Monday, 20 February 2012

lemon verbena soap

my cold processed soap making is a bit like my cooking..

'now what do i have..ah..a nugget of beeswax, some grape seed oil that's been around for a while, some castor oil i bought the last time i made soap..gosh is it really four years ago?..oh well..that's renovating for you..and some olive all i need is some coconut oil and some sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)..oops..nearly forgot..what about scent?'s expensive to buy the good stuff and i've found it often doesn't survive the saponification process anyway..i know..i'll use that lemon verbena i have growing out the front and see how that goes..'

i can't give you a recipe because i really don't remember what the proportions that i used were but what i did went something like this..

i processed a whole lot of lemon verbena leaves with some warm grapeseed oil and left the mix to steep for 2 days..i then sieved it and put the resulting highly fragrant oil on to heat in a saucepan with the beeswax and olive, castor and coconut a separate container i added the sodium hydroxide to water (when sodium hydroxide and water are combined the chemical reaction produces a very hot and caustic substance known as lye)..when the oils and beeswax and the lye were at the same desired temperature i combined the two and stirred the mix 'til trace ..i then poured the soap into a greased mould, covered it, and left it for 24 hours..the next day i removed the soap from it's container and cut it into bathing manageable sized blocks..

the soap only has a faint lemon verbena scent and as you can see it is a light brown/green colour.. it's still quite soft but i'm hoping it will firm up a bit more before i use it after the five or six week maturation period..i think i might have discounted the lye or superfatted the soap a bit too much which, if it does firm up, will make a lovely emollient soap that will be beautifully moisturising for my winter sensitive skin..

wishing you a happy week..x


  1. This looks beautiful...I can almost smell it from here :)

    1. thanks hope it does what it's supposed to..:)