I’m having a hard time deciding if I can give this Sugar Plum Conditioning Body Butter away. I mean… it’s just so nice. I really want to keep it for myself. I really should give it away. I am a one-woman skin care stuff factory and I am not due to need another body butter until sometime in 2026, and yet… it’s just so lovely! Rich and creamy, with a velvety skin feel and a shockingly fast absorption speed. It leaves my skin feeling all kinds of smooth and soft and protected in a way that’s noticeable for hours. It’s just… you should probably just make it and see. And then you can agree with me—I shouldn’t give it away.
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
The bulk of this body butter is mango butter. Mango butter is a bit of a unicorn in the world of soft butters; it has a dry finish. There’s a good chance you’re familiar with shea butter, and while you might love how rich and creamy it is, its heavy finish can be a bit off-putting, especially when used in high concentrations. Not mango butter, my loves. Mango butter vanishes into the skin, leaving it soft and supple, but not at all greasy. Mango butter is where it is at if you want to make body butters that don’t make your knickers slide off post-application.
Our conditioning kick comes from the inclusion of some BTMS-50, which is what gives this body butter its almost magical feel. This body butter will leave you skin feeling nothing like other body butters you’ve ever used. The BTMS gives the most stunning, soft, protected feeling that is pure decadence and wonder.
And, of course, we have our plum oil. Our fast-absorbing, marzipan scented, golden plum oil. Our swoon-worthy, utterly amazeballs plum oil. Its soft almond scent blends with vanilla-like benzoin and bright cardamom to create a soft, sweet, posh dessert kind of scent blend. This isn’t tub frosting kind of dessert—it’s expensive European bakery dessert. Swoon.
There is a bit of a trick to keeping this body butter from going mealy and weird on you; first we’ll bring it to trace in an ice bath, and then we’ll finish cooling it in the fridge. This combination of movement and quick cooling works wonders to keep the final product smooth and lovely. If yours ends up going grainy on you, feel free to gently re-melt it in a water bath and try again (I did!). I also recommend giving this really interesting experiment from Skin Chakra a read!
Ok. Enough swooning and rhapsodizing. Let’s make some stunning body butter!
Want to watch this project instead of read it?
Sugar Plum Conditioning Body Butter
5g | 10% BTMS-50 (USA / Canada)
2.25g | 4.5% cetyl alcohol (USA / Canada)
25g | 50% mango butter (USA / Canada)
8.375g | 16.75% sweet almond oil (USA / Canada)
8.5g | 17% plum oil
Cool down phase
0.25g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.25g | 0.5% benzoin resinoid
0.125g | 0.25% cardamom essential oil
0.25g | 0.5% plum-purple mica
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Weigh the heated phase ingredients into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
While the heated phase melts, prepare an ice bath. Take a bowl that is large enough to accommodate the container the heated phase is melting in, and fill it about halfway with ice cubes and cold water.
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dish towel. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Add the mica to the melted oils and then place the oil phase measuring cup into the ice bath and cool, stirring constantly, for about thirty seconds—until you start to notice some building viscosity. Remove the container from the water bath and add the remaining cool down ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
Continue stirring the mixture in the ice bath until you reach “trace”—the mixture should have enough viscosity that a small amount drizzled over the surface of the mixture leaves a “trace” for an instant. If you’re a soap maker you’ll be familiar with this—we’re looking for a rather light trace. Refer to the video to see it in action! If in doubt, stir and chill a bit longer.
Once you reach trace (this may happen without needing to use the ice bath after adding the full cool down phase) you can now pour the body butter into a 60mL/2oz tin and quickly transfer it to the fridge to set up.
When the butter has fully set up (give it an hour or two), remove it from the fridge to return to room temperature. That’s it! To use, smooth some body butter over bits of skin that need some extra love.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this body butter is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g.
- You could use BTMS-25 instead of BTMS-50, though this will result in less conditioning as 25 has half the amount of active conditioning ingredient as 50
- Please don’t substitute the mango butter. You could use a different soft butter (cupuacu would be my next choice), but this will make for a heavier/greasier end product.
- You can try cetearyl alcohol (USA / Canada) instead of cetyl alcohol, but this will give a different feel to the end product.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like apricot kernel, grapeseed, or sunflower seed instead of sweet almond
- If you don’t have the plum oil (I haven’t found it in Canada yet—I’m sorry!) I think your best alternatives would be apricot kernel oil (USA / Canada) or cherry kernel oil—oils that are also pressed from the kernels of similar stone fruits. You will lose the marzipan/cherry note; if you aren’t a fan of the scent you might prefer that! Otherwise, you can look for a fragrance oil with a similar scent and incorporate it (I’d start at 0.1–0.2% as it’s a pretty subtle scent). I haven’t found this scent anywhere else in the realm of natural ingredients, sadly.
- You can use a different essential oil blend if you prefer
- The mica is optional; replace it with more liquid oil if you eliminate it.
The plum oil was gifted by Essential Wholesale & Labs.
Thank you! This looks absolutely lovely! I also read the experiment on the link and it was so helpful. I have learned so much from you and for that, I can’t thank you enough. ❤️
You’re so welcome! That post is so helpful, eh?! I love it when people freely and lovingly share their experiments so we can all learn!
Looking everywhere in Australia for plum oil and just can’t find it except at a skin care site priced at $28 for 20ml which is s bit pricy! Where did you source yours from? The smell sounds so lovely!
Mine is from Essential Wholesale in Portland—they’re linked in the post 🙂 It is LOVELY and if you decide to place an order with them I can give you a big ol’ list of stuff you should try LOL.
Dangerous reply but please suggest away! If I need to place an order and pay shipping may as make it worth it! Just love the sound of it.
Welllll alrighty then haha.
And then just… sift through the carrier oil and hydrosol sections and try not to go too crazy! It’s all just… SWOON.
I need to find someone to make this glorious recipe for me. I have no idea how to find such a person. Sigh. It’s luscious looking body butter, Marie.
From your Sunday email, it sounds like you are having a fabulous time with your travels. Yahoo! Cheers, Ardith
Thanks so much, Ardith! I’m currently hanging out in a very cozy Irish pub in Dublin with live Irish music and a toasty heater at my back 🙂
Hey Marie! I’ve been experimenting with high amounts of clay and cera bellina and found this formula to be freakin amazing!!! It has a soft powdery feel to it. It’s weird because it feels oily at first but immediately becomes dry and soft…you should try it..see below.
25% macadamia nut oil
20% fractionated coconut oil
15% grapeseed oil
14% cera bellina
11% kaolin clay
6.5% refined mango butter
5.5% cetyl alcohol
2.5% raw propolis
.5% Vitamin E
Thanks so much Mr Gnome! I shall have to remember this when I get home 🙂 Also, you should start a blog to share your recipes!
Hi! So…I made this HEAVENLY body butter yesterday. It came together so nicely and following instructions lead to a smooth butter, no graininess my mom loved it so much I’m make her a batch today.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful formulations/recipes!
YAY! I’m so glad 😀 Thank you so much for sharing your results and DIYing with me!
Just made this tonight and after not too much thought – keeping this one for myself! I don’t have any plum oil as yet (waiting!), but made it with a new oil for me – Apple seed oil which is quite pretty but I am sure not as good as Plum oil. Now will get around to making some for Christmas presents.
OOoh, apple seed oil sounds divine! Why do they have to keep making new oils from amazing sounding things, lol, I already have more oils than any one human should 😛 Thanks for DIYing with me!
I generally dislike butters but you sold me with your sales pitch.
If its anything like the hand butter..cream stuff you posted about a year ago, then I know I’ll be happy with it. It was the first “butter” that dried and soaked in quickly and my husband even uses it when I open the little jar.
I have to say I tend to agree with you—I like making them, but I feel like I’m in an ongoing battle to create ones I enjoy using enough to reach for a butter instead of a lotion 😛 This one is great, though—the conditioning element is amazeballs!
Thank you for the recipe! Can I replace the BTMS-25 by emulsifying wax?
No; the BTMS-50 is the conditioning part of the body butter, and a non-cationic emulsifying wax simply won’t have the same effect or skin feel. I will be sharing a different (non-conditioning) sugar plum body butter in a couple weeks, that one might be more up your alley 🙂
What a lovely recipe! Thank you Marie, it’s a delightful smooth texture. Mine has come out rather harder than I expected, I don’t know why – but it softens and melts quickly on the skin. (Maybe it’s just not enjoying the cold weather!)
On alternatives for plum oil – I’m in the UK, and I think that the cherry kernel oil from Fushi also has a wonderful marzipan/sour cherry scent which carries through lightly to the finished product. I really love it, and perhaps it will work for other people too, where plum oil isn’t accessible? Maybe worth a try, anyway.
Thank you so much, Monika! That cherry kernel oil sounds like a perfect (and delicious) alternative!
This is my most favorite recipe on your site! I made a batch and am IN LOVE with this body butter. It smells delicious and absorbs quickly. I am not big on lotions or butters that are greasy or tacky and this one sinks into my skin and, for lack of a better word, disappears but still keeps my skin moisturized and soft. The first batch is definitely FOR ME! I am whipping up a few more pots to give away for Christmas. Thanks for this recipe! 🙂
YAY! This makes me so dang happy 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your experience and for DIYing with me! 😀
I made this today (had to sub for the plumb oil because Canada) but I CANNOT overemphasize the glorious texture of this recipe. It feels decadently smooth when you reach in for your first scoop and it glides beautifully on your skin. It’s not too greasy and leaves my skin feeling rich and lovely.
I’ll be making this as gifts this holiday season – I suspect I’ll be asked to make more by February!
Good morning Sarah!
I have to know, what did you sub the plum oil for? Did you change the colour from the purple to other colours? And most importantly did you share pictures on Instagram for I’d love to see your final product!
I love spicy oils! Cardamom is great for winter. Though Healing Solutions is more of a fragrance oil than an essential oil. Amazon is hard to get oils from. There are just so many fakes. Plant Therapy and Edens Garden are legit though. They have GCMS test results available.
Thanks, Sharon—I definitely agree!
if i m using varisoft 65 instead of btms 50, is the swap one to one?
That’s where I’d start, though I haven’t tried it personally. Start with a small batch 🙂
Do you think this formulation would be thick/firm enough that I could pour it into a deodorant container?
(I saw a company making body butters in deodorant containers, so now I wanna try.)
It should be! Let me know how it turns out 🙂
Hola Marie la resina que usas es como aroma o cumple otra función? Con que se podría sustituir? Muchas gracias
Marie no habla español probablemente, deberías preguntarle en inglés…
I made this balm last week and am so enamoured with it! It is lush, thick and soaks into the skin quickly. A batch was made for a relative for Christmas, it is so decadent-feeling that is is a perfect gift. Thank you for exploring plum oil and sharing your creations:)
I’m so glad! I love this one, too 😀 Thank you so much for sharing and for making with me!
I just made this (my plum oil just arrived, because even though I have a PLETHORA of oils I wanted to give it a fair go too–I’m just an equal opportunity oil buyer, see? I don’t have a problem) and man is it AMAZING. I’m not usually super keen on body butters but I’ve noticed lately my skin is just parched. This absorbs beautifully and isn’t super greasy. LOVE the scent combination too! I’d love to make some sort of bath bomb, but trying to figure out how to use plum oil in a bath bomb is a bit of a challenge since there’s basically no oil in them…
Thanks as usual for sharing as usual, Marie! Hope you have a good New Years!
I am so thrilled! And yes, I would love to have some plum bath things, but bath oil seemed sacrilege for something so precious and I don’t imagine the scent would come through in bath bombs… could be worth a try, though!
I usually whip my body butter to give it a lighter texture. Can I whip this ? Do I need to cool and whip ?
You can certainly try, but I did not formulate this to be whipped and I suspect it is firm enough that it will not stay light and fluffy. Let me know if you try it, though!
Hello. I’ve read that mango butter should be substituted. But is it ok if I use a small % of cocoa butter?
If your weather is hot I’d say it can help with the texture to stay more hardy instead of it going all soft so easily on ya. In fact, thanks for the idea. I’d definitely do this for my next batch. It could solve my problem! But I’m not sure if we’ll still be able to detect a trace if we actually use a mix of mango AND cocoa butter? Ah, bummer!
To increase the melting point even more you could try incorporating something like stearic acid or cetyl alcohol as well 🙂 Let me know how it goes!
I will keep that in mind for sure! After a few more of your other recipes which I already have in my to-do-list. Ops. Greedy me; lemon chiffon lotion, 2-in-1 creamy conditioner, rose argan cleansing conditioner, oatmilk dream cream and calendula sunshine salve.
Not greedy—ambitious! Happy making 😀
this recipe already has cetyl alcohol, it’d mean I just increase it eh?
ps: made the 2-in-1 creamy conditioner and it’s fabulous for the hair! however, mine did not turn out as beautiful (smooth&fine) as yours but the viscosity is great for a pump bottle so it works.. though appearance wise, not so. c’est la vie.
You can certainly try it 🙂
Marie, this came out lovely! But to my utter disappointment, it melted when i shipped it to my friend since we don’t live nearby one another. I suppose the pemberley conditioning butter would be similar in transportation, eh?
Yup :/ I recommend giving this a read 🙂
Hello! I’m giving this a try soon. I did find some Canadian plum oil (New Directions Aromatics) and I was so excited to open the bottle and … and … it didn’t smell of anything at all ! And it was colourless! Bummer! Is the one you got from Essential Wholesale & Labs unique, do you think? I remember you said that From Nature With Love’s plum oil had no smell either. Anyway I did use it all up (it was only a small bottle) so I think I’ll get it from EWL in future.
I did want to quickly mention: please Marie, research your mica colourant: I refuse to use mica because it’s mined by children as young as 5 in the “mica belt” which is in northern India. If you find a mica producer that doesn’t support this unimaginable situation, and has an ethical source – please share. Thank you so much!
Oh wow, this is stunning body butter! Thank you for developing this! I replaced plum oil + EO’s with vanilla infused macadamia oil and sweet almond with walnut oil. I included ~ 5 % murumuru butter because I like the nutty, green aroma. These have beautiful aroma on their own but together? Perfect. I didn’t need any extra thickening. I kind of like the colour brown mica gives. It’s funny how scent preferences change over time? I couldn’t stand vanilla few years ago but now I feel myself relaxed when I apply this on skin. It feels slightly stimulating/ uplifting too. I’ve been through a lot and this is exactly something I need right now.
I made this as written too. I left EO’s out though – plum is so beautiful on it’s own. I actually purcased plum oil from UK (soap kitchen) to be able to make this. Sadly I don’t have a picture but I enjoyed it a lot. I know few people here in Finland who were impressed by this too. Cool?
I like how thoughtfully put together this formulation is (melting point, spreading, absorbing, skin benefits…) I like to apply this on feet and hands too. Love the conditioned feel. I agree with you when it comes to keeping this for myself, haha!
Whoops, too early. Murumuru butter swap wasn’t a good idea as it is softer than mango butter. My bad. I stored it in too hot temperature too. Your ‘how to fix grainy body butter’ post was super helpful! TY!
Good to know, thank you!
I made this today and it is awesome! It smells so nice and the texture is divine. I used hibiscus powder to color it, and it worked fine 😉