I’m afraid I may sound like a bit of a broken record on the “I miss summer” theme, but it continues to be true (at least we’re getting close, now). I also miss camping, which is something I only find I can do comfortably for about 3 months out of the year here. When I was making these bars I was thinking about a trip Craig & I took last summer to Spillimacheen, where I bought lots of beautiful honey from a local shop, and we had the most delicious smokey honey salsa ever (it kind of ended up being dinner).
These lovely bars are reminiscent of a summer twilight campfire—smoke, pine, and hippies (perhaps from the next campsite?). They’re like a small burst of summer.
I coloured this batch with clay. It’s mostly a darker green Australian clay, with just a hint of black clay whisked in—the idea was it’d look like smoke whisping through the bar. The trick is to get just the right trace so it stirs in as if it’s floating, but doesn’t sink out to the bottom.
20% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
20% soy bean oil (or olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada))
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
1% stearic acid (or round the lard up to 15%)
5% superfat (aka 5% lye discount)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
- 20g commercial pine essential oil
- 9g dark patchouli essential oil
- 1g birch tar or vetiver essential oil
- 1 tbsp dark green or brown clay (rhassoul or bentonite will work nicely)
- ¼ tsp black iron oxide, Australian black clay, or activated charcoal
Calculate your recipe using SoapCalc to get your final, finite amounts of the fats, lye, and water.
Follow standard soap making procedure. At trace add the essential oils and the clay. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend the clay into the soap (otherwise you will have little clumps). Add the black colourant and lightly stir to create a light swirl (it’s supposed to look like smoke from a campfire).
Pour the soap into your mould.
Let saponify for 24 hours before un-moulding and slicing. Let cure for a minimum of three weeks before using. Enjoy!
Ooooh recipe for smoky honey salsa PLEASE?
It’s been on my list for ages! I was intending to figure it out & do it up last fall, but tomatoes went out of season before I got around to it, lol. I fully intend to get around to it this summer… and perhaps to go back to Spilli and sample another jar 😉
cannot WAIT! as soon as I read “smoky honey salsa” I began to drool! Lol, thanks for the soap recipe also 🙂
Ha! It makes an amazing pasta sauce as well… dang, with all this reminiscing I better get started on this project sooner rather than later 😛
Nice looking soaps! And those scents almost made me smell a hint of campfire… 😉
Thanks, Signe 🙂 Just a few months to go…
Oooh, another vote for the salsa recipe!
I’ve been looking at recipes that call for stearic acid. It seems to be a palm derivative. A friend bought some beef-derived SA on eBay, but it probably didn’t come from grass-fed beef. Any idea where to find SA that is derived from grass-fed beef??
At this point I’m not really convinced stearic acid is really worth owning/using. I’ve tried it in a few recipes, but the jury is still out. I would just use more tallow/lard at this point, rather than stearic acid. But, to answer your question, I haven’t the foggiest idea, sorry! I’ve only ever seen plant (usually coconut or palm) derived stuff.
Try their Cade eo now that smells like a campfire lol
I love Cade oil! It smells just like a campfire.
Yup, I definitely have to get some now.
Ooooooh, I shall add it to the list 😀
Smokey, woodsy, speaking of which..what are your thoughts on substituting Ucuuba (woodsy!) for the shea butter?
You definitely could! The soaps I’ve made with it don’t really exhibit any ucuuba-like traits, but if you’ve got some & want to give it a go it should turn out beautifully 🙂
I just began my own soap-making journey so I’m really enjoying reading your soap posts and ideas. Can’t wait to try some for myself!
Welcome to the soaping world, Connie 🙂 Thanks for reading & enjoy your new-found hobby (addiction ;))!
I love all of your ideas and recipes! I have a book that calls for palm oil, in every recipe. It is a little pricey do you have any suggestions for a substitute? Thank you for always giving us such great ideas!
Thanks, Connie! I use lard & tallow, and here’s why 🙂
please don’t use palm oil…the plantations are deforesting huge forests in Indonesia..which is pjroducing about 4% of thegreenhouse gas emissions..PLUS driving animals toextinction…it’s a bad scene until there are more proper regulations…
Muchly agreed—this is a big part of why I only use lard & tallow as my hardening oils 🙂
Another winner, Marie! In typical fashion of myself, I realized I didn’t have 20g of pine… oh, about 2 min before trace. I had 10. So in a moment of genius (just go with me here 🙂 I went 10g Pine eo, 20g Cedarwood, and 1 g Vetiver. Glorious! You know when you keep walking back into the room where your soap is curing just to smell it again? Yeah, I’m doing that. I am holding out hope that this one will get my boyfriend to ditch his Irish Spring, once and for all. He says, “it’s antibacterial.” I could have sworn I read once that the whole, “antibacterial” thing is a marketing gimmick, and that really all soap is antibacterial. What are your thoughts on homemade soap and germ fighting?
Thanks, Andrea! It sounds like your final soap smells downright divine 🙂
So, straight soap does a great job of cleaning without being chemically antibacterial. Chemical antibacterial agents are the ones one should watch out for as they encourage bacterial resistance. You can read more about the ingredients and safety levels of Irish Spring products here. And here’s a good article about regular soap vs. antibacterial soap that contains some info that you should be able to use to convince your BF to step away from the antibacterial soap 🙂 You could also point out that Irish Springs is made from the cheapest ingredients around—artificial fragrance (with an 8/10 rating on Skin Deep—yipes!), tallow, lard, palm, and coconut. LAME. They’re just making a super hard bar from super cheap ingredients and then adding cheap surfactants (Sodium Palm Kernelate, palm derived) to give the bar good lather.
NDA finally got those circle molds back in stock (yes!!!) and I have two sitting on my shelf ready for action. How many circles do you usually fill with a 500g batch?
The circular moulds are definitely a bit more irksome to calculate out than my tried-and-true, totally used-to-it wooden mould. The first thing I did was measure out the capacity of each of the cavities (I bought both the circular and the oval moulds). If my memory serves me correctly, the round ones hold 200mL per cavity, and the oval ones hold 250mL per cavity. So, the round tray holds a total of (200×12) 2400mL soap batter, and the oval holds 3000mL.
From there I went to my soap recipe, calculated the full recipe, and then added up the total weight of everything—water, lye, and essential oils included, not just the carrier oils. Now I’m sure I could do some kind of fancy cross multiplication something or other to get a bang-on number, but in the end I just jimmied with the amount of oils until everything added up to a grand total of 5400g (so I could fill both trays with one batch). That number ended up being a batch requiring 1900g fats, with 722g water, plus lye and essential oils. That batch ended up filling up both trays and a wee bit more.
So, it’s not exactly a science, but that’s how I did it, and it worked 😛
Ok thanks! Math is definitely not one of my strengths (thank goodness for soapcalc!!!) so maybe I’ll just do my regular batch and see where that gets me. Wouldn’t it be lovely if everything was like water and worked out to 1g = 1ml?
😛 I know exactly what you mean! And hey, I have a few shorter/thinner round bars, and they’re just fine lol.
me encantan sus formulas o recetas. pero me gustaria que dieran los datos en gramos y decir de una vez la cantidad de lejia. es muy complicado como lo redactan. esperare a que modifiquen sus recetas mil gracias.
I love their formulas or recipes . but I would like to give the data in grams and say once the amount of lye . It is very complicated as written. wait for you to modify your recipes thank you .
Hi Elizabeth—you will need to run the recipe through a soap calculator like SoapCalc to get the amounts in grams and the final amount of lye. I write all my soap recipes in percentages to make it easy for people to scale the recipes 🙂
I just made a batch of Aleppo soap with 26% laurel fruit oil and 74% olive oil, and the resulting soap has a very smoky aroma. That got me to remembering that you had posted this campfire soap several months ago! I’m going to try making a new batch of Aleppo-inspired campfire soap, getting smokiness from the laurel fruit oil and adding pine, fir, cedarwood in some combination. I’ll let you know how it comes out! I’m waiting on an order of base oils and EOs from a couple of companies right now, so I can’t make it until early January when they all start shipping again!
Very cool! I can’t wait to hear how that turns out—I’m a huge “smokey” junkie 🙂
I love the blend of oils you used. I realllly want to try vetiver, it doesn’t seem like you need much of it though. Does the smell of vetiver hold up really well in soap? Also do you find that pine oil smells strongly of pine sol? I bought a big 100ml jar of it and now I need to get creative with mixing it with other oils. The smell of it reminds me of cleaning toilets and dirty floors when was I housekeeping at a camp haha. I’d rather not trigger those memories while showering ( :
I recently used a essential oil that might make a good campfire soap. It’s called guaiac wood oil and apparently it smells like roses but I found it smelled smoky and sweet. It smelled a little like maple syrup, smoked bacon and forest???? I think maybe the name of the oil should be changed to ‘Oh Canada’.The only bad thing is that the smell causes me to become crazy homesick.
Isn’t amazing how smells can trigger such strong emotions and memories?!
Hi Monica! Interestingly enough, the vetiver holds up better than the pine. After a year of aging this soap smells mostly of smokey patchouli, with the slightest hint of pine when the soap is wet and in use. I was hoping the vetiver would help anchor the pine (which is generally very flighty in soaps), but it doesn’t appear to have done too much.
I’ve never heard of guaiac wood oil, but now I must try it! It sounds amazing 🙂