My inner hippie (who is not very inner, let’s be honest) loves patchouli. And lavender. And the smell of rotting trees in the forest, and of the dirt and moss waking up in the spring. Fantastic. This soap is those things. Deep, earthy, a bit smokey, complex, and organic.


Kendra mentioned she’d made some lavender patchouli soap a few months ago, and the idea just stuck with me. When I finally got around to it, I mixed in some curcuma and hydacheim essential oils. I bought them because I was curious, so if you don’t have them, feel free to use more patchouli instead. Curcuma has an interesting dry, smokey, woodsy scent to it, whereas hydacheim is dry and spicy, with a hint of citrus, and quite a bit in common with patchouli. I doubt I’d buy them again as I consider them to be fairly similar to patchouli (and I like patchouli better), but they make a fantastic addition to this soap, swaying it to the more “manly” side of things, despite the lavender.

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The colouring comes from a combination of clay and an oxide. One half uses white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada) and ultramarine pink oxide to get the purplish colour (ultramarine pink is really lavender… not sure what the person who named it was thinking), and the brown from rhassoul clay.

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Lavender Patchouli Soap

35% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
15% lard
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
10% castor oil (USA / Canada)

Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:

  • 20g lavender essential oil
  • 14g dark patchouli essential oil
  • 3g curcuma essential oil (optional, can replace with patchouli)
  • 3g hydacheim essential oil (optional, can replace with patchouli)
  • 1 tsp ultramarine pink oxide
  • 1 tbsp white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
  • 1 tbsp rhassoul clay

Follow my standard soap making instructions (calculate for a 6% superfat), allowing the oils and lye water a good 6–8 hours to come to room temperature.

When the soap reaches a light trace, add the essential oils. Divide the batch in two—stir the oxide and kaolin into one half, and the rhassoul into another. Pour the soap into the mold, alternating between the halves, drizzling to swirl.

Let saponify in the mold for 24 hours before slicing and curing for at least 3 weeks.