Lavender-Basil Soap


This soap smells so wonderful, I became immediately enamored with lavender and am planning to make more lavender-based soaps soon. For this recipe, I asked CindyP, who ran the soapmaking demonstration at the party, to include basil since I have all that basil. The recipe Cindy came up with for the party resulted in a gorgeous white bar with basil-green flecks and a deep lavender fragrance. It’s a moisturizing bar with a light conditioning quality.

Before we get to the recipe, I want to show this beautiful wooden soap mold CindyP made for me!

It’s a combination soap mold and cutter in one, and I’m just so impressed that she made it herself. To use as a mold, remove the slicer first, of course, and line with freezer paper. To remove the soap, the straps can be unhooked and the ends taken out.

Now you’re ready to cut the soap using the slicing end to guide you in even bars.


Now on to the recipe!

If you’ve never made soap before, you can find my step-by-step soapmaking tutorial for hot and cold process soap here: How to Make Soap.

Read more about the different processes of making soap and what goes into soap here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 1.

See all about the scary lye here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 2.

And find out all about the necessary tools and utensils here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 3.

One more finger-wagging note: Wear safety gloves and goggles and always follow safety guidelines when making soap!

Okay, two: ADD LYE TO WATER. NEVER ADD WATER TO LYE. (Now we can move on.)

You can make this recipe by either the cold or hot process method. (See how to make soap.) Make it as designed here, or use it as a basic moisturizing soap recipe to make other soaps by changing up the additives. (To change the fats, you must re-calculate the recipe.)

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly
How to make Lavender-Basil Soap:

Crisco — 6.4 ounces or 181.437 grams
coconut oil (76-degree melt point) — 6.4 ounces or 181.437 grams
olive oil pomace — 6.4 ounces or 181.437 grams
lard — 12.8 ounces or 362.874 grams
water — 12.16 ounces or 344.73 grams
lye — 4.483 ounces or 127.077 grams

1 tablespoon finely crushed dried basil
3 tablespoons lavender essential oil

CindyP, demonstrating bringing soap to trace with a stick blender.

(If you missed it, you can see all the pictures and details from the 2010 Chickens in the Road Party on the Farm here.)

We divided the cooked soap mixture into two Pringles cans to make nice thick round bars. After removing the finished soap from the molds, here you see CindyP demonstrating the use of the wooden soap mold to cut soap in even slices. (We had made a batch of the lavender-basil soap the night before so that we had a finished batch at the party for the end of the demonstration.)

Even if you use a different mold to set the soap, you can still use the handy cutter.

This soap smells like heaven, I’m sure of it. (You will love how your house smells when you’re making this soap!)

Find my Crafts archives here.

See all my soapmaking posts here.

Thank you to CindyP for this recipe and for the soapmaking demonstration at this year’s CITR Party on the Farm! Check out her homemade soaps here: Chippewa Creek Soaps. She has some of the party lavender-basil soap to sell, though it may not appear on her soaps page yet. If you’re interested in that particular soap, just ask for it!


  1. lizzie says:

    This Soap sounds WONDERFUL!! I was going to make soap tonight but was to tired, now I can make some in the morning with this recipe!!! I have some lavender that I dried ! so its perfect!!! THANK YOU!!!!! :snoopy:

  2. Liesl says:

    I think I am going to take the plunge and start to make soap now! Have never done it before.

  3. Rachel says:

    what is olive oil pomace? could you use regular olive oil to the same effect?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Rachel, you would have to recalculate the recipe to use olive oil instead. Olive oil pomace is quite similar to olive oil and can be found in many grocery stores. It has the same properties as olive oil in soap (moisturizing) but it’s cheaper to use for soap. (I think regular olive oil is actually healthier when it comes to cooking.)

  4. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I’ll be making this today!! Do you know what brand of essential oil Cindy used? Some Lavender oils smell wonderful and some just plain stink! The one I picked up over the weekend is a stinky one! I have some left that I like well enough for soap but I’m still looking for a lavender to fall in love with! I hate spending money on oils and not liking the smell.


  5. Denise says:

    I can’t wait to make this soap too!!!

  6. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Heading there to check it out now!

  7. wvhomecanner says:

    I came away from the Party with a slice of this soap and showered with it this morning! I love it! And CindyP convinced me (I think) that I CAN do this LOL!


  8. Minna says:

    You know, I just saw this program on tv where they made coffee soap! Although they did it the easy way and used some soap mass you can buy from a store and just melted the mass and added few table spoonfuls of ground coffee.

  9. Ramona says:

    It sounds like it should be heavenly!

  10. Wendy B. says:

    I’ve been getting ready to make soap, the missing piece is a crock pot exclusively for soap. So far I can’t find a used one and I’m cheap enough not to want to buy a new one. Anyhoo, as I’ve been pondering making soap, I came up with an eco-friendly and cheap idea for lining molds in place of freezer paper. I’ve noticed the plastic/waxy bags that cereal comes in is both hefty and slippery. Could I cut up these bags and use them to line the molds? What do you think? Could this work? And, I’m adding this to the other soap recipes on my pile! Crock pot…where art thou???

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Wendy, that sounds like it would work!

      If you make soap by the hot process method, the soap is SOAP by the time it’s done cooking in the crock pot. I do have an extra crock pot, but I would also have no problem with re-using the crock pot for food. If it’s an enamel crock pot, it will wash clean just like the stainless steel utensils I use. I use the glass bowl that I mix lye in for food all the time (and that was LYE in it, not cooked soap like in the crock pot). I run it through the dishwasher and it’s clean.

      Just sayin!

  11. Wendy B. says:

    Ok then, let me throw one more complication at ya….what if the enamel crock pot that I have has a crack in it? Could the lye seep into the crack and later contaminate the food? I’ve continued using the crock with the crack (hey, that’s kinda catchy…country song, maybe?) cause it never leaked….

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Well….. That’s a little different. I can tell you that my soapmaking book recommends NOT using enamel pots with cracks. In that case, I’d break down and get a new crock pot. (But again, with the new one, it wouldn’t bother me to use it for both purposes. If that makes you feel any better about getting a new one!)

      • Suzanne McMinn says:

        oh–and! The first reason not to use a crock pot with a crack in the enamel is because the material underneath might well be aluminum, which would react with the lye, so don’t buy a new one to use as your food crock pot and use the cracked one for soaping–buy a new one to use for soaping, or a used one that isn’t cracked.

  12. Wendy B. says:

    Alright…. I guess I’ll have to break down and do it. :hissyfit: Thanks for the info!!

  13. Kelly A says:

    it seems a lot of the crock pots are cracking, I bought mine and the first time i used it, it cracked (or maybe it was hairline cracked before i used it) but I googled it and found that many many people are having the same problem and can’t find replacement crocks.

  14. Deb says:

    Keep an eye out at garage sales and second hand stores; crockpots shouldn’t be too hard to find! I have a tall thin one that I use for candle wax and a big one that I use for soap; neither cost over $5.

  15. Samantha Strickland says:

    Suzanne, the samples we picked up at the party smell so good just sitting on the counter. It smells so wonderful I hate to use it! :pawprint:

  16. Runningtrails says:

    Just a note on the coffee: You can use instant but dissolve it in water first. Don’t put either kind into the soap dry or it will be scratchy. Been there-done that 😉 It makes a good shop soap and will go a long way towards removing smells like gasoline.

    LOVE that mold with the cutting guide! Great idea! CindyP is a handy gal! I will have to look at making myself one of those…

    Ok thats it! I have to get my soap made!!! I keep putting it off because I am so blasted busy with other things, but Christmas is creeping up on me and I HAVE TO GET IT MADE!!

    OK, I’m just ranting. Seriously, I have everything I need now, just NO TIME!!

    I made the organic soap colour from my chichiquelites today. I was going to freeze it with the colour I made from my red hibiscus last year but I think I’ll make the soap this weekend, instead. I am going to make some organic soap colour from the red and the purple amaranth that I grew this year, also. Growing my own soap colour is really nifty and frugal too! I can’t wait to see how they turn out! I think I’ll make a post on my own blog to show what it looks like. IF I EVER GET IT MADE!!!

    Your’s is beautiful! Lavendar is one of my favourites too. I planted some lavendar this year to use making sachets and so forth next year, and also for making jelly and wine when I get enough flowers. It smells so nice when I walk by it in the garden. The whole plant smells like that, not just the flowers!

    I love all the available smells for soap! The store near me has one called “tomato plant and basil” and it truly smells like a tomato plant with a little basil thrown in. It’s amazing! I used it one year and few people bought that soap. I guess some folks don’t like that tomato plant smell but I loved it. I also like the balsam fir that I have now but it wasn’t that popular last year. I like that woodsy smell. I even called the soap “Fairy Woodland” but it didn’t sell much.

    I like mixing the smells together to make a custom soap fragrance. Lavendar mixed with vanilla is Heavenly!

    I usually have many bottles of various scents. I just can’t help it! They throw themselves into my arms when I’m at the supply store. I have been buying some fragrance oils, but this year I am going all organic and buying only essential oils. They are more expensive and more volatile, so don’t last in the soap very long, but if you wrap each bar in plastic wrap, the scent will stay long enough.

    Other women buy jewelry, I buy bottles of soap fragrance. Sometimes I wear them like perfume or put a drop on a lightbulb or a cloth in my purse. There are times when I just take them all out and smell them all and look at them 🙂 The really great ones are hard to part with. Sometimes I can’t even bring myself to use them! I’m a hoarder!

    I’m glad the party went well! Looks like fun!

  17. CindyP says:

    I just ran this recipe through SoapCalc using Olive Oil…’s just a difference of a few 100ths of a gram, so I would just substitute Olive Oil for Olive Pomace if you can’t find the Olive Pomace. I buy it by the gallon ($13) at half the price of regular Olive Oil at one of my local grocery stores. I wish everyone could find it for this price! It makes for a wonderful inexpensive oil for soaping!

  18. Jill says:

    I love it. I always wanted to learn how to make soap. This should be one of the basic things that I should know how to do. You are the first person who has made it look super simple. I can not wait to try what I have learned from your recipe. I will make sure that my little girl knows how to do this. Everyone needs to know how to make the basic needs.

  19. Joni Budd says:

    In this Lavender Basil Soap recipe one of your ingredients is “Crisco”. Is this Crisco vegetable oil or Crisco vegetable shortening? Thanks.

Add Your Thoughts