Herbal “Provence” Soap

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“Beautiful herbs — chockfull of nutrients and scent — are the perfect addition to this lovely soap. Infused oils and vitamin E make for a nourishing and caressing bar of soap. Add calendula petals at trace for color and texture. Scent with a herbal blend of pure essential oils.”

Herbal Provence Soap Recipe (CP)


This Provence-inspired soap recipe was originally published at SnowDriftFarms website, which is sadly no longer online, under the title of  “Herbes aux Provence Soap“. The original recipe yields 9 lbs of soap, which is quite a large batch for me. I converted the recipe to percentages, to make it easy for you to make as much or as little soap as you want:

Herbal “Provence” Soap

Run the recipe through your favorite lye calculator to get specific measurements. For a small 1 pound batch, at 5% superfat, I would use:

  • 4 oz coconut oil (76 degree)
  • 3.2 oz jojoba oil
  • 4.48 oz HO sunflower oil
  • 1.6 oz palm oil
  • 0.32 oz stearic acid
  • 2.4 oz avocado oil
  • 2.03 lye (NaOH)
  • 6.08 distilled water
  • 0.48 oz (13 g) essential oil blend

Follow standard soap making procedures. Add vitamin E and essential oils at trace.

Helpful Notes

  • High Oleic vs Regular Sunflower Oil

There are several types of sunflower oils produced, such as high linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic. High linoleic sunflower oil typically has at least 69% linoleic acid. High oleic sunflower oil has at least 82% oleic acid.

Sunflower oil found at grocery stores is usually NOT high oleic. It’s still a good oil for soap making, as long as you stick to 5-7% of a recipe. High oleic, on the other hand, is the best choice for soap making IF you’re using it in larger amount such as in this recipe. It’s a great replacement for olive oil, and more affordable. You can buy cold pressed, high oleic sunflower here.

  • Herbal Oil Infusion

Infused oils are a great way to enhance your soaps with herbal properties, added color and subtle scent. There are various methods for infusing herbs into oils, which I plant to cover in a future tutorial. But for now, if you want a quick rundown on how to make your own infused oil, check out this article by Aussie Soap Supplies.

  • Palm Oil Substitutions

Whenever I publish a recipe with palm oil, I inevitable received a flood of comments asking for substitutions. I decided to stay ahead of the game this time and list a few oils that you can use for a palm-free soap formulation. The best replacements for palm oil are lard, coconut oil and olive oil. Keep in mind that different oils/fats have different saponification values and properties. So ALWAYS run the new recipe through a lye calculator and adjust quantities as needed.

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DIY Herbal Provence Soap (Cold Process)


Don't know where to start? (cold process basics)

If you're new to soapmaking, I highly recommend "Natural Soapmaking" by Jan Berry (from TheNerdyFarmWife.com). It's perfect for beginners. I wish I'd read it before my first batch! She manages to be thorough and yet keep it simple and to the point.

I specially like her suggestions on natural colorings and how to work with botanicals and infusions. For only $9.99, you'll learn:

  • the basics of cold process soap making
  • what terms like “gel phase” and “trace” really mean
  • how to color soaps naturally with botanicals and clays
  • all about adding beneficial herbs and flowers to your soaps
  • how to use a lye calculator (it's not as hard as it seems, promise!)

For those who feel they need some extra hand-holding, her complete package also includes:

  • » All-Natural Milk Soaps Companion Guide
  • » Natural Shampoo Bars Companion Guide
  • » Printable Soap Making Checklist
  • » Instructional Guide to Lining a Soap Mold
  • » Access to a Private Facebook Group << this is priceless, IMHO

Interested? CLICK HERE to view more details!

Do you want to make your own soap, but have no idea where to start?

Do you want to make your own soap, but have no idea where to start?

Then you have to check out "Natural Soap Making" by Jan Berry. This ebook will show you:

 the basics of cold process soap making
 what “gel phase” and “trace” really mean
 how to color soaps naturally with botanicals and clays
 all about adding beneficial herbs and flowers to your soaps
 that lye calculators aren’t as intimidating as they seem
 plus it includes 25 palm-free recipes!


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