Every year from April 10–15 I observe what I call Titanic Week; the anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the RMS Titanic. It’s not much of an event, but it is a thing I remember, and have every year since I was about 11. In honour of Titanic Week 2018 I thought I’d make and share some Vinolia-inspired bath bombs. Vinolia was the luxury soap given to the first class passengers on the Titanic, and was scented with lemon and rose. A few years ago I made a soap inspired by Vinolia (I even gave a bar to Robert Ballard!), and I adored the scent combination—sweet and bright, but not at all cloying. It’s fantastic and highly deserving of being turned into a batch of Vinolia Lemon Rose Bath Bombs.
I had a few ideas floating around in my head for these bath bombs—the sorts of things I had good feelings about, but wasn’t certain how the end product would come out. I wanted something elegant and beautiful, and something I hadn’t tried yet in the world of bath bombs. I’m so thrilled with how these came together! A bit colourful and abstract, fizzy, shimmery, and delightfully fragrant.
I toyed with the idea of embedding a dried rosebud in the top of each bath bomb, but the notion of a large, soggy dried flower that would need to be fished out of one’s tub after a relaxing soak was pretty unappealing. That led me to include some little crumbly bits of dried rosebuds I rescued from the bottom of the bag—bits that often wouldn’t get used. They distributed a lovely crumbly pink character throughout the bath bombs, but are small enough (and sparse enough) not to clog drains.
I also tried something new; some mica drizzles. I’ve been oggling a variety of stunning mica drizzled bath bombs on Instagram and have been itching to try it out for myself. I blended some mica with some 70% isopropyl alcohol and scattered the mixture overtop of the bath bombs with a couple disposable pipettes. In the future I’d use 99% isopropyl alcohol as the 70% alcohol still reacted with the bath bombs a bit. In any event I love the effect and can’t wait to play with it more!
Our scent blend is a combination of lemon essential oil and rose fragrance oil. Rose essential oil runs about $175/5mL, so the fragrance oil makes for an appealing budget alternative. Some people like rose geranium essential oil as an alternative; I don’t find it to be a very convincing alternative, but if you like it, go for it!
The resulting bath bombs are downright beautiful, wonderfully fragrant, fizzy spheres of wonderfullness. If the Titanic sailed today I can totally see them being included in a pampering gift basket in passenger bathrooms. Swoon!
Vinolia Lemon Rose Bath Bombs
1g | 0.125% rose mica
1g | 0.125% gold mica
99% isopropyl alcohol, as needed
Measure the powdered ingredients into a large bowl and mix them together.
Add the melted oils and essential oil to the powdered ingredients, stir for a wee while, and then add the essential oil. Blend everything together using a flexible silicone spatula, and then switch to using your hands when the melted oils are no longer hot and you won’t be soaking your hands in essential oils. When you’re done blending the final mixture should be uniform and resemble cookie dough a bit. If you grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze it should hold together a little.
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 misters (they’ll spread the moisture better) of witch hazel and 70% isopropyl alcohol. The reaction isn’t as vigorous when you use witch hazel and alcohol (with the alcohol being less vigorous), plus the bath bombs dry faster.
Spread your mixture out in your bowl so you have as much surface area as possible, and spritz in some witch hazel—I found I needed 6–8 spritzes of witch hazel. Use your hands to quickly combine, misting and mixing. Once you can grab a fairly good handful of the mixture and it’ll hold together, mix in a few spritzes of alcohol. The final mixture should hold together quite well—you should be able to tap a squeezed handful with your finger and have it hold together.
Mould the bath bombs using a spherical mould. If the bath bombs start to become finicky as you work, that’s likely because the mix is starting to dry out—mist in some more liquid until they become workable again. When you’ve used up all the powder, it’s time for the mica drizzles!
Blend 1g of each mica with about 10mL (2 tsp) of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using a disposable pipette, such up some of the shimmery liquid and then scatter some drops and drizzles overtop of the bombs. I alternated between red and gold, scattering the red on one angle, and the gold on an opposing angle. Once that’s done, leave the finished bath bombs to dry overnight.
To use, drop in a hot bath and enjoy! This recipe will make about ten 2″ bath bombs, depending on how many survive molding.
Because these bath bombs don’t contain any water once they dry, they do not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Be sure to keep them dry to ensure they last as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container/bag you store them in and they should easily last a year.
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 800g. The percentages/weights are a bit odd in this one due to some rounding to avoid really weird numbers—feel free to use either the weights or percentages, none of the differences are significant enough to noticeably impact the recipe.
- You can use more citric acid instead of Cream or Tartar
- You can use a different brittle or soft butter in place of the shea butter
- The mica drizzles are optional
- You can use more Epsom Salts instead of the crumbled dried rose petals
- If you only have 70% isopropyl alcohol you can use that instead of the 99%