Palmarosa - Perfect for pre-Christmas tension

The cups and saucers were my grandmothers. I never
use them, they are too small. But I really love them.
This year is the first in many that I'm not thoroughly annoyed with stores for starting to advertise Christmas in October.  I realize that Christmas is in fact about fifteen minutes away!  So I've begun to make lists for Christmas.  It is very easy to do my Christmas lists because I write the lists in my Book and I have Christmases past in there too.  The Book is also where I write my soap and cream recipes.  It is a Moleskine unruled which I bought because I couldn't find a squared one.  I always write better on squared paper so I prefer that.  Then I got a squared one and I figured I would just finish the one I had started.  That was in 2007.  So now I have an overview of my lists of presents, people  and food for three Christmases past and a lot of recipes in between.

I have been cutting and wrapping a lot of soaps lately and one of the prettiest in the pink Palmarosa scented one.  Palmarosa smells a lot like roses but is a lot more affordable.  The essential oil comes from Cybopogon martini a grass that is related to Lemongrass.  The benefits of Palmarosa EO is said to be to balance the skin's production of sebum, stimulate cell regeneration and moisturize.  It is also antiseptic.  In aromatherapy it fights depression, anxiety and anger.  It is relaxing and uplifting for the mood.  What a great combination.  In fact absolutely perfect for the preparations for Christmas.

The soap is coloured with my favorite, Rumex oil, at about 20g per pound.  It never ceases to amaze me the way that starts out tan or beige and turns overnight into a pretty pink.  I got the idea to put the rosebuds on the top at the spur of the moment and crushed a few as well.  A friend gave them to me some time ago as a tea, but I couldn't bear to use them.  I really like the result, so I made a few other soaps with similar decorations, but different flower stuff.

I made this recipe with lard and grapeseed oil both of which I find to be very nice ingredients in soaps. The total weight is 741g, a whacky number, but...

Olive oil                34%     250g / 8.8oz   (25 gr of this was Rumex infused)
Coconut oil           24%     175g / 6.2oz
Lard                      18%     130g / 4.6oz
Grapeseed oil        16%     116g / 4.0oz
Cocoa butter          9.5%      70g / 2.5oz

Water 30% 222g / 7.8 oz
Lye 103g / 3.6 oz

I reduced the water from what I have used and I think that worked really well.  I cut it after a much shorter time and now I know why I have read warnings about soap getting to hard to cut.

The fragrance is lovely and I really look forward to using this soap.  I like the decoration.  I have been playing with that and I have gotten wise to the fact that you really, really need to plan the cut and decorate with that in mind especially when using larger pieces of flowers or buds.  These I had to be creative with to be able to cut them without ruining the decoration.



  1. Hola Ambra, te quedo muy lindo el jabon, tan sutil el color, hermoso.
    Un beso

  2. Your soap is beautiful! Sooooooo pretty! I've never used lard to make soap, how does it feel? I love the smell of palmarosa :)

  3. ONCE I get to soaping again..I really really hope my rumex oil preforms like yours does. What an absolutely gorgeous shade of pink! It reminds me of a cashmere sweater my Mom used to have, with delicate pearly buttons. Ambra, can I coax you into a soap swap?

  4. Thank you Texia, for you nice words :)

    Michelle - I really like lard in soap. I have difficulty in getting Palm oil and it is also very controversial so I find that lard gives a hardness to the soaps and it makes the lather creamy and conditioning. You should give it a try if you can get it nicely refined. It's just not suitable for vegans.

    Cocobong - I'm positive that you'll get a nice pink out of your oil. It won't look like it but you will see it the next day. It's quite amazing, really. The sweater sounds wonderful- I love cashmere sweaters-and in that colour! Yes, a soap swap should be fun - but don't expect nice packaging, I'm no good at that. I'm not sure exactly how to go about it, but send me a message.

  5. The rosebuds adds the perfect finishing touch to a very pretty soap indeed, great colour Ambra! do you find the colour lasts or does it tend to fade like other natural colours?

  6. Aroma...- I find that this colours lasts. I haven't noticed fading, but I guess I haven't had one for more than a few months. So I'll need to check in a year or so.

  7. Thank you for recipe i will try to make it, but only with my wife=)

    I never tried to make handmade soap, my sisiter buys soap from this shop -

    Long lasting aroma and colours


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