Quite possibly my favorite part of the year is that time around May when all of my roses start blooming at once. When that happens, I gather together large amounts of rose petals and make all sorts of things from them, including this rosa rugosa soap.
If you don’t have access to fresh rose petals, don’t use ones from the grocery store or florist unless you’re sure they’re organic. Most are treated with a ton of pesticides that aren’t good for food or cosmetic use on humans. Just use dried rose petals instead – you can buy chemical free ones from Mountain Rose Herbs.
To start with, gather up a jar full of rose petals. I like to let mine sit uncovered, on my porch, for a few hours so that any bugs I may have inadvertently gathered have time to escape.
Once you’ve ensured the safety of any little critters, pour simmering hot water over the petals and cover with a saucer. Let this steep for several hours and you will have a richly scented pink water. Strain and use in the recipe below.
Rosa Rugosa Soap (Palm Free)
(click HERE for a printable PDF version of this recipe.)
- 28 ounces coconut oil
- 42 ounces olive oil
- 12 ounces sunflower oil
- 11.73 ounces lye
- 26 ounces strained rose petal infusion
- At trace, superfat with 1 tablespoon each of rosehip seed oil, jojoba oil and shea butter. (I buy these from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
- Also at trace, add a few teaspoons of rose essential oils. These tend to be expensive, so you can stretch them out with geranium (rose) essential oil which smells very much like rose, but is far cheaper.
More detailed instructions for making soap can be found in my post Soap Making 101. I also recommend The Natural Soap Book by Susan Miller Cavitch, which is the book I used to learn soap making, or Anne-Marie Faiola’s new book: Soap Crafting.
This recipe is sized to fit my wooden box molds which are non-standard and homemade – the inner dimensions of the molds are: 16 inches by 11.5 inches by 2 inches. Here’s a great site that will tell you how to calculate how big a batch of soap you should make for the size mold you have. Remember you can easily adjust amounts using a lye calculator.
If you like roses, I think you’ll love my ebook: Things to Do With Roses!
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