I think these sparkly bath bombs make a pretty cool holiday gift. Scented with ancient frankincense and myrrh essential oils, and sparkled up with some eye catching gold mica, these bath bombs would be right at home in a manger (though moreso in a bath).
Bath bombs are really just a dry version of the baking soda (USA / Canada) (the base) and vinegar (the acid) volcano we all made as kids. We swap the vinegar for citric acid, and then we’ve got a solid lump that’ll go all Krakatoa on us when it gets wet (ideally in the tub, and not before).
To amp up the luxury factor of these bath bombs, we’ll blend in some skin softening oils along with the essential oils. I’d recommend doing this before you add both the base (baking soda) and the acid (citric acid) to your mixture as the oils can trigger the fizzing if both are present, which we don’t want.
You’ll want a big bowl, a spray bottle, a big spoon, and a mould or two for this project. I’ve found that bath bombs don’t perform terribly well in very intricate moulds, and I usually just use a quarter cup measuring cup as my mould, but a spherical one would be a great choice, too.
The trick with a bath bomb is to use the mister to hydrate the mixture just enough that the crystals in the mix (the salt and the acid) will start to dissolve a bit and then fuse together as they dry, but just that much. Any more any the mixture will react with itself, and you’ll either have a volcano in a bowl, or you’ll find your bath bombs sadly swollen and misshapen after their supposed drying time.
Once you’ve got a perfectly hydrated mix, pack it into your mold, tap them out of the mold, and let them dry for a day or two. Now you’ve got a perfect gift! These bath bombs also pair beautifully with my matching lotion.
Gold, Frankincense, & Myrrh Bath Bombs
1 cup baking soda (USA / Canada)
2/3 cup Epsom salts
½ tsp gold mica
40 drops frankincense essential oil
10 drops myrrh essential oil
1 tbsp Turkey red oil
½ cup citric acid
Mister filled with witch hazel (water is also ok if you don’t have witch hazel)
Blend the baking soda (USA / Canada), epsom salts, mica, essential oils, and Turkey Red Oil together in a food processor and transfer to a large, wide bowl.
Stir in the citric acid, ensuring everything is thoroughly mixed.
Now it’s time to add just enough liquid to get the mixture to hold together in a mold. Not too much, though, or it will react in the bowl/mold, not in your bath. That’s why we’re using a mister (it’ll spread the moisture better) and witch hazel (for some reason the reaction isn’t as vigorous when you use witch hazel, plus they dry faster, apparently).
So, spread your mixture out in your bowl so you have as much surface area as possible, and spritz. Then quickly stir thoroughly. Repeat until you can grab a clump of the mixture and it will hold together after a firm squeeze.
Once the mixture will hold together, pack it into a mold of your choice (I like a ¼ cup measuring cup), and then tap it out onto a sheet of wax paper. Let dry overnight, turning once.
To use, drop in a hot bath and enjoy! This recipe will make about eight ¼ cup bath bombs.
I chose Turkey Red Oil because it self-emulsifies in water, meaning no weird floating blobs of oil in your tub, or oil slicks afterwards. If you don’t have it feel free to substitute any liquid carrier oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, safflower, or olive.
I love bath bombs, and this one sounds lovely! Can you describe the scent? I’m familiar with frankincense and myrrh, but have no idea how they smell. I understand describing a scent is difficult, but any description will be helpful.
I’d say it’s a sort of deep, spicy, almost musty scent. Definitely quite dry, with a few bright notes. Hard to describe 😉
Grhhh, it’s getting so cold and wintery here in Finland, that warm foot bath would make wonders! Because of the latest news all around the Europe I’ve been wondering, if it is safe to use word “bath bomb”…;)
Brr indeed! We’re well into long-underwear-under-my-pants weather here in Canada 🙁 And yes… perhaps “bath fizzy” is best out in public :/
Hi Marie! I hadn’t thought of of using TRO in bath bombs! What a great idea! I can’t wait to get home and try it. Question: have you used powder myrrh, frankincense, or benzoin in bombs? If so, how was the results? Thanks!
I only have benzoin powder out of those ingredients, but I haven’t tried it in bath bombs yet 🙂 It does have quite a different scent than the benzoin resin/EO, which I find rather interesting.
Thanks for the reply. I’ll try it at some point and report back.
Ok so mini-tragedy. I’m completely out of TRO. I could of sworn I had another bottle somewhere. I subbed some polysorbate. I hope it works! In the mean-time I need to place an order with a vendor I’ve been wanting to try that happens to carry TRO. 🙂
LE GASP! Oh no 🙁 The polysorbate should do the trick, though. And having to order more ingredients is my favourite kind of tragedy 😉 😛
These look wondeful! And I had a quick question: Do you know if New Directions or one of your other main vendor sites run any sort of Black Friday sale? Looking to get my potions cabinet started and am hoping to score a nice deal. Thanks for everything you do and happy holidays!
Hi Christine! Sadly, not usually. We might get a 2–5% coupon code, but I wouldn’t hope for anything more than that. Margins are really thin on these ingredients, which means discounts are even thinner. Oh well, at least we know we aren’t paying for huge margins all the other days of the year!
Formulator sample shop has code Friday for Thursday and Friday 25% off. They carry some of the ingredients Marie features.
Thanks so much for sharing!
I’m so in love with your blog, you have so many great recipes and ideas. Keep up the awesome work!!
This would be very off-topic, but I’m having a question. My hair is pretty short and mostly healthy, after chopping of all bleached parts. I’m used to wash my hair every day -due to greasyness and perfectionism- but my scalp cant handle it anymore, thanks to neurodermatitis and eczema. Now I need/want to wash my hair only every other day or every three days. How long was your transition period, and did your hair get overly gross? My Doc told me that I need to wash my hair less frequent, but I’m afraid to look like a grease-ball the first weeks, even with dry-shampoo :X
please excuse my poor english and the length of my text ^^***
Hi Anna! I’ve answered your question where you first asked it—no need to ask twice 🙂
These bath bombs sound awesome! Frankincense and myrrh are fantastic together. =)
Thank you! I feel like I’m on a “frankincense and myrrh ALL THE THINGS!” kick right now 😛
I made these bath bombs! This is all new to me – it was my first project from your blog and it was a lot of fun. The bombs are wonderfully fizzy and my kids loved them, so that was great. I wasn’t crazy about the smell, though. It might have been the turkey red, or maybe the myrrh – I really don’t know. Also, I don’t have a food processor, so I used my ninja blender and it didn’t completely break down the salts, resulting in a courser texture to the bombs – didn’t seem to be a problem. And I didn’t have to use any witch hazel because the mixture was moist enough to hold together without it – is that normal? I purchased my supplies from Voyager. Which is your favorite supplier in Canada?
Hi Krista! Congrats on your first Humblebee project 🙂 I’m glad the bath bombs worked out beautifully! The frankincense/myrrh combo is definitely a more… “mature”… scent blend haha. I find it’s a bit spicy/musty, and definitely not something I’d expect kids to love. I do have some other bath bomb recipes with different scent blends that you’ll probably like more.
The mixture shouldn’t be wet enough to hold together without adding witch hazel—mine wasn’t anywhere close. That’s rather odd, though if it worked out, I suppose it’s nothing to be worried about 😛
I generally shop at New Directions and Saffire Blue, they’re both out of Ontario and I find their prices are fantastic. I haven’t tried Voyager, though I’ve definitely heard good things.
Thanks for the tips! The coconut mango and rose spice recipes are now on my to-try list. I wonder if my mixture was more moist because you live in the dry prairies and I live in a temperate rainforest, or maybe it was because my blender did such a lousy job of breaking down the salts and there was less surface area to dampen. I can buy salts with a finer texture next time. The reason I shopped at Voyager is because it’s in my neighborhood and I’ve already been going there for years to buy dried rosehips for my chinchillas. 🙂
It could definitely be your environment—salt will attract moisture from the air, so I’d bet you just had more moisture going into it. My parents live in BC and have to pop rice in with their salt to keep it coming out of their salt shakers, but that’s definitely not a problem here!
Hi Marie, I was wondering about adding a bit of emulsifying wax to the oil part of the recipe to prevent those oil-slick tubs. I don’t have turkey red oil, but do have the wax. The thought came to me after reading your recipe for the lavender bath melts (which sound fabulous!) Do you think it would work or dull the fizz?
It’s worth a try! You’d probably want to freeze the e-wax and use your coffee grinder to blend it into some of the salt before carrying on to incorporate it. Perhaps I’ll give this a go myself one day 🙂 Thanks for the idea!
I was wondering if subbing regular castor oil for the turkey red oil then adding a pinch (I have no idea what percentage) of the e-wax and melting them together prior to mixing with the dry ingredients would work. I’ve never used the emulsifying wax before – I bought it because I’ve read your recipes and you have a knack of making one feel inspired 😉 Thanks bunches!
Hey Deb! I haven’t tried using emulsifying wax in bath bombs. In theory it should work, but you might want to blend it in using the food processor while it’s still solid; I suspect it will re-solidify anyways when you melt it, so you might as well leave it solid and blitz it into tiny, easily meltable bits.
As for the castor oil; there’s really no reason to include castor oil on its own. I was thinking of food metaphors and it’s sort of like this: if a recipe called for a lavender infused sugar, and you didn’t have it, the sugar would be the important thing to replace, not the lavender. With Turkey red oil the castor oil part is basically irrelevant; we’re just concerned about the emulsifying properties. You could use any liquid carrier oil you like instead, there’s no reason you need to use castor oil 🙂
Happy making and let me know if you give this ewax thing a go 🙂
You are the “bomb” 😉 What an excellent analogy! I had my head stuck on castor because of the turkey red. I can totally wrap my head around this now. An emulsifier will emulsify whatever carrier oil it’s combined with. And the best way to incorporate it into a “dry” recipe would be to freeze/harden it then grind it up fine so that it melts easily. Got it! Boy, you’re good. Thank you bunches!
No worries! I look forward to hearing how this works out 😀
hello!!this recipe is looks wonderful, however i am yet to try it out! would you happen to know how long these bath bombs will last once they’ve been made? or would it be depending on my ingredients, when the first ingredients date runs out, or does the shelf life change for ingredients when mixed with other ingredients?thank you so much!
Hey! Have you read the FAQ articles on shelf life? That’s a good place to start 🙂 Remember that the water evaporates off, so that’s not a concern when it comes to determining shelf life here.