The following is an excerpt from Soapmaking the Natural Way: 45 Melt-and-Pour Recipes Using Herbs, Flowers and Essential Oils by Rebecca Ittner (Lark Crafts, 2010). This excerpt is part of Chapter 4: Luxuriate.
Perhaps the easiest recipe in this book, the Simply Lavender soap is perfect for the first-time soap maker. Dried lavender flowers look like little pods when added to soap. If you prefer a more textured look, crush the flowers using a mortar and pestle. Gently crushing the flowers also releases fragrance and will make the soaps more heavily scented. Yields six bars.
1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
1 pound olive oil melt-and-pour suspension soap
Double boiler with lid
Glass measuring cup: 4-cup
Metal spoon for stirring
Mold: silicone muffin pan
Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
1. Using the large knife, cut the soap into cubes, then melt the soap in the double boiler, covering the double boiler with the lid. Once the soap is melted, remove the double boiler from the heat. Add the dried lavender flowers, stirring gently to incorporate.
2. Transfer the soap into the glass measuring cup using the rubber spatula, stir in the essential oil, then pour the soap into the molds. Spray the surface of the soap with rubbing alcohol to eliminate any bubbles.
3. Allow the soap to cool and fully harden, then remove the soap from the molds.
Read the original article, “Handmade, Home Soap Recipes: The Art of Natural Soap Making.”