I’m a big fan of coconut. It smells just like summer. And pina coladas. And yum. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as coconut essential oil, so I had to go the fragrance oil route if I wanted a coconut scented anything. After holding out for a while, I cracked and bought a bottle so I could have a coconut lime soap. Yummy.
To rev up the coconutyness of the soap, I used coconut milk for the liquid, and coconut oil as one of the fats (of course). I decided to make a lime streak through the centre, coloured with green chromium oxide and scented with lime essential oil. Like a coconut lime sandwich. Unfortunately, the coconut fragrance oil had other ideas. It caused the soap to start saponifying right away, so I was forced to pour sooner than I wanted to, and I ended up with swirls. Oh well. I’m trying a different attack plan next time.
Coconut Lime Soap
30% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% beef tallow
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
15% avocado oil
Coconut milk for the liquid, frozen in cubes
Coconut lime fragrance oil
Green oxide, for the swirls
Follow my basic soap making instructions with these changes:
- Freeze half the coconut milk into cubes, and when you weigh out the liquid, aim for a 50/50 split between frozen a liquid coconut milk. This will speed cooling along when you add the lye, and keep the coconut milk from getting too excited.
- Choose your fragrance oil carefully—make sure it’s approved for cold process soap making. All the same, be prepared for a quick pour if your soap starts to thicken a lot right after adding the fragrance oil.
- To offset the possibility that the fragrance oil will ruin your chances of creating swirls or layers, separate out part of the batch into another container and add the green chromium oxide then. After that, stir the fragrance oil into each container.
I was confused with this one…. surely fragrance oils are not good? not natural?
Yup. Definitely not natural at all. I just wanted coconut scented soap so badly I was willing to give it a go, haha. In the end I wasn’t really that happy with the way it turned out, and I don’t see myself buying any more fragrance oils, except maybe rose (which isn’t too strong, and the real stuff is just too expensive for soap). I bought a couple when I was first starting out and I find they just make soaps that smell so strongly that I can’t really stand to use them. Oh well. Live and learn, right? 😛
Have you every tried replacing the beef tallow with lard, would it work just as well? I would like to try this recipe but I don’t have beef tallow.
Feel free to use either—I believe lard is a bit softer than tallow, so you might tweak the recipe to use a bit more lard, but it’ll be fine either way 😉
Hi! I absolutely love reading your blog, and am likely to make a few bars of my own soap soon. I understand the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils, but the latter can often be quite expensive. I was wondering if the quantities of fragrance oil would be similar to that of essential oil in your recipes. To explain, you seem to use around 30g of essential oil per 500g of oils. So would these proportions be similar if using fragrance oil? Thanks in advance 🙂
Hi MV! I really do not have much experience working with fragrance oils, but from what I have read the amounts should be about the same. Thanks for reading!
I love reading your take on soap making (and many other things). I was excited to see Lime in the name of this soap and who could go wrong with coconut anything. I’ve been looking for a lime soap recipe as I want to try a lime & poppy seed combo. I see you used a lime fragrance oil. Is it impossible to use real, freshly squeezed lime juice straight from the source? I have read discouraging information from other sources. Thanks!
Hi Ann-Marie! I didn’t use a lime fragrance oil here, that’s real lime essential oil. Because lime juice is acidic, I really wouldn’t recommend adding it (or anything else acidic) to soap. It will react with the lye (which is a strong base—think baking soda + vinegar x 100!), which could cause a dangerous bubbling reaction with raw soap, and will also result in a softer final bar as some lye will be consumed in the reaction with the juice and therefore not be available for turning the fat into soap.
Have you tried organic coconut co2 extract in place of coconut fragrance oil? It is said to have ‘the rich, creamy, buttery’ aroma of coconut. Lotus Garden Botanicals and Eden Botanicals carry organic coconut c02 extract.
I haven’t, but it does look like a good alternative 🙂