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Recipe of a homemade rosemary and eucalyptus soap. Both plants contribute with very pleasant herbal camphor aromas, and useful medicinal characteristics, to obtain a cool, refreshing and invigorating soap.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an aromatic herb very common in the Mediterranic regions. It was called rosmarinus by the ancient romans due to its special scent, which means in latim “sea dew”. It is very appreciated as a food condiment. It has disinfecting and aromatic properties, and is also commonly known to reduce and prevent hair problems, namely, hair loss. See my article Rosemary, Lemongrass and Spearmint about rosemary and other herbs for soap and natural cosmetics.
Eucalyptus essential oil, Eucaliptus globulus, is the one whose scent we associate with eucalyptus, and it’s mostly used as a fragrance for soaps and detergents. It is also used in the pharma industry, by isolating the substance called eucaliptol, the eucalyptus main active substance. Who doesn’t remember “Vick VapoRub”? Eucaliptol has bronchial-dilator properties, acting as a strong anti-septic and opening airways.
Other than that, I love the scent of eucalyptus. Besides, this is one of those essential oils that we smell and we can literally *feel* its effect.
Thus, both plants contribute with very pleasant herbal camphor aromas, and useful medicinal properties, some of which may even alleviate some symptoms of COVID-19 or the ordinary flu. Above all, here is a recipe for a very refreshing and invigorating soap. Try it at home!
Essential oils, dyes and dried herbs
About essential oils used: of course, the recipe uses essential oil of eucalyptus (eucaliptus globulus), and rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis). I still add to the blend some tea tree, scots pine and sandalwood amyris essential oils. This blend is a bit complex but it has a very rich camphorous/herbal/fresh scent.
You don’t need to use all these essential oils, simply adapt the quantities and you can use less essential oils.
As for the color, I use french (or illite) green clay, and a little bit of ultramarine blue and chromium green micas (cosmetic safe and considered natural mineral colorants).
This recipe also uses the application of herbs. As mentioned in How to Make Soap From Scratch (see part of “Herbs and Flowers”) the herbs in soap should be added dry and ground. I ground mine with a coffee grinder practically until it was “powdered”, and that’s what I did in this recipe. You can see the decorative effect he created in the soap: black dots with a small brown / golden aura. It also gives a slight exfoliating effect.
Soap Bar Molds
For this, or any other recipe, you can always use any sort of molds.
I now prefer to use a soap bar mold (loaf mold) to be able to make soap designs, except for the castile soaps (with high percentage of olive oil) where I prefer to use the rectangular soap molds. Make sure that when you use molds you are careful about the gel phase, and you properly insulate the mold.
It this recipe I’ve used the loaf mold but also a silicone mold with cute animals for children, as the soap you can see in the picture at the top of this post.
More Herbal Soap Recipes
Watch this video for Soap Making Safety instruction
Watch this video for the Cold Process Soap Making tutorial
Homemade Rosemary and Eucalyptus Soap Recipe
- Immersion blender
- Pyrex or stainless steel bowl
- Heat-resistant jug or pitcher for lye solution
- Digital scale
- Digital thermometer
- Measuring spoons
- Rubber spatula(s)
- Small strainer
- Safety goggles, gloves and mask
- Cup / bottle for after trace ingredients
- Soap mold
- 368 g distilled water (12,95 oz)
- 143 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide) (5,03 oz)
- 2 tsp fine salt / sodium lactate
- 325 g extra virgin olive oil (11,44 oz)
- 325 g refined or organic coconut oil (11,44 oz)
- 250 g RSPO palm oil RSPO (8,80 oz)
- 30 g castor oil (1,06 oz)
- 70 g sunflower oil (2,46 oz)
Add After Trace
- 8 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) or rosemary extract (RSO) (anti-oxidant)
- 1/2 tsp french green clay (optional)
- 1/8 tsp ultramarine blue – CI 77007 (optional)
- 1/8 tsp chromium oxide green – CI 77288 (optional)
- 30 ml essential oils blend (optional) (12 1/2 tsp or 1,06 oz)
Essential Oils Blend
- 7,5 ml essential oil eucalyptus globulus (3 1/2 tsp)
- 7,5 ml essential oil rosemary (3 1/2 tsp)
- 5 ml essential oil tea tree (2 1/2 tsp)
- 5 ml essential oil pine needle/scots pine (2 1/2 tsp)
- 5 ml essential oil sandalwood amyris (2 1/2 tsp)
Herbs for Decoration
- dried eucalyptus and/or rosemary leaves (powder)
|Loaf soap mold||Soap cutter||Rectangular soap molds|
|Buy Immersion Blender Set||Buy Pyrex bowl (4lt)||Buy easy pour pitchers|
|Digital scale||Digital thermometer||Measuring spoons|
|Safety gloves||Safety goggles||Safety mask|
- Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in How to Make Soap From Scratch
- Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making tutorial" or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
- Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
- Remove a tablespoon of the measured liquid oils into a small cup. Mix the green clay and mineral dyes with the oil and put aside.
Heat the Oils
- Heat the oils until the solid oils are completely melted (it is not necessary to heat all the time). Add the dyes to the oils a mix with a spoon or spatula.
Make the Lye Water
- Make the lye water according to How To Make Lye Water. Add the sodium lactate to the water before (or after) making the lye water. Stir the mixture until the vapors start to dissipate.
- Add the sodium lactate to the lye water, then mix well. This is optional, but it will make your soap bar to harden faster and more uniformly
Make the Soap Batter
- Use as a target temperature 38ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, you can reheat the oils, but not the lye solution.
- Pour the lye water into the oils. It's better to strain the lye water to catch any undissolved lye crystals. Mix for a while.
- Add the colorant to the soap batter. Reach trace with the immersion blender.
- Add the extract and essential oil (s) after tracing and stir with just a spoon. Add the dried herbs and stir well with a spoon.
Molding and Curing
- Pour the dough into the loaf mold.
- If you wish, make some effects on the top of the dough with a spoon, spatula or fork (see video).
- Sprinkle the soap topping with witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol
- Now you need to insulate the loaf mold, so that the soap gels uniformly. You can cover it all around with a blanket or a thick towel. You can also use your oven: pre-heat the oven with 40ºC. Turn it off then place the loaf mold inside. See chapter above "Using a Soap Loaf Mold" NOTE: this is not an optional step, if you don't insulate your loaf soap mold the soap will gel in the center and not in the extremities. You will get a dark round mark on your soap. However, if this happens, the soap is perfectly good to use, the problem is purely visual and nothing else.
- Let it set for 48 hours, always keeping an eye on the hardness of the soap. De-insulate it only when it's completely cold.
- Unmold the soap and cut it into bars. See How To Cure Soap, in the chapter "Unmoulding And Cutting Soap" for more detail on how to cut soap.
- Let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.