“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.”
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
- 25% coconut oil (76 degree)
- 20% jojoba oil
- 28% sunflower oil (high oleic), infused with calendula, lavender and chamomile buds and petals
- 10% palm oil
- 2% stearic acid, vegetable derived
- 15% avocado oil
- lye (NaOH)
- distilled or demineralized water
- vitamin E (optional, 5-6 drops PPO)
- essential oil blend of marjoram, anise or fennel, spearmint and lavandin essential oils to total 3% of the batch weight
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.
- 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.