Simple body product recipes

Adventures in Deodorant part two


Lavender shea coconut oil deodorant bar

I decided to try making a deodorant that was not only natural and made in a plastic-free container but has baking soda as an active ingredient instead of the bentonite clay recipe which made my solid deodorant a darker green colour in part one of my recent adventures in making homemade deodorant.

Here is a very fast and simple recipe, it took me less than an hour to make these fragrant natural deodorants in my new favourite cardboard push up tubes.

Lavender Shea Butter Coconut oil Baking Soda Deodorant Bar- that’s a mouthful!

  • 24 grams beeswax- I use unbleached yellow beeswax beads because they are very easy to weigh and melt quickly
  • 16 grams unprocessed shea butter- this is just what I had on hand, I find it adds a nice gentle moisturizing element
  • 60 grams solid coconut oil – also good for gentle slip and has antibacterial qualities
  • 20 grams arrowroot powder- to absorb moisture
  • 32 grams baking soda- to neutralize body odor- the main reason we are all using deodorant isn’t it?
  • 4 grams essential oil- today I used good ol Lavender because who doesn’t love lavender pits?

Melt your beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler or in small increments in the microwave, stirring often… remember to be careful with beeswax as it can be flammable. Slowly stir in your shea butter after the beeswax is melted.  Briskly stir in your baking soda and arrowroot powder and then thoroughly stir in your essential oils. Pour your still liquid concoction into your tubes and let set. That’s it. You’re done. How easy was that?

In this case, I carefully followed the instructions for using these cardboard tubes. I waited until the melted oils were not too hot before I poured them out in small increments. I have had no problems with leakage at all- only a bit of staining, but I also was not being too careful with my pouring method. These glide on easily and smell amazing. The push-up bottoms work well. I am completely converted and will never have a plastic deodorant tube in my home again. Hoorah!

Good luck and make yourself some all natural great smelling deodorant.

You deserve it!

Below is the cardboard tube instructions


Simple body product recipes

Plastic free- Natural Deodorant Recipe

I have been meaning to attempt an all natural deodorant for a long time. I found a great company that sells cardboard push up tubes for balms that I have been meaning to try out for different products. My goal is to find the perfect plastic-free container for all of my products.

Many crafters have attempted to pour their deodorant into used toilet paper tubes which seems like a good idea but what I have been reading is that they are a bit flimsy and may leak. The containers that I am going to try are sturdy and thick walled. They also come with good instructions. Here is the container I chose for today’s project.

I like to weigh out all of my ingredients. Especially the first few times I make something. I have chosen not to use baking soda as I don’t want any irritants on my skin and I am a sensitive girl with a family of sensitive skinned people.

Here is a simple yet effective recipe weighed out in grams:

  • 22 grams beeswax beads to hold your deodorants shape
  • 16 grams mango butter, but you can use shea butter or cocoa butter instead.
  • 60 grams solid coconut oil, I used virgin coconut oil because I had some I wanted to use up
  • 16 grams of Bentonite clay-absorbs toxins
  • 4 grams of Arrowroot powder- to absorb moisture
  • approximately 2 grams of essential oils of your choice-I used Rosemary and Peppermint because I love the fresh scent and both have strong antibacterial properties

Weigh out all of your ingredients and melt your beeswax and solid coconut oil in a double boiler.

Add your mango butter ( or shea butter/cocoa butter) after the beeswax and coconut oil are completely melted, stir in your essential oils and then thoroughly stir in your clay and arrowroot powder. I bought the arrowroot powder when I lived in Calgary, but I am pretty sure you can buy it from any local natural food store. I had the bentonite clay from a long time ago as well. It was from Aquarius Aromatherapy online supply company in BC. They also carry Arrowroot powder, I just looked it up.

I have read that you should use only a glass container and a wooden spoon to mix up your bentonite clay but in this case, I didn’t have a wooden spoon on hand.

I carefully filled up my large cardboard push up tube. I also had an empty plastic container that was sent to me as a free sample, so I thought I would fill it to compare the two types of containers.

The instructions for the eco-tubes said to make sure the push-up disc is seated snuggly with the wax side up and to pour at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. It also said to pour the first 10 %  and then to wait until it is semi set up and then pour the rest. It was also recommended to fill up in stages to prevent air holes.

I waited until the ingredients cooled down- probably too much- as I was worried that it would leak out of the bottom- but it faired very well.  No leaks! I spooned in the rest and gave the tubes a nice hard thwack on the table to make sure there were no air bubbles. I had enough left over to spoon it into one more little sampler and one small round cardboard container as well.

I noticed my hands are very soft after cleaning up the kitchen and utensils, so that is a good sign that my deodorant will be gentle on my pits. The clay makes your deodorant quite dark coloured- but I like it. It looks like mother nature would approve. Especially the ones in a cardboard push up eco-tubes! I popped them in the freezer to set them up nicely. It rolls on smoothly and my armpits have never smelled lovelier. This is a fairly soft recipe so next time I am going to add a bit more beeswax and will use only arrowroot powder to make a white stick.

I don’t’ really care about the colour, as I am not one to wear white silk outfits… they don’t look good with salsa stains on them anyways!


Click on the link below for ordering eco packaging.

Want to feel like the coolest soap maker/crafter on the block? Listen to this song while you are making your natural deodorant. Because you are the coolest chick on the block if you make your own deodorant.  We just went to see this band live at The Queens in Nanaimo. My ears are still ringing but boy it was worth it.

The Pack AD- Yes I know.





Stalking the Wild Asparagus

For all you wildcrafters out there-



I adore my field guide titled, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons. It was published in 1962 and then reprinted fifteen times according to the first page of this amazing little book. It reads like a memoir, which is why I adore it.

Here are some tantalizing tidbits from this book. In the chapter titled, Supermarket of the Swamps is the instructions on how to collect pollen from cattails to use as a nutritious supplement in your pancakes and muffins. Euell also goes on to explain in great detail how to use all portions of this plant.

There are chapters on using Elderberries to make wine –  a recipe from his “drinking uncle” and how to use the berries to make a nice jam. I have fond memories of picking elderberries with a friend on Gabriola. Usually we had little kids running around our ankles eating blackberries until…

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Dear Soapy Maven Goddess · Market Maniac

Dear Soapy Maven Goddess

what you really should make is….

Dear Soapy Maven Goddess:

Do you ever get mad when you are at a farmer’s market showing your wares and some stranger will come up to you and tell you what you really should make instead of what you have been doing? In the meantime, all THEY are doing is wandering through a farmer’s market looking at stuff and eating 5000 calorie cinnamon buns dripping with icing while we entrepreneurs are most likely- besides working at other jobs are also creating lovely art or craft on the side to help pay our bills. It just makes me fume that people feel the need to advise a crafter on what else they should be doing in their non-existent spare time. What should I do? Is there anything I can say to make them realize that unwanted advice is not a virtue?


A Fuming Artisan

Dear FA:

Yes, I do know what you are talking about. I have encountered this phenomenon too many times to mention. And while I almost always am gracious and thank people for their kind suggestions, sometimes I do want to pop them one, right in the kisser. Especially when the encounter goes something like this- ” Excuse me, but what kinds of soaps do you have? I will take about five minutes explaining the forty or so different kinds of soaps that I made in between growing a vegetable garden and cooking all my families meals from scratch and working another job, while always coming up with something new and exciting.  They often overlook the vast array of wares that has taken me years to perfect- and they almost always say with pouty lips, “OH you don’t’ make such and such? ” It is certainly frustrating. But I think it is just a way that those non-creative types have at getting back at us. They are trying to annoy crafters by wasting our precious time and not really wanting to buy something from us because they are saving up for their cinnamon bun/chocolate scone addiction.

It is certainly something to fume about. The only advice I can give you dear Fuming Artisan is to shake it off.  Maybe have a secret sign with another artisan, like pretend something just bit you in the bottom—slap your behind and scream ahhhh! alerting your fellow crafter across the way of what is occurring so that they are ready for this annoying person. Then maybe they can put up a be back in a few minutes sign while they come over to talk. Now you can share a scone and laugh together, while this annoying person passes on by. They are probably on their way to the cinnamon bun vendor to ask them why they don’t make carrot cake.

Love always,

The Soapy Maven Goddess.

cinnamon bun at Blenz on Denman

Photo by link below-




Simple body product recipes

Solid Perfume Recipe- the sky’s the limit


Here is a fairly simple recipe for solid perfumes. It is so easy that it is a great quick project to do with your not too young kids’or teens if they are interested in making all natural products. They can make them for party favours for a birthday party, or if you are super organized you can make this a fun little craft to do at a birthday party. It is fast and easy and the kids can make up their own special blends of scents.  I use little metal slider tins for packaging, but these can also be poured into larger tube containers for an easy roll-on type of perfume balm.

This is a recipe for approximately 11 small slider tins. Remember to use a good quality scale and these ingredients are measured out in grams including the essential oils. You can easily double this recipe too if you want to make more.

30 grams of beeswax

42 grams mango butter or cocoa butter

56 grams olive oil

a pinch of orris root powder

14 grams essential oil such as a high-quality Bulgarian lavender

or I use something called PMS Blend from FPI North America in Vancouver. It is made with essential oils of Lavender, Clary Sage, and Lemongrass. I call the perfume Serenity as it is meant to be calming for women- I sometimes wish to market it as Anti- B**ch serum, but find that as Serenity it does just fine. Another great scent is Rose Geranium, I find if you use a good quality oil the scent stays strong for over a year. The combinations are really endless for mixing essential oils. Trying to find things in your kitchen to make this with? Try some real vanilla extract.

In a double boiler or in short increments in the microwave if you have one, melt the beeswax, the mango butter or cocoa butter until totally melted- I use a large glass measuring cup because of the pouring spout. Remember to not overheat beeswax as it is flammable.  Slowly stir in the olive oil and if you like add a pinch of orris root. I use the orris root to anchor the scent of the essential oils. This is not totally necessary, but if you have some use it. Measure out your essential oils and stir in at the end. Quickly pour into your containers and allow to cool completely before you put the lids on. These set up quickly and can be ready to use as soon as they are set up.

Labelling these tins are really fun. I find if you look around on Etsy you can buy quite inexpensive digital artwork to use for your labels. Check out the Digital collage club, or type in the word steampunk digital labels. You can get the labels printed up at your local print shop. I have had good results in Nanaimo with Arc Print.

Click below for a link to a great local BC company that carries my favourite slide tins- the mini slip tins would work nicely too.


Soap recipe

Lost in the Nettles


It was not until I moved to a little island in BC that I found that I loved wildcrafting. Born and raised in the bustling city of Winnipeg- the idea of hunting for your food in the ditch was not common knowledge and was most likely frowned upon. When I first moved here many people went on and on about how in the spring they made nettle lasagne. The first spring that I was out here I asked someone to take me out to show me how to find and pick stinging nettles. And what do you know?  I found that my family loved nettle lasagne. This made me feel good because I learned that besides being free, the nettles provided more nutrients than spinach or even kale.

Soon I began collecting the nettles to make and freeze pesto.  I learned to hang and dry the leaves to use with dried peppermint to make a lovely nutritious and cleansing tea.

One day I overheard this conversation on the ferry,  ” drink your nettle tea, it will make you feel better” said a mother to her young daughter holding a steaming ceramic mug( perhaps from the Madmudslinger?)… And I knew that this was the mantra of most people once they lived out on an island for long enough. Eventually, of course, nettles found their way into my soap and now I make a lovely natural green nettle shampoo bar.

Nettle Shampoo Bar Recipe

Collect about four to six cups of stinging nettles. Carefully wash out the bugs etc and put them into a Rubber maid container. Pour boiling water over the nettles and allow to cool to room temperature. I make sure to use distilled or reverse osmosis water as this will become the lye water eventually. When the water/nettle mixture is cooled I puree the whole thing with a stick blender. Then top up with distilled water to make up the portion of your lye water. Measure out your lye and pour into the green soupy nettle water mixture. I do this outside and with full protective gear on. Let sit until about 100 degrees. Melt your oils as usual and when everything is at the same temperature, around 100 -stir up as usual.

This recipe is palm free so it takes at least 6 weeks to cure. I add castor oil for extra bubbles for the shampoo part.

I like to use 90 grams of Lavender and 46 grams of Geranium essential oils in this recipe. This recipe is sometimes tricky to get out of the mold so grease it well before you pour it. I would say that this recipe is not really for beginners but somewhere in the middle of beginner to advanced because of the messing around with the lumpy nettle parts.

You don’t need to add any colour as the nettles give it a lovely green hue.

Lye=490 grams

water distilled or reverse osmosis=1354 grams

apricot kernel oil=50 grams

castor oil=400 grams

cocoa butter=260 grams

coconut oil=1200 grams

olive oil=1700 grams

Lost in the Nettles


Dear Soapy Maven Goddess

Dear Soapy Maven Goddess

Dear Soapy Maven Goddess:

Sometimes I can’t help myself. Sometimes, even though I know that I shouldn’t– I still do.

I am so ashamed to admit this, but I- scrape- the- bottom- of -my- soap pot.

I have been soaping for years and should know better. But my background of being raised by a thrift shop clothing buyer mother and second-hand furniture redoer has made me feel bad for wasting the delicious looking but most likely not as good soap stuff from the sides of my soap batch.

Do you ever feel inclined to do this? How can I hold myself back?


Making Soap Naked and Ashamed of Myself.

Dear MSNAA of Yourself:

Yes. I know what you mean. This is a great temptation for me as well. Even though we are taught not to scrape the sides of the pot we still wish to do so. It does seem wasteful to just wash it away into your septic field.

And so here is my advice.

Do you have any little interesting soap molds kicking around? You know the ones that I mean, the ones your grandmother’s friends inevitably pick up for you when they are at garage sales and always think of you. They are in the shapes of angels and maybe dog bones. You don’t want to appear rude so you always accept them and then move them around with you for years in a cardboard box on the off chance that one day you will actually get a commission for a slew of dog bone shaped soap. But you never do. Until now. What I am telling you is to scrape that soap from the sides of your pot and pour into these ugly little dog bone shaped molds or the ones in the shape of alien heads. Once they are cured you can use these as air fresheners for your car, closet or underwear drawer. That way you are not wasting soap. This way your nice soap doesn’t get the yucky white ashy stuff in it that sometimes occurs from the unstirred soap from the sides of the pot and you get these little cute air fresheners. It’s a win-win situation.

And about soap making naked. I would definitely wear an apron. Being splashed by raw soap is really no fun. Not that I am admitting to anything. But be safe.

You can dance naked after your pour.

Love always,

The Soapy Maven Goddess

Here is one of my favourite dance naked after soap making songs.

Rosemary Clooney – Come On-A My House amazing song- learn the lyrics and sing along…
click below

Here are the lyrics to help you along if you do not already know them!

Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you candy
Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you apple and plum
And an apricot too

Come on-a my house
My house a come on
Come on-a my house
My house a come on

Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you candy
Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you everything

Come on to my house, my house
I’m gonna give you Christmas tree
Come on, come on, come on to my house
I’m gonna give you a pomegranate

Come on-a my house
My house a come on
Come on-a my house
My house a come on

Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you peach and pair
And I love your hair

Come on-a my house
My house a come on
Come on-a my house
My house a come on

Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you candy
Come on-a my house, my house
I’m gonna give you everything


Out of Chaos-Beauty May Come

Warning: poor last minute soap making judgment below:

Today I had one of those soap batch days that did not go very smoothly. For one thing, I thought, oh I have enough time to whip up a simple batch of Lemongrass with Calendula. But as things went along, I thought, nope, I have enough Lemongrass, why not make up a nice easy batch of Tea Tree and Lavender, and so as not to make a mess, I will do a gentle swirl of French Green clay instead of using charcoal.

But somehow in the midst of things, as I was pouring my essential oils and weighing them out I thought, “hmm- well how about  I toss in 50 grams of Lemongrass in my Tea tree and Lavender? Just to see how it turns out.”


Then I had to figure out another colour scheme real fast as things were coming to temperature quickly with the cold weather. (I love making soap at this time of year because my lye cools down so quickly. )But the lye seemed to cool down too quickly and it went to way below my normal temp. and I lost 3 pairs of glasses… in the middle of all this.

Well now I couldn’t’ see a darn thing, but I had to stir things up quick. I swirled like a madwoman… adding another swirl of alkanet root alongside my green clay. Earlier on in the day I lost my trusty spoon and swiped one from the kitchen-this should have been an omen or warning of sorts because I never lose my spoon.

Pretty much everything went wrong but guess what?

This batch of soap turned out to be a thing of beauty —the colour combination and the sharp fresh scent of it reminds one of spring and happiness.  And even though I have raw soap in my hair and on my sleeves and dripped on my sneakers I feel truly alive- and I have something of beauty to show for it.




Mis en Place


This is a re blog from my other wordpress site deathdefyingacts of living.

It seems appropriate for my soapy blog- so I thought I would repost it.

We recently discovered that we have a channel that runs the Martha Stewart cooking show right at the time of day when you are not able to do one more thing except to flop down on the sofa and turn on the tv. Martha loves to throw around her french cooking words. Lucky for me I took a lot of french language training, it was mandatory in elementary school in Winnipeg. So I do understand quit a bit of her cooking vocabulary.

Today’s lesson was different kinds of Pavlova’s day.

While tipping egg whites into her mix master, she mentioned the french phrase, mis en place, which translates to “putting everything in order before you begin.” I realize this idea can be applied to other areas of one’s life.

I always mis en place when soap making. You have to have all your essential oils carefully measured and sitting mis en place before you can pour your soap into the molds. All other sundries must be sitting close by for that brief moment at trace when you can stir in flower petals or clays and of course the fragrant essential oils. Today I am making tea tree and lavender soap with hemp seed oil.

But I can never be totally Martha Stewart, I understand this about myself. I know at the last moment I may change my mind and say, “Hey! Look at that orange peel, I bet I can reach it from here and throw in a handful….” which sometimes creates a disaster. But that is what keeps me creating new and exciting different kinds of soap. It is my need for imagining new recipes that has kept me interested in soap making for many years.

Yes, mis en place is important and a comfort. But sometimes you have to break out and experiment with that little box or bowl of something that is sitting quietly beckoning you  from the shadows. It is begging for you to notice it. “Come on! Mix me into this batch! Don’t you want to see how it looks tomorrow when you pop your soap outta the molds?” I am usually powerless to refuse.


Activated Charcoal- Elevate Your Soap-Naturally to Become a Work of Art


Soap Buddha

If you have noticed, charcoal is a big thing right now in beauty products. You know it is a hot item when the commercial soap companies are now promoting it on tv commercials. I guess they are trying to get in on the natural ingredients bandwagon, which isn’t a bad thing for the little guys because then the price and availability of these ingredients go down and they are much easier to find. For instance, it is fairly easy to buy activated charcoal from many online soap supply companies. What I understand it is made from burning hardwoods at a very high temperature, creating a pure charcoal that can also be used for medicinal purposes.

I use activated charcoal not only because of its amazing skin care properties but because of the dramatic way it looks in a bar, especially set off against a dark red clay. Gorgeous.

Help why do I make my Patchouli soap red and black?








Charcoal, believe it or not, it makes a nice face soap, it is good for lifting out impurities of the skin.

Charcoal face soap

Sometimes at Christmas I have used it to make a lump of coal soap- very popular for those with naughty children( grown up or otherwise). And you would think that bars made with charcoal would feel very scratchy, but really I find it is very smooth in your finished product. The worst part for me is the clean up afterwards. It is really quite messy to work with. I usually have paper towels that I use to wipe up the inside of my swirling container- my trusty old rubber maid juice jug. The clean-up is when I notice the abrasiveness, oddly enough, but never in my soap bars.


I have also made a nice drawing salve- It is meant to pull out the sting of spider bites etc. My only problem with this product is that it is really messy and I am not really sure that it drew out the itchiness of my spider bite. I have noticed it used in detox deodorant recipes, but I would imagine that some black would stay on your armpits and then rub off on your clothes. I guess it would be okay if you aren’t fussy and only wear dark clothing.

Imagine this: you wake up-put on your charcoal deodorant, brush your teeth with charcoal paste, wash your face with a black charcoal bar and then rub a charcoal drawing salve on your mosquito bites. Perhaps you might go so far as to take a small dose of it to help with that hangover. I would say you were a wee bit nuts for activated charcoal. But who am I to judge? Use your charcoaly products as much as you like.

Really I prefer to use charcoal in soap. I recommend about 1 heaping tablespoon of charcoal per pound of soap, depending on how much of a dramatic colour contrast you are going for.


Try it with a swirl of carrot tissue in sunflower oil to create dramatic tiger stripes in your finished bars.    


I know each bar of soap I make is an artistic expression that can be taken home to be enjoyed.

I believe there is a fine line between what is considered art and what is considered craft.

What do you think?