Annatto - A silky ray of sunshine in the middle of winter

I dug out my tablecloths to use at the wedding, so I have
rediscovered their beauty even if I hardly ever use them.
I bought the lamp shades for an old and rather ugly
light fixture but they were the wrong size.  Typical.
I've been wanting to try to use Annatto seeds to colour soap for the longest time.  I finally did and I have to say that the result is a very pretty yellow.  Much mellower than unrefined Palm oil.  I have read that the colour fades, but I'm willing to accept some fading.  That's only natural...with natural colours.

This soap also has silk fiber.  I just had to try that after Hellen at Strenua Inertia gave me that tip.  I have quite a bit of silk left over from sewing the wedding dress and pulling a few threads is very easy.  I can't wait for this one to be ready, I've never tried silk soap.

The scent is the classic combo, ylang ylang and orange essential oils and I put dried flowers on top to pretty it up.  It hardly needs it though.  The colour is lovely, the scent is to die for and I have high hopes for this one in the skin caressing department.

The recipe was a simple but trusted 40-30-20-10

Olive oil 40% 200g / 7.0oz
Coconut oil 30% 150g / 5.3oz
Lard 20% 100g / 3.5oz
Cocoa butter 10% 50g / 1.8oz

Water 30% 150g / 5.3 oz
Lye 72g / 2.5 oz

I used about one tablespoon of Annatto infused oil and put some silk tread into the lye.

This soft yellow colour is the same as the colour of the sky this afternoon, just before the sun set.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We are having dry and cold weather now and it is so nice to have clear skies and sun, even if it is only for at few hours.  I love this time of year, the advent starts on Sunday and I have bought everything I need for the advent wreath which I make every Christmas.  So making that and baking some cookies is the plan for this weekend.


  1. silk is lovely in soap, I use a gram per kilo, cutting it up fine and adding to the lye to "cook in". Really amazing lather with it. Nice job with that soap!

  2. Sounds AMAZING. Never tried silk in a soap. xo Jen

  3. It sounds and looks beautiful. I haven't tried silk in my soaps before either, I've heard of it but had no idea you actually add the silk fibres in with the lye, how does it feel on your skin?

  4. You know, I havn't tried it yet! I'll do that now, even if it is a bit early.

  5. I tried the soap in the bath this morning and it was indeed very silky!
    I even used it on my hair and now I really have to do a shampoo bar with silk. My hair feels just great.

  6. Lovely soap as are all your others, Ambra! Is that a marguerite on top of the soap? I have used silk in some of my soaps for a few years, usually Tussah silk (wild silk) and like the way it influences the feel of the bar. It's also a great additive in soaps high in olive oil (70-100%) because it helps cut down on the sliminess that pure olive oil bars will show. Silk also adds there is much going for incorporating silk in your soap recipe

  7. Cocobong, that is not Marguerite, its Baldursbrá og Matricaria Maritima, the Icelandic alternative to Chamomile. It looks a lot like Marguerite.

  8.'s sea mayweed, the scentless version of chamomile! I wonder whether it is anything like Tanacetum parthenium, which I have planted in my garden.... Helps with headaches, even if the taste (very bitter) takes courage
    I think I need to visit Iceland one of these days.. great music, fascinating elven life and then all those strange and wondrous plants (not to mention one very special soap maker :)


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