Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Honey and Rosehip Soap

I am not sure why but we seem to be going through soap rather quickly these days. So I thought I would make a couple of smaller batches of soap from Jan Berry's Simple and Natural Soapmaking. The first one I made was based on her Wild Rosehips and Honey Soap. 

The above photo was taken after I took the soap out of the moulds as lately, for some strange reason, I have been getting a lot of soda ash on my soaps even though they are sprayed with Isopropyl Alcohol.  I never ever had that problem when I first started making soap but then again I didn't add any colours or essential/fragrance oils either.  

 I didn't take any photos of the soapmaking process but firstly I had to make rosehip tea by boiling water then adding the rosehips and simmer for an hour before pushing them through a sieve. Then it went into the fridge till chilled. I actually made this up a few days beforehand.

So I started making the soap but seeing as the recipe had 31/2 teaspoons (6g) madder root powder which was to be added to the oils and which seemed to be to be a lot of madder root, I thought I would add it at trace. I had been looking at the photos Jan had in her book showing the differing colours of soap over time in which madder root was used and to my eye it looked the darkest when it was added at trace. Unfortunately I forgot that adding it at trace meant it needed to be stirred with water first which I didn't do. Oh well, live and learn.

So I was quite pleased when the mixture was ready to pour into the moulds to see that it was a lovely dark colour.

 However, seeing as I am in the habit of taking my soaps out of the moulds when they are too soft I left this lot for a couple of days and then tentatively unmoulded them. Well, you wouldn't believe it but they were lighter in colour at that stage when the photo was taken but had dark specks through them.

Now they are turning darker by the day which might be helped along by the addition of the peony rose fragrance oil I added and perhaps the honey as well as I haven't made soap with honey in it before. The main problem though is the terrible soda ash that has formed on some of the soaps. It is disappointing as I wouldn't like to give it to anyone even though it is only a problem with the appearance. So if I make this soap again I will perhaps use less madder root and next time will either add it to the warmed oils or at trace when stirred with water according to the instructions.

I will write the recipe I used here for my future reference as I have a tendency to write recipes down on pieces of paper which are put in a 'safe place' never to see the light of day again. 

Honey and Rosehip Soap (based on Jan Berry's Wild Rosehips and Honey Soap)

1/2 cup rosehips
283g distilled water
109g lye
85g lard (or else use shea or mango butter)
170g coconut oil
113g sunflower oil (or sweet almond)
397g olive oil
3 1/2t (6g) madder root powder
1/2t (7.5ml) honey mixed with 1/2t (7.5ml) water

The original recipe also added rosehip seed oil, geranium essential oil and clary sage or lavender essential oil but I didn't have any of those ingredients. 

So now I have a 6 week wait till the soap dries out before I can try it out and see if I like it. I dare say the colour will keep changing as I find the natural colours seem to fade and the last time I added madder root it certainly did fade.

I also made a batch of Aloe and Cucumber based on another recipe in Jan's book which I have made before and it is a lovely soap to use but there were a few hiccups with that one which I will explain in a future post as, once again, I misread some crucial information. 

There always seems to be a saga when I am making soap. LOL! Perhaps I should just buy it at the markets. Then again, you would miss out on all the drama!!!


  1. You always make beautiful soaps, Chel.
    You can think of soda ash spots as intentional design patterns. Someone like me wouldn't know the difference. 😀

  2. Chel if a little soda ash worries a person then they are silly. Your soaps are divine.

    1. Thanks Jane. Often the soaps improve with time so I will see what they are like after 6 weeks.

  3. Love the new soap mould, Chel. Not sure if it's meant to resemble wild honeycomb, or just flowers. But it's sweet all the same. Always something to see and learn, here.

    1. Chris it is a flower mould. I don't use it very often as often it is hard to get the soap out properly. It was okay this time though.

  4. They all look very nice to me Chel. There is a lot to it isn't there. When it alll boils down it shouldn't be about what they look like but whether or not they are kind to your skin. I'm sure they are:) Keep up the great work . Pauline

    1. Pauline, it is much easier just to make soap without the additives. Just give it a try if you haven't made soap before. I made my first batches using Rhonda's recipe from her website or her book. It is fairly foolproof.

  5. i think your soaps look wonderful!
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thanks Selina. Some are better than others. LOL!

  6. Gosh I have plenty of rosehips, may have to give recipe a try.


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