How to Make Rose Geranium Soap

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Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series.

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe

This is the last recipe in the simple soap making series I’ve been sharing over the past month. True to the other three, this rose geranium soap recipe is also made with palm-oil-free ingredients. You’ll color it with a mineral pigment to make the bars a pretty shade of pink and scent them with essential oils. It’s a blend of rose geranium (my absolute fav) with a deep base of cedar. They truly compliment each other.

Cold-process soap making can be a little daunting for the beginner so I’m here to help. The instructions you’ll find below are clear and if you follow them, the result is six bars of handmade essential oil soap to use and give away to friends. Many others have used Lovely Greens soap recipes to successfully make their own soap and you can too.

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe
Gorgeously scented rose geranium soap recipe

What’s in this Rose Geranium Soap Recipe

Cold-process soap making involves making soap from scratch rather than from a base, like in melt-and-pour soap making. You absolutely need raw oils and butters, sodium hydroxide (lye), and water. Extras like essential oils for fragrance, dried flowers, and mineral pigments make your soap prettier, scented, and more therapeutic.

In this recipe, you’ll find coconut oil for fluffy lather, shea butter for conditioning, castor oil for bubbles, and olive and sweet almond oil for gentle cleansing. The mineral color, Ultramarine pink, is a nature-identical ingredient. Natural pigments mined from the earth have a tendency to be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and arsenic. Fortunately, beauty chemists have found a way to replicate them in a controlled environment to be safe for your skin and health.

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe
Rose geranium soap is made with Pelargonium graveolens essential oil

Rose Geranium Essential Oil

I mentioned before that rose geranium is my favorite essential oil. It’s actually many people’s favorite! It’s extracted from the leaves and flowers of Pelargonium graveolens plant, also called the scented or rose geranium. It smells nothing like the geraniums you might have pictured in your head right now. It’s a deep rosy scent with a hint of citrus and a deep herbaceous base.

You can grow rose geraniums in your garden too and I have five different varieties in terracotta pots. If you know someone who has one growing, ask if you can take a cutting, to create your own plants for free. Though it takes a lot of plant material to create essential oil, you can still use the dried flowers in crafts and as decorations for soap and beauty products. The leaves are where most of the scent is though.

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe
This is a much larger batch of rose geranium soap. This is the stage where I’m stirring in the essential oils

How to Make Soap

Almost all of the recipes on Lovely Greens are for the beginner to intermediate soap maker. That means that if you’re new to soap making you should be able to make this rose geranium soap recipe fairly easily. You’ll have an even better understanding of what’s involved if you have a read through the Natural Soap Making for Beginners Series:

  1. Natural Soap Ingredients
  2. Soap Making Equipment & Safety
  3. Beginner Soap Recipes
  4. The Soap Making Process
Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe
Equipment you’ll need to make cold-process soap

Soap Making Equipment

Much of the soap making equipment you need could already be in your kitchen. Rubber washing-up gloves, bowls, and even silicone molds. If you don’t have everything, you can purchase it online relatively inexpensively. Also, make sure to check out second-hand shops for pots and other items. That’s where I get most of my soapmaking pots and pans.

To protect yourself from the lye solution you should always wear eye protection (goggles) and rubber gloves. You should also wear an apron and old clothes that cover as much skin as possible. That way you’re better protected if there’s a spill or splatter. Here’s more of what you’ll need:

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe
When the soap is completely cured, you can store it in the mold as long as you keep the top uncovered
  • Digital Thermometer gun
  • Digital Kitchen Scale
  • Stick (Immersion) Blender
  • Stainless steel pan for melting the solid oils
  • Heat-proof jug for the lye-solution
  • A large bowl for measuring the liquid oils into
  • Rubber spatula for stirring and scraping
  • A small dish for mixing the color in
  • Small sieve (strainer)
  • Mixing color is a whizz with a milk frother
  • A standard take-out container as a soap mold. Line it in baking/grease-proof paper
Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe

Simple Soap Recipe Series

When learning to make handmade soap I’d highly recommend working with a single base recipe. That way you’ll know what to expect each time you make it be able to spot any differences or issues quickly, and save money.

That’s why this rose geranium soap recipe is part of this series. Each of the recipes uses the same main base oils, water, and lye amount. What makes them unique is the extra scents, color, and natural decoration. Aside from this recipe, you’ll find a zesty citrus soap, a herbal soap, and a fragrant lavender soap in the simple soap recipe series.

Learn to make natural rose geranium soap with essential oils, mineral color, and dried flower petals. Part of the Simple Soap Recipe series that includes three other soap recipes #lovelygreens #soapmaking #rosegeranium #soaprecipe

Rose Geranium & Cedar soap recipe

Lovely Greens
Natural Vegan soap made with a blend of rose geranium and cedar essential oils and decorated with rose petals. Technical information: 1lb / 454g batch — 5% superfat — 35.7% lye solution
5 from 2 votes
Author Lovely Greens
Cost 15



Lye water

Solid oils

Liquid oils

Add after Trace

To decorate


  • Pre-mix the Ultramarine pink powder in about a Tablespoon of the olive oil. Prepare your soap mold(s) now too. The one I'm using is a clean take-out container lined with two strips of baking paper. One laid lengthwise, and the other one across. Leaving overlapping paper will help you get the soap out when it's ready.
  • Next, dissolve the lye (Sodium hydroxide) crystals in water. Gear up with eye protection, gloves, and wear a long sleeved top. In an airy place, outdoors is best, pour the lye crystals into the water and stir well. There will be a lot of heat and steam so be careful. Try not to breath it in. Leave outside in a safe place, or in a shallow basin of water to cool.
  • Melt the solid oils in a stainless steel pan on very low heat. When melted, remove from the heat and set on a pot holder. Pour in the liquid oils including the colored oil.
  • Measure the temperatures of the lye-water and the oils. You should aim to cool them both to be about 120°F / 49°C. 
  • Pour the lye-solution into the pan of oils. I tend to always pour the liquid through a sieve to catch any potential undissolved lye or bits. 
  • Dip your immersion blender into the pan and with it turned off, stir the mixture. Next, bring it to the center of the pan and with both your hands, hold it on the bottom of the pan and blitz it for just a couple seconds. Turn it off and stir the soap batter, using the blender as a spoon. Repeat until the mixture thickens up to ‘Trace’. This is when the batter leaves a distinguishable trail on the surface. The consistency will be like thin custard.
  • With your spatula, stir in the essential oils. Working quickly, pour the soap into the mold(s). Sprinkle the top with just the smallest amount of dried peppermint. Don't put the rose petals on yet since they may turn brown at this time.
  • Turn your oven on to very low and heat for just a minute or two until it's 100°F / 38°C. Then turn your oven off, and pop your soap mold(s) inside. Leave overnight. Oven-processing the soap like this intensifies the color.
  • The next day, take the soap out of the oven and set someplace to rest for another day. Once 48 hours have passed, you can take the soap out of the mold(s). Cure it for 28 days. Curing means leaving the bars spaced out on a protected surface out of direct sunlight and in an airy place. This allows the extra water content to fully evaporate out.
  • Rose petals have a tendency to turn brown if you sprinkle them on freshly made soap. So will the peppermint leaves but we're going for that effect. Peppermint leaves will also bleed into the soap the same way as you'll have seen in the herbal soap recipe in this series.
  • For the rose petal decoration you should wait until after the bars are fully cured. At this time, spray the tops of the bars liberally with witch hazel. Sprinkle the whole dried rose petals on top and then spray it all again. When the witch hazel evaporates off, the rose petals will be left stuck to the soap. It takes about 12 hours for it to dry.
  • Once made, your soap will have a shelf-life of up to two years. Check the oil bottles that you’re using though — the closest best-by date is the best-by date of your soap.


If you’d like to make a pure rose geranium-scented soap, leave out the cedar wood essential oil.
Lastly, are you a beginner soapmaker looking for more guidance on how to make handmade soap? Enroll in the Natural Soapmaking for Beginners Online Course to get up to speed quickly. You’ll learn all about soap ingredients and equipment and be guided through step-by-step soap recipe videos. Learn more
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Recipe Rating


  1. I added the ultramarine pink but the batter turned an odd peach color.
    I used Beef Tallow instead of the sunflower and adjusted for that– but would not think that change would have done it–
    Will see how things look after it hardens–
    Thank you! It sure smells delicious! Michelle

    1. Soap colorants can interact with the colors of the oils used to make the soap. If you use more yellow oils, like extra virgin olive oil instead of Pomace olive oil, then the final color of the soap will be impacted. Beef tallow tends to be a white oil, so I don’t think it’s that which caused the peach color you’re reporting. It could be the batch of mineral color, a change in essential oils, gelling or not gelling, or the color of the soap before it hardens and cures. Glad you’re enjoying the scent :)

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Tanya – Thanks for building this very helpful website. I started making soap earlier this year mostly using your recipes and my family and I have enjoyed using the bars. I am looking forward to this holiday season when I can share the soap with friends as extended family as gifts.
        I am curious why this recipe calls for the mixing of oils and lye solution at a higher temperature of 120 F compared to other recipes. Thanks for your reply.

        1. Hi Javier and thanks so much for the feedback :) As for temperature, I used to soap at around 110-120F for small batch soap recipes to ensure that they gelled. It works well, but when oven processing, I’ve found that you don’t have to work above 100F. Either temperature works, though. Temperature in cold process soapmaking is often a matter of personal preference within a certain range. The general rule is that the cooler you soap, the slower the soap comes to trace. Temperature can also affect how the soap gels, which is purely aesthetic. Hotter temperatures are also needed when soaping with oils and waxes that have a higher melting point, such as you’ll see in my beeswax soap recipe.

  2. fiona johnstone says:

    Can you please let me know if the colour will be spoilt if I don’t oven process the soap? … I don’t have access to an oven but love the colour in the photo of the rose geranium soap. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Fiona, if you don’t oven-process the soap the colour won’t be as deep. It will be more of a soft pastel pink and just as pretty, I think.

  3. Hi there. I’m just wondering if the tablespoon of olive oil that you use to mix the colorant in is in addition to the measurement for the oil/butter mixture, or if I should take a tablespoon from the olive oil quantity in the recipe. Thank you.

    1. Hi Lisa, you should take the olive oil from the recipe — it’s not an extra amount.

  4. Hi Tanya,

    Thanks for all the information you provide. I bought your book (which is great) and I’ve made a few of your recipes. For this recipe I was hoping to use khaolin clay instead of pink mica to colour the soap. You used khaolin clay in a different recipe. Do I need to use some of the pre-measured distilled water from the recipe above to mix the clay or should I use additional distilled water as I heard clay is thirsty?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Triona, there are several types of clay, and kaolin and illite clays are easy to use in soapmaking. All you need to do is add 1 tsp of your clay to the lye solution. Alternatively, you can reserve 3 tsp of your distilled water, mix the 1 tsp of clay into it and stir it in at trace.

      1. Triona McSweeney says:

        Hi Tanya,

        Thanks so much for that. I can’t wait to try this recipe at the weekend. I’ve tried several if your recipes and they have all turned out very well so far. Thanks for all the content you provide!

  5. I have just ordered all these lovely ingredients to make this soap. I am wondering if I do not use the coloring ( this is not important to me) do I still do the oven process or is it simply for color setting? As well is the cedar wood oil necessary? I am hoping for a soap that smells only like rose.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Sarah and I think that a recent article I wrote on natural soap additives will be of great help to you. To answer your questions, you can leave out the mineral color in this recipe, and no, you do not need to oven process it. You can also leave out the cedar oil and use three tsp rose geranium (PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS) essential oil. Rose geranium smells rosy but is not a rose.

  6. Liz Ellis says:

    5 stars
    i came across your gorgeous site and wanted to try a new recipe for my soaps
    i tried this one and made the soap up
    but i came across a problem that i hope you can help me with
    i spritzed the top of the freshly poured soap batter with the isopropyl alcohol and it looked perfect but i am not sure when it happened but overnight sometime the top of the soap went all wrinkly – it has totally destroyed the look of my soap which i so wanted to have a smooth top – i had used my shavings to make balls and then gave them a light shuffle in cocoa powder – when biffing them into the soap the cocoa powder left a really cute explosion effect of planets hitting and spreading – the isopropyl alcohol made the cocoa black as well so not too happy with that either
    can you explain why the IPA has caused this soap to wrinkle – its like a prune that has sucked lemons – i didnt move the soap for about 3 hours – and it was covered with the lid that comes with the mold – i might try my old recipe and see if it does it to that but i honestly have never had this happen before – i also have my IPA provider trying to figure it out as well
    thanks for any advice you can give me

    1. Hi Liz and sorry to hear about your troubles. I’m trying to work out what happened here. What I suspect is that you oven-processed your soap while it was in a closed mold and that the squiggles you’re seeing are “alien brains”. It happens when soap gets overheated. The next time you try this recipe I’d advise that you do not use an insulated mold if you wish to oven-process. Both oven-processing and the (wooden?) outer covering of your mold will do that — it’s two different methods that are not used at the same time.

    2. Hi, the same hapened to me! And I did used a mold with the insulated wood outer covering! My question is if I can use this soap, is it good or not, thanks a lot

  7. I love your website and this page is so helpful.Thankyou so much. The only thing I dont have right now is castor oil. Can i put extra oil from the other oils and if so which one do you recommend?
    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Can you help me please, on making a batch of your rose geranium and cedarwood soap the colour turned out a dull muddy pink not unlike the colour of your mixture in your photo of the mixture in your pot as you added the essential oils… Why did mine not go the vibrant pink in your article? How can I make this colour successful. Thank you.

      1. Hi Fiona, the best way to get the most vibrant pink is to use light-colored olive oil (not extra virgin). Also to oven process the soap after pouring it into the mold. This helps the soap to gel and the color to pop!

  8. Sinead Connolly says:

    Hi! I’m new to soap making and really enjoying it. Just started using my first batch of your simple herbal soap and it is lovely. I made this Rose Geranium recipe last week and made a silly mistake of accidently omitting the sunflower oil. Is there any point in leaving it to cure or should I just abandon it now?

    1. It could be harsh on your skin — run the recipe through the online SoapCalc without the sunflower oil and see what the superfat is. If it’s less than 2% then I wouldn’t use it for anything other than dishes.

      1. Sinead Connolly says:

        Many thanks for your reply, I’ll do that. Glad to hear I might be able to use for something though!

  9. Hi! I just want to say thank you so much for posting these recipes. I’m a complete beginner at cold press soap, but have been following along your blog and love it so much. Your citrus and calendula recipe came out perfect, and I’m about to try this one as prezzies for my sister in law.

    I don’t know if you take requests for soap recipes, but I’d be really interested in seeing a recipe for a ginger soap? The ones I’ve found so far tend to lean towards the sweeter gingerbread smell rather than the earthy, herbal fresh ginger scent that I really love.

    Keep on soaping :) x