difference in the final bar of soap with 5% argan oil vs. an extra 5% olive oil, so you could easily use more olive oil instead of the argan oil if you’re looking to keep costs down.
Aesthetically, I decided I wanted to keep things pink and white—simple and elegant, with good contrast. The bulk of the base is white thanks to the inclusion of some titanium dioxide. I used a water discount to prevent glycerin rivers (thanks, Auntie Clara!), but that does mean the batter gets quite thick quite fast, so there’s no time for anything too fancy. I initially thought I might get the swirl effect I wanted from the pour alone, but by pouring time the batter was too thick for that, necessitating a hanger swirl.
I used some Australian pink clay to create a pink swirly layer in the centre of the bars. You could definitely use a high-pH stable pink mica instead—I mostly chose the clay because I have a lot of it and don’t use it often. A beefy, long Nite Ize gear tie was my tool of choice to swirl the pink and white layers together a wee bit—when choosing a swirling tool you’ll want something with some girth to it so it’ll have enough drag to mix things together, so while it’s called a hanger swirl, a plain ol’ wire hanger isn’t going to create enough drag to make a noticeable swirl.
These bars are unscented, but you could easily incorporate a fragrance or essential oil if you wanted to. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s not going to accelerate trace—this batter already thickens up pretty quickly, and we don’t need to speed that up! If you are eyeing up a fragrance oil you haven’t soaped with before I recommend reading reviews on it—whether or not a fragrance accelerates trace or causes other issues is usually a pretty popular thing to cover in a review.
The top of the bars are mostly divided in two, with a mohawk down the center. One side is swooped up with a fork and the other with a spatula for some texture and subtle contrast. I studded the centre seam/mohawk with dried rosebuds and a concentrated sprinkling of pink Himalayan salt. I recommend using a ruler to space out the rosebuds so they’re positioned in the centre of each bar once the loaf is cut. I didn’t do that (whoops) and ended up cutting the bars somewhat awkwardly to avoid cutting through any of the rosebuds. It’s not the end of the world, but the bars aren’t evenly sized.
Thanks to the water discount these bars happen pretty fast—fast trace, fast thickening, and fast saponification. Don’t leave this one in the mould too long; I sliced this loaf right around the 24-hour mark and it was plenty firm by then—I’d bet I easily could’ve sliced around the 20-hour mark, so don’t make these before going out of town for a long weekend! The water discount also means these bars age up pretty fast—three weeks should be more than enough in most climates—making them a good bar if you need more soap ASAP.
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Argan Rose Soap
30% beef tallow (wondering why?)
40% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
20% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
5% argan oil (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Calculate to 5% superfat with the water at 25% of the oils
Per 500g fats:
- 2g (0.07oz) titanium dioxide
To colour & decorate (all as needed):
Kick things off by calculating out your recipe for the amount of soap you’re making to get the finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water. Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in (click that link if you aren’t!).
Prepare your mould—you’ll want a loaf mould for this soap. Melt your oils together in your soaping pot, and have one container with a pouring spout handy (I use these awesome funnel pitchers). Let your oils cool to room temperature. Mix up your lye water and let that cool to about room temperature as well (you can use ice for part of your water to speed up the cooling process).
Lay out your work area so you can easily grab your titanium dioxide and clay. Prepare your mould by lining it, if required.
Now you’re ready to get started! Begin by blending the titanium dioxide into the fats. Once that mixture is smooth, add the lye water and bring to a thin trace. Pour approximately 1/5 of the batter into the pour spout container.
Using the pink clay, colour the small portion of the batter pink.
Now it’s time to pour the soap! Start with half of the white batter, then the pink, and then the rest of the white. Up next is the hanger swirl—I used a Nite Ize gear tie as my swirling tool. I did a plunge-and-loop-the-loop swirl, and then used my spatula and a fork to sculpt the top into some subtle foldy goodness. Definitely watch the video to get a better idea of what I did, as it’s hard to make it clear with words alone! I decorated the “mohawk” down the center with rose buds and pink Himalayan salt; I’d recommend using a ruler to space out the rose buds so they’ll fall in the centre of each bar when the loaf is cut… I didn’t do that and ended up cutting the bars somewhat awkwardly so I didn’t cut through any of the rose buds. It’s not the end of the world, but the bars are not evenly sized.
Leave the soap to set up for about 20–24 hours before slicing (no longer!) and leaving to age for at least three to four weeks before using. Enjoy!
Hi Marie! This looks so lovely. My question is why are we not using lye to make this soap? I thought Ll soaps had to be made up of lye?
I am guessing that is an oops! LOL
It’s not! This is how I present all my soaps—step 1 in the instructions is always calculating the recipe yourself with SoapCalc, using the amounts/ratios/discounts I’ve specified. That will give finite amounts for the fats, water, and lye 🙂
We are most definitely using lye—if you read the instructions you’ll see the very first thing you have to do is calculate out the recipe using SoapCalc, using the provided specifications, which includes superfat AKA lye discount 😉 SoapCalc will give you the finite amounts of everything.
Is the titanium dioxide oil or water soluble?
I used oil dispersible, but in soap I’ve found both work well 🙂 Happy making!
No clay overall? Why not add kaolin clay to the rest of the soap?? I find your recipes to be amazing, especially those with clay added. I use your lots of clay soap for shampooing, cleansing and shaving and my husband I and love them!
Also, could rose clay substitute for the Australian clay? Color-wise they’re very similar.
Also, can you clear something up for me? Is clay in soap drying or moisturizing? I find it to be moisturizing for my hair and body -what’re your thoughts?
Thanks for any and all help/advice!
Yes to the first two questions 🙂 I think the only reason I didn’t put kaolin in the full batch is I’m a bit short at the moment. Personally, I don’t find soap (or any cleanser) to ever be moisturizing—it can be more or less gentle, but I’d never call it moisturizing in the sense that a lotion is moisturizing simply due to how cleansers function. You can read more on that here 🙂 I love the richness that clay adds to soap, and I tend to feel like soaps made with lots of clay are slightly gentler, but everyone’s skin and hair is different 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making!
Hi Marie, I’m a little confused. I read in another soap post (in your web page) that you don’t recommend soap because of the alcaline compound. Can you explain me if it is safe, please?
BTW, I love your web
Hey Karla! It’s perfectly safe, it’s just really a matter of if it works for your skin or not. I personally don’t use true soap for handwashing anymore as I find with the frequency of use mildly acidic cleansers are easier on my hands, but I also know people for whom handmade soap is better than anything else they’ve tried. It’s really going to be up to you, based on your skin 🙂 Happy making!
Hi there Marie! I would just like to extend my warmest thank you for creating such lovely recipes to share with us all. I have made this recipe and have had to make a loaf of it all to myself because I love it so much. Thank you for helping ease the having to stay at home creativity blues. Much happiness and health to you and yours 🙂
Thank you so much, Kim! I’m so thrilled you’re loving it ❤️ Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making 🙂
I just discovered your site and I love it. I am new to soapmaking and your recipes are so inspiring. I note that your recipes are attached to links on amazon.com. I am from Canada and would love to support you through purchases via these affiliate links but shop on amazon.ca. Are your links ever attached to amazon.ca
Welcome, Anneka! There is an Amazon Canada affiliate link on this page, but most of the things I link to on US Amazon aren’t available on Canadian Amazon :/ I’d very much appreciate the use of my Amazon Canada link for things you can purchase there, but I think you’ll find the rest of the “Canada” section on the previously mentioned page more useful for sourcing ingredients. Happy making!
I am dying to try to make a soap with the scent like Lush’s Ro’sArgan soap. This soap is beautiful but what do you suggest I use as a scent that would be similar to Lush’s?
Hey Yvette! I just did a “Midweek Musing” video on this topic on the Humblebee & Me Facebook page earlier this week 🙂 Check it out!