Turmeric and Ylang-Ylang Soap Recipe

Do you like this beautiful rosy-orange soap, colored with turmeric and scented with ylang-ylang? It makes for an exotic soap with no particularly special ingredient. Try this turmeric and ylang-ylang soap recipe at home, you’ll love it!

Table of Contents

ylang-ylang flower

What Is Ylang-Ylang?

Ylang-ylang is a pretty fragrant yellow flower that comes from a tropical tree, native from India – Cananga Odorata. In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlyweds, while in Philippines they are strung into necklaces for religious ceremonies.

But its main usage is definitely in perfumery, as an essential oil. It is widely used for oriental- or floral-themed perfumes (such as Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang fragrance is rich and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli, thus it is sometimes described as heavy, sweet, and carries a slightly fruity floral scent. It is somehow overpowering, but blends well with most fruit, floral and wood scents.

I’ve blended ylang-ylang for this soap with cedarwood, to work as a scent fixer and an additional woody note. The final scent is soft and very floral.

white spoons of colorful turmeric powder, turmeric root in the background

Turmeric as a Natural Colorant

This is not the first time I use turmeric as a natural colorant. The first turmeric soap I’ve made, got a pretty caramel color, but it was not similar to the orange-pink I’ve got this time.

pile of 3 pretty golden brown soap bars
turmeric and ylang-ylang soap recipe

The different color might have come from one or many of those factors together: using the turmeric in lye water; using a different oils mixture (with olive oil); using cinnamon essential oil; using a different turmeric brand.

I didn’t mind the different color – I was aiming at having orange – as it was pretty anyway, and I do like this “natural” effect of impredicability. But I was pretty satisfied this time to get the orange color I wanted. Or at least closer to what I’ve wanted. The pinky-orange is quite beautiful, and is a better colorant for light pink than the pink clay I usually use.

When you mix the turmeric with the soap batter, while reaching trace, the soap gets a vibrant orange color that fades to light pink after hardening and curing.

Turmeric and Ylang-Ylang Soap Recipe

This soap uses an oil mixture from another recipe, with no coconut oil and no olive oil. Olive oil and coconut oil are must-have’s in any handmade soap recipe. But do they really have to be there? No, you can make soap with any oil mixture. And this soap is the proof.

It uses palm oil at 50% as the hard oil content and the rest is a mixture of soft oils, respecting maximum quantities to keep the soap hard enough.

Naturally colored with turmeric and scented with ylang-ylang and cedarwood essential oils.

Find Where To Buy Handmade Ylang-Ylang Soap

Still not inspired to make your own soap at home? But you do wish to use or give it a try at handmade ylang-ylang soap. You can find a few options online to buy handmade ylang-ylang soap below:

How To Use This Soap

In the shower or bath, wet your hands and rub your soap in them to create a lather. Wash your hands first, then repeat the process and apply soap to your whole body using the soap directly and your hands. You may also wash your face with it. Rinse hands and body abundantly. Also wash your soap from lather before placing it in your soap dish or bag saver.

Washcloths and sponges should be avoided. Avoid washing your intimate zone and your hair, soap pH in not adequate for those parts of your body. Avoid eye contact with soap to prevent stinging. Make a patch test before using your soap. Stop using your soap if you feel any immediate adverse reaction in your skin (red skin, rashes, itching).

To take best advantage of your handmade soap (made by yourself or store-bougth), read How Do You Use Handmade Soap?

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Ingredients and Recipes

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Watch This Video About Safety

Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial Video

Cold Process Soap Making Lessons

The tutorials in this blog are a great – and free! – help to start with cold process soap making. Practice is the next step to harness the art of making soaps at home. However, I understand if you prefer to have some formal lessons, where you will feel more supported with the steps. Feel free to join these courses at Udemy.

How To Make Soap – Homemade Soap Making for Beginners – Shona O’Connor

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Turmeric and Ylang-Ylang Soap Recipe

Ylang-Ylang is a fragrant yellow flower from the Cananga Odorata tree, native from India. It provides an exotic scent to soap, with a distinguished floral scent, with woody and earthy nuances.
This soap is made with a oil mixture that doesn't contain olive oil or coconut oil. So, if you're short of these two oils, or they are expensive in your area, be sure you can make soap without them. Turmeric is the natural colorant that gives a pretty orange-rosy color.
A special soap with no particularly exotic ingredient.
Difficulty: Easy
Weight: 450g (15,87 oz)
Superfat: 6%
Lye Concentration: 25%
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Method: Cold Process
Cosmetic: Soap Bar
Servings: 3 soap bars
Author: Sofia Matias
Cost: $3 – $10 / 2,6€ – 8€


Add After Trace


Get Ready!

  • Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Precautions” in the video above or in Soap Making Safety Precautions
  • Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial" or read the post Learn To Make Cold Process Soap for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
    Pouring essential oils into soap batter
  • Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
  • After measuring your oils, remove 1 tbsp of liquid oil and mix it well with the paprika. Avoid clumps.

Heat the Oils

  • Heat all your oils in a pyrex bowl at the microwave until the palm oil melts. Use 1 min periods and check temperature. The oils shouldn't overheat (> 60ºC or 140ºF)
    melting solid oil without heat

Make the Lye Water

  • Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water. Mix it until the vapors start to dissipate. Add the dried petals at the end.
    A bottle with lye and a pitcher with water

Make the Soap Batter

  • Use as target temperature 38ºC for the oil-solution mixture. It can be less than this. The lye and oils should not have a difference of more than 10º between them.
  • Start mixing with the immersion blender. Add the oil with turmeric.
  • Reach trace with the immersion blender. You will see the soap turning into a bright orange. Later, while the soap sets and cures, it will fade to rosy-orange.
  • Add the extract and essential oils after tracing. Mix well with a spoon.

Molding and Curing

  • Pour the dough in the molds with a pitcher and sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel.
    pouring turmeric soap
  • Let it set for 48 hours.
  • Unmold and let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.


Tried this recipe?Send a pic to @herbalcochete!