I can’t believe it either, but it’s time for Valentine’s Day soap already. Yipes! I actually made this soap back in December to have time to let it age before taking pictures—I imagine this is what it’s like to work in the print publishing business. Christmas catalogue proofs in August and what not. Anyhow, I digress. This lovely pink & white soap is great for Valentine’s Day, but lovely all year round. This is the first recipe I used with my new circular silicone soap mould, too, so that’s exciting (I do love round soaps).
After I made my Vinolia recreation soap I became quite enamoured with the rose & lemon scent combination, and decided to branch out. I went with pink grapefruit essential oil instead of lemon for a similar (but not too strong) bright citrus note. I did use a rose fragrance oil (I would have needed about $400 of rose essential oil for this recipe), but you’re welcome to use the real stuff if you’ve just won the lottery or something.
The soap gets its colour from three places. The creamy whiteness is thanks to some titanium dioxide (with a bit of help from white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)), and the pink is from a small scoop of Australian Pink Clay.
Rose & Pink Grapefruit Valentine’s Soap
20% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
20% rice bran oil (or olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada))
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
5% superfat (aka 5% lye discount)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
- 10g rose fragrance or essential oil
- 20g pink grapefruit essential oil (white is fine, too, but more expensive)
- 1 tbsp white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 2 tsp titanium dioxide
- 2 tsp Australian Pink Clay (or some other pink/red clay, or a wee pinch of red iron oxide in more white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada))
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/fragrance oils, white kaolin clay (USA / Canada), and titanium dioxide. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend the powders into the soap (otherwise you will have little clumps).
Pour half the soap into your mould. Add the Australian Pink Clay (or your red/pink colourant of choice) to the remaining soap and blend it in. Pour the remaining soap into your mould. Swirl, if desired.
Let saponify for 24 hours before un-moulding and slicing. Let cure for a minimum of three weeks before using. Enjoy & happy Valentine’s Day!
I remember seeing this soap on your IG page! The finished product looks amazing 🙂
One question: Are the two scents well balanced? Meaning is one stronger than the other?
Thanks! The rose FO is definitely stronger than the citrus EO, which I’ve tried to counter by shifting the balance towards the grapefruit. It’s still pretty rose-y, though, so if you just want a hint of rose I’d drop it down to 5g:25g 🙂
Where do you get your fragrance oil? I’ve had some trouble finding good ones.
The two or three I have are from New Directions Aromatics (link in the big grey box above). I do only purchase fragrance oils if I have no other options, though, and generally opt not to use them anyways as they are just so very artificial. The scents are generally quite overpowering & stick around for ages, even in places you don’t want them.
I’m beginning to assemble the supplies for making my own soap (finally!), and I am wondering what is the difference between adding essential oils vs fragrance if the essential oils no longer retain their total scents and I’m assuming few(er) benefits after saponification?
Personally, I don’t use fragrance oils because when I’m pregnant (which I am) they invariably make me itch, even the small amounts in a lightly scented bar of soap or the residue left in laundry. I don’t seem to be nearly as sensitive when I’m not pregnant so I’ll use stuff others have made with fragrance oils occasionally, but I just prefer to use the more natural ingredients.
To a large degree that’s all it is, personal preference. If you’re not a stickler about “all natural” (or your definition of natural is more forgiving than mine) then there are some really nice fragrance oils for a LOT more reasonable prices than essential oils. 🙂
You bring up a great point, Erin—many people don’t react well to fragrance oils. Of course, their lower price tag is why they’re so very prevalent store bought products. I was interested to learn that “unscented” and “fragrance free” aren’t actually the same thing—”unscented” products can contain fragrance to make them smell as if they have no scent. Weird… and gross.
I never use fragrance oils because I want to have 100% control on the ingredients I use. With fragrance oils, you lose it, since the producer will not disclose the ingredients lists, as it’s a trade secret.
There might be questionable ingredients in fragrance oils (like petroleum based ingredients). Moreover I’m also gluten intolerant and I react to it even by contact and, as far as I know, a fragrance oil might contain wheat germ oil, which is not good for me.
So I simply avoid scenting my soaps (unless I make a very small batch as gifts), as it’s easier and way cheaper this way (fragrance oils meant for soap are not that cheap either).
This is great information! I did a google search and didn’t get any of that information! I think I will forgo the fragrance oil altogether because it is way too questionable. I read a great article online about making your own fragrance oil with alcohol and zest or flowers. I may try that if I decide I need scent. Thanks again for the great information!!
Just an FYI that using alcohol + zest/flowers is not something you’ll want to put in soap 🙂 That’s how you make homemade vanilla extract and other extracts for cooking with, but the scent won’t hold up in a bar of soap. You’ll want to grab yourself some EOs or go scent-free 🙂
Great reasons and a fantastic overview, Mrs G 🙂
The biggest difference is really artificial vs. natural. I tend to avoid fragrance oils because they are so darn strong. I enjoy the scents of EOs in my soaps while I’m using them, but after than I’m not permanently scented like an apple orchard or a Montana sunrise or whatever, lol (who names fragrances?!). I obviously use fragrance oils on occasion, but I have to be careful with what I measure them with. I once washed a cup I’d used to measure FO by hand, and then ran it through the dishwasher for good measure. All my dishes smelled (and tasted) of that FO for at least a month after that. That’s how long it took for a strong, modern dishwasher to flush a mere trace of FO from it’s system. Yikes!
As for therapeutic value, I never put expensive EOs in soap. I’ll use the cheaper, scent-balanced (non-therapeutic grade) lavender, industrial grade pine EO, and citrus EOs (which have a relatively short list of benefits for the EO world). Things like chamomile and helichrysum are reserved for lotions and salves. Some people do use chamomile in soaps, but dang, that would be PRICEY—15mL of German Chamomile is over $80!
Hi Marie! I am one of those frugal folks that tries to recycle everything. I made my first batch in yogurt cups. They were perfect as molds and gave me a 4 oz. circular bar. Popped out perfectly as well. ***oh and thanks so much for the shampoo car recipe. My hair has never been softer or shinier.
Fantastic! And what a great idea for molds 🙂 And I’m so thrilled the shampoo bar is working wonders for your hair—I sure love using homemade shampoo. Are you doing an ACV rinse as well?
Is there anyway you could possibly put the ounces needed along with your grams ??
Thank you .
I definitely could, Judith, but with 500+ entries & recipes up here, it’s pretty much at the bottom of my priority list. If you get yourself a scale that measures in both oz and g (I’ve never seen one that doesn’t do both) then you can just toggle over to grams and after that it’s just counting 🙂
I’ve recently started making my own soaps and cosmetics and I’m absolutely addicted! My first batch of soap was a huge success thanks to your advice and guides, and I’m about to start on another but I was wondering if I could pick your brain – I’m interested in adding in shea butter as a regular component in my soaps, but I’m not sure if I should buy the bulk pack from New Directions in unrefined or refined? Which do you find is better for soap making, lip balms, etc?
Also, the Australian ND site only really offering affordable cocoa butter in pellets. Is it basically a matter of melting down the pellets to form butter prior to use, or are there other things I need to do to turn the pellets into the butter form?
Thank you so much for your help, and your blog is absolutely amazing!
Hi Gigi! First, let me say I am insanely jealous of your Australian location. I lived in Penrith for a while and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
When it comes to butters, I always but them in their unrefined versions. I’m not convinced the refined versions retain all the same nutrients (they are obviously removing something!), and in any case, the scent of unrefined shea butter does not come out in soap. It’s also generally not noticeable in lip balms once you add a drop or two of essential oil. I made a deodorant with it this weekend using it at about 30%, and while the scent was quite strong (even with the EOs) at first, once it hardened up in the container, I can’t even smell it. Though I do actually like the smell of shea butter, so perhaps that’s a moot point 😛 So yeah, I’d recommend the raw stuff. If you hate the way it smells you can reserve it for soaps and look at getting the refined stuff for your next batch, but I’d describe the scent as vaguely smokey, which is hardly repugnant.
As for cocoa butter pellets—those pellets really are cocoa butter as it is at room temp (though the pellet shape is obviously manufactured). Those photos they have of it looking all whipped up and what not in bowls are totally misleading. Cocoa butter has the same texture as a block of good chocolate. That is, hard and brittle. Mine comes as a jar of big chunks. So, it looks like what they’re selling is basically cocoa butter chips, sort of like beeswax pellets. It does look like they’re refined, though, which is heartbreaking as you’ll lose the delicious chocolatey scent 🙁 Sad!
Thanks so much for reading & enjoy that Aussie sun enough for both of us 🙂
The soap is beautiful. Your stuff always look so good. I am trying soap this weekend but nothing this complicated. I just want to get the basic bar done, but I look forward to trying this maybe for Mother’s Day. Thanks for such great recipes!
Thanks so much, Connie 🙂 Good luck with the soap making & let me know how it goes! Have fun & thanks for DIYing with me 🙂
I would have never thought to put rose and grapefruit together. But I tried a version of your recipe and I love the combination. I used Rose Geranium E.O. and it immediately seized my batch. Determined I used it anyway. I was really worried but it turned out not only beautiful but I absolutely love the combination of the two scents. Thank you for the recipe and the idea. (Next time I may try a rose F.O.)
I love your blog and so glad I get your posts.
Ohh, awesome (though sorry to hear about the soap seizing… though thanks for the heads up on Rose Geranium EO!)! I’m glad it all turned out in the end and you like it 🙂 Thanks for reading & DIYing with me!
I love the grapefruit/rose combination! I first saw it a few years ago in a handmade soap from Europe and tucked the idea away for the future. I just made my own batch of grapefruit rose soap a few weeks ago. On grapefruit essential oil, I’ve tried that one in soap before and it faded REALLY quick. Has anyone else had that trouble? I now use grapefruit fragrance, so it will stick. Beautiful soap! Love the colors and contrast!
I find that the Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit E.O’s always fade a little. One trick that helps that I have found is to be sure to keep the oils and lye solution cool. The flash point of most of the citrus oils is low…around 100 degrees F. (37.7 C). If you keep the batter cool it seems to help the scent stay a little longer.
Great tip, thanks Danni!
I’ve read that you can “anchor” citrus essential oils (and others) with litsea cubeba EO, which is really quite inexpensive, and smells quite citrussy, so it would blend really nicely with grapefruit EO. It’s worth a try! Thanks for reading 😀
Thank you for the tips Marie and Danni! I will be sure to try that as I do love grapefruit e.o.
Hey! Long time no talk!!!
I dont know if you remember, but I bugged you forever in a day about that soap recipe I kept messing up…well if you remember I found the PERFECT recipe for hardness, and everything…but of course you were and still are amazing 🙂
Anyway, now I have a really stupid question. I was looking at the above recipe and decided to do jasmine/grapefuit shampoo soap. Ok, i’ve already made it. I added Moroccan red clay, koalin clay, jasmine essential oil, grapefruit eo…turned out great…but here comes the stupid questions..lol ready???
1) When I was measuring everything out, you state 10g of one and 20g of another…but thats A LOT of pure eo. So when I was measuring, it wouldnt even register what I was weighing, because eo is light. Anyway, when using pure EO, should I really be using that many grams? I mean that would be whole 1oz bottle of EO….seems strong to me. (but what do I know, thats why im asking…lol)
2) What is the difference b/w a shampoo bar and just soap??? Just the clay? Which makes it good for your hair or what??? Because I still used the basic soap recipe that I always used and then just added the eo and clays. HELP!
3) This is more of an update. I think you’d be proud. I know you’ve checked my website before, but now it’s great! I’ve got 18 items, about to launch a hand full more including deodorant (aluminum free), baby bath soak, Anti aging serums…etc. But I have a webstore too 🙂 Feel free to check it out again.
Of course I remember 🙂 Welcome back!
1) Yes, it’s a lot. And yes, that’s correct. Soap snorts back EOs like you wouldn’t believe, lol. That’s why I tend to stick to the cheaper EOs, like citrus, cinnamon, and lavender. The rule of thumb is 30g EO per 500g oils, or 1oz per 1lb oils. The scent dissipates a lot as the soap ages. If you don’t want to use that much EO, it’s almost best to not use any at all as you won’t be able to smell it at all after saponification and aging 🙁 Depends on the scent, of course, but that’s my general experience.
If you scale is having difficulties, try ditching the tare feature. As in, pop your measuring cup on, but don’t zero it out. Just add 30g (or whatever) to the weight of the cup, and that’s what you’re measuring up to. Not ideal, but more accurate.
2) I wrote an article on shampoo bars here, but the general gist of it is more castor oil. Clay is actually a shaving soap thing, I just happen to love it in my shampoo bars & I’m spreading the love 😛
3) Congrats! It must feel good to be building out your product line and to get a store up & running 🙂
Ok, well I think I am going to have to experiment a little..since I am using pure EO’s! But I am thinking that you are right too 🙂
Ok, so I wonder then if my basic soap recipe would be good for shampoo. I have 10% castor oil, but 30% of coconut oil and olive oil. hm?? What do you think? Have you had any problems with greasyness??? (oy, did I spell that right?) Or do you just wash your ends? What about hard/soft water?
LOL, i know 21 q’s in 2 seconds …. I’m obviously new to the whole shampoo bar…but I honestly am so tired of the chemical shampoo’s and to tell you the truth I am pretty sure its slowly ruining my hair! (would it be good to use on baby’s as well? i’d like to use it on my 17 month old daughter)
Anyway, thanks so much again! Much love your way as always for helping me out 🙂
I can’t really answer most of your questions but I can answer the baby part. Bar soaps work fine for baby’s hair but they are NOT tear free (in fact they sting pretty bad) so you have to be pretty careful not to get it in the eyes. I just don’t wash my little boys hair very often and when I do I hold a wet washrag over his face and that does a good job of keeping his eyes closed and soap free.
Thank you for chiming in, ErinElizabeth! I have no experience washing babies, so your expertise is much appreciated 🙂
Hmm. 10% castor oil sounds a little low for your typical shampoo bar (the general recommendation is about 20%), but I’ve used all my soaps as shampoos, and they typically have just 5% castor oil, and they work just fine. Other than that, it’s really going to depend on your hair. I haven’t had any trouble with greasiness since I learned to properly wash my hair. Something you don’t realize with using storebought detergent shampoos is that their strength makes you lazy 😛 They clean the length of your hair by just washing over it. With a shampoo bar you actually need to lather up all your hair and make sure you are doing a thorough job, or you will notice some greasy patches over time.
You definitely don’t want to just wash your ends as your ends are the driest part of your hair as they are furthest away from your scalp 🙂 You want to pay the most attention to your scalp.
I have used my bars in both hard and soft water and haven’t noticed any problems either way.
Have fun & let me know how it goes!
Ok so an update (as you asked). I have made and tested the jasmine/grapefruit shampoo bars with your recipe modified to more what I was looking for…and they are aaammmmaazzzziiinnnggg!
I can tell you that I did go through that transition process where I had the build up, but did a apple cider vinegar rinse which was just what my hair needed. It’s been about 2 weeks now and with the bars that I made and the rinse (now doing less of that because I am past the transition)…but I can count on my hands how much I hair I loose now in the shower. Before it was so bad that I had actual CLUMPS everytime I was showering. My brush would be full of hair within a week…like I said, it’s been 2 weeks, and my brush is only half of what it normally would be!!!
Simply amazing Marie. Again, I want to thank you…I may be using my own measurements for soap/shampoo bars…but honestly, without you I would have NEVER been able to figure it out.
This is so exciting, Anna! I am so thrilled to hear that going the natural/DIY route is working for you—and so well 😀 It sounds like you did some great problem solving with the ACV rinse, and that things are evening out really well. Up next is likely to be the silicone coming out of your hair… which is definitely gross, and a big eye-opener as to how storebought products “work”. Thank you so much for keeping me posted, I love to hear about successes like yours!