Looking for a Vanilla Soap Recipe

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My wife and I have been making soap, with very good results, so far. We made one batch using Pure Vanilla Extract( 4 OZ. for a 7.5 pound batch of soap), from the grocery store, for our scent. I think the fragance is good, my wife is not so sure. We would normally use an essential oil, but the only supplier of Vanilla Essential Oil, I found wants $145 for 4 OZ. , too high for my taste, thank you. Is any one else making Vanilla soap and if so what are you using for vanilla scent? Thanks for the help everyone.

-- David in NH (grayfoxfarm@mcttelecom.com), March 16, 2002


vanilla beans are sky high right now. so it will be expensive for vanilla.

-- js (schlicker54@aol.com), March 16, 2002.

If you have the time would you mind printing your soap recipe? I have made olive oil soap in the past, it turned out well but was very time consuming. Took forever to dry. I am surprised that the vanilla smell didn't dissapate in the process. Thanks.

-- cindy palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), March 16, 2002.

Cindi, Here the recipe.

12 OZ. of LYE mixed to 2 LBS. of distilled water. Melt 1 LB./ 8 OZ. of Coconut Oil #76 and 2 Lb. /6 OZ. of Palm together. Mix the Oil mix with 1 Lb./ 8 Oz. of Pomance Olive Oil. When the three oil mix cools to 80 degrees AND the LYE has cooled to 80 degrees, mix everything together. Now stir the entire mix, until it starts to trace, about 20 minutes. Then mix in 1 OZ. of color and 4 OZ. of scent. and pour into a large mold. Wrap the mold in a blanket for 24 hours to cool slow. After 24 hours unwrap the blanket and let stand for another 12 hours. Finally remove from the mold and cut into bars. Let the bars sit for 6 weeks before using.

-- David in NH (grayfoxfarm@mcttelecom.com), March 16, 2002.

David, I don't know if this is what you had in mind but Snowdrift Farms sells a natural fragrance oil. The vanilla bean is $11.50 for 4 oz.

Snowdrift Farms fragrance oils

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), March 16, 2002.

Bren, I see that these oils are for soaps made with melt and pour glycerin soap base, will they work for my plain old home made lye soap? Thanks!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

Try www.brambleberry.com and www.wholesalesupplies.com . . . . they both carry the Vanilla FO you are looking for. There are also many other sites. . . www.stuffjulielikes.com is another one.

Good luck!!!

-- Quinn Wolfe (wolfiequinn@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

Sorry, cowgirlone, I don't really know. :o) Snowdrift says they can be used for 100% cold processed soaps too but I'm guessing that David's recipe above and your recipe is NOT cold processed (right??). Maybe Snowdrift Farm could give you some suggestions. They have excellent prices on essential oils but they don't list vanilla as one.

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), March 16, 2002.

Ooh, I just remembered that the herb Sweet Woodruff is supposed to have a vanilla scent to its dried leaves. I don't know if it is compatible to soapmaking. I'll look in my herb books later and see what I can find.

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), March 16, 2002.

Thanks for your help Bren, They have a nice selection and I would like to try some of them. Best wishes!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

Bren, Our recipe IS a cold process.

-- David in NH (grayfoxfarm@mcttelecom.com), March 17, 2002.

Great, David (I'm not an experienced soapmaker but I've been reading some about it. Could ya tell?? :o) maybe the fragrance oil will work for you. About Sweet Woodruff: Looks like you could use the dried herb fine but I don't think you're going to end up with a real vanilla scent. One book says vanilla-like and another says a scent like fresh mowed hay. Still could be nice, though. Good luck!

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), March 17, 2002.

Scenting CP soap with vanilla is problematic, as you've found, David. Vanilla EO is far too expensive to use in soap, and the scent provided by vanilla extract from the store changes in the processing, and is not long lasting.

Most soapmakers I know resort to using Vanilla fragrance oils to solve the problem, but that solution brings other problems with it. Most vanilla FOs will turn CP soap a lovely chocolate brown (or various shades thereof) and some consumers find the brown smear of soap on their washcloth disconcerting, to say the least.

FO dealers like Sweetcakes have been trying to find non-discoloring FOs for a while now, with varying success. These scents tend to be elusive, and not always a clear vanilla...so in the end you pays your money and takes your pick.

-- Julia (charmer24@juno.com), March 17, 2002.

Most potpourri scents, including Fragrance Oils for candles work just fine. Make sure you buy a SMALL amount of it before you jump in - check the smell to see if you like it! I bought a Vanilla that has a strong butter note. Super icky for soap in my estimation. I prefer a strong Vanilla mixed with Sandalwood and Patchouli. Now, that's livin'...

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.com), March 17, 2002.

I'll give away a secret. Essence sells a vanilla that works great in cp soaps. I use it all the time. It is not a fragrance oil, but an essential oil, called Bourbon Vanilla. They do not recommend using it in cp soaps, they say it doesn't work, but I know it does. I use about 4 oz for a 6 pound batch. Their website is www.essencesupply.com Mary

-- Mary Fraley (kmfraley@orwell.net), March 19, 2002.

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