“Cyprus Sunset Soap” Recipe
My sister-in-law and her husband live in Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean) so we are very blessed to get all sorts of amazing treats. Not too long ago she sent me a bag of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. This wasn’t a little bag, this was a huge, “I love you so much and you are the best sister-in-law in the world” bag of saffron!
Saffron has a number of versatile uses aside from flavoring foods. It is used as an aromatic in baths, utilized in perfumes, and can also be used as a dye. And because its flavor and aromas are powerfully intense, it can be used very sparingly. Saffron is often added to many food products simply as a coloring, such as cheese, soups, rice, and even various alcohols.
I chose to develop my own soap based on saffron. It was kinda like an Iron Chef episode where “saffron” was the star ingredient but this was “Iron Soaping” and I was challenging only myself (I like those no pressure situations!).
I was also feeling a bit homesick for extended family so I decided to throw in some cedar as that is my grandpa’s favorite wood (he even has an email address with “cedar” in it, cool eh!). I wanted this soap to be all natural (no artificial coloring etc.) so I went to work researching how I would get a brown coloring for my white base I was using… hello cocoa (melted chocolate would have worked too). I wanted the bottom to look like wood though in the future I think I’ll try the melted chocolate as the cocoa didn’t turn it as dark as I wanted in the long run. Still turned out nice. The top glycerin part was colored with only saffron and I added saffron oil and cedar oil for the scent… oh how I love this bar of soap!
Adjust the amount of base and ingredients you use to fit your mold but I used the typical white, 9″L, 4″W, and 2 1/4″ tall Michaels Craft Store soap mold and the amount fit in perfectly. This is actually a very easy recipe with few ingredients which are all natural but it can be a spendy soap to make if you don’t have connections in the Mediterranean or Spain (they produce the most saffron). However, I have had many requests for the recipe so here goes!
2 pounds white base soap (melt and pour). I used a great mango and shea butter blend.
1 pound clear glycerin base soap (melt and pour)
1 oz cedarwood essential oil
1 oz saffron essential oil
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 Tbs ground oatmeal
2 tsp dried saffron
spray bottle with alcohol (70% rubbing alcohol)
- Clean and make your work area safe and sanitized. It is recommended that you wear gloves and a hair net while preparing melt and pour soaps but truth be told I only do so when working with cold process soaps. I do tie my hair back and make sure pets are out of the room so no doggy hair or my hair makes its way into my soaps.
- Cut your bases up into chunks and put in two separate bowls.
- Heat your white base (I use microwave at 30 second intervals) until melted. Stir to ensure everything is melted. If you can heat your clear base at the same time until it melts or do it after your white base.
- Add cocoa to the white base and stir, stir, stir. You may add more if you want the color darker. Add oatmeal and stir to incorporate. Add cedarwood and stir to incorporate.
- Pour into your mold soap into molds when grounds are suspended throughout soap base. Spray top with alcohol to get rid of air bubbles. Allow to cool enough to create a tough top layer that gives slightly when touched but you do not get any soap on your finger.
- Add dried saffron to the clear base and stir. You will notice the color starts to change to a yellowish orange. Beautiful 🙂 Add saffron essential oil and stir to incorporate.
- Allow the bottom layer in mold to cool enough to create a tough top layer that gives slightly when touched but you do not get any soap on your finger.
- Spray your soap in mold with quite a bit of alcohol (saturate) and gently pour your saffron soap over the bottom base layer (many times I spoon some over first to make sure it can withstand the weight)
- Spray the top of the soap with alcohol to remove air bubbles.
- Let sit in mold for a few hours (less time in a cool environment), unmold, cut, and enjoy!
There you have it! Enjoy and please oh please post pictures and/or comments of your saffron soap and about soaping in general