It is hard to drive down a gravel road on a sunny day without ogling all of the wild roses that appear to be waving at me, reminding me to stop to pick them.
I asked my husband to help because he doesn’t mind the thorns and is able to crash into the bushes like a bear to pick the petals in half the time that it takes me to do it.
My main goal is to make a rose petal infused olive oil to stir into a batch of soap. But instead of one of my regular recipes, I want to do a pure olive oil soap otherwise known as Castile soap.
I have been wanting to try this for a while as it is getting harder and harder to find oils that don’t have some sort of socioeconomic or environmental costs associated with it and as far as I know there are no human or animal rights issues with olive oil to date.
It was a sunny Sunday when we went hunting for wild rose petals.
It was hard to reach many of the rose petals as some of these plants trailed up over 30 feet in the air. But after a short time, we got a bag full. I took them home and sorted through gently on a piece of white clean cloth to get rid of bugs and then piled them into a clean glass mason jar. I poured olive oil to cover and mussed them up to allow the petals to release their fragrance to infuse in the oil. I set this into a pan of water and brought it to a boil to heat it up. I then set this aside with a tight-fitting lid in a dark place and shook it for a few days. I used this infusion after only a week, but if you are patient keep waiting… a local crafter told me she has infused her Nootka rose petals for over 3 months… but I wonder where she found her rose petals so early? I will be sure to ask her the next time I see her.
After the petals have been stewing for a week or so, I strained out the petals, which have discoloured considerably, but the leftover scent of oils is extremely fragrant and a lovely addition to my pure olive oil soap.
I am nervous about using an olive oil only soap. When I ran the numbers through a lye calculator, the one I like to use is soapcalc.net as it gives an easy to read recipe that gives you options, such as how much to superfat and how creamy or cleansing the bar will be. In this case, it is telling me that the bar is 0 for cleansing! I am curious about how this feels in the shower but I will have to be patient.
WILD ROSE INFUSED OLIVE OIL SOAP RECIPE or CASTILE SOAP
2834 grams extra virgin olive oil ( I ran out part way and had to use about 250 grams of pomace olive oil)
850 grams water
356 grams Lye
French pink clay for swirling
Essential oils weighed out in grams about 114 grams in total
20 grams rose geranium
40 grams palmarosa
20 grams clary sage
20 grams jamarosa
14 grams lavender
I used mainly extra virgin olive oil for this batch, I weighed it out as usual but then topped it up with the strained wild rose oil infusion.
Follow basic soap making instructions wearing all of your safety gear as usual.
The extra virgin olive oil gave the soap a nice deep orangey yellow colour as I was stirring it up. At trace, I stirred in a healthy dollop of the infused olive oil for extra scent.
I had my oils and lye water at about 97 degrees and later covered the batch with a sleeping bag. I found them easy to pop out of the mold. I think they overheated because they had a bit of a darker swirl in the middle, so next time I might not insulate them so heavily. I might only use a towel.
Below is a picture of my wild rose olive oil soap after I cut them into large chunks.
They smell divine. I am going to use this essential oil combination again, as it’s a winner.
I will let these cure for at least 6 weeks before I use them. I love the pink clay swirl and must note that the base colour is more yellow in real life than the photo portrays. This yellow colour is from using the extra virgin olive oil and some of my essential oils would have changed the colour. I do not like to add titanium dioxide to whiten my bars because I don’t believe that you should add extra ingredients that are unnecessary.
I will let you know how they perform in the shower in the next month or so.