Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fiore Rustico Pure Castille Soap

I was totally inspired by the lovely Amanda of Lovin Soap who recently showed pictures of her castille soap - I asked if she would think of doing a tutorial on this and, by the end of the day, there was one and dedicated to me! Speedy Gonzales!

So, what else could I do but go and make one myself.  Castille soap is a soap made from 100% Olive Oil - no other oils are added, it's pure olive all the way.  It's excellent for all skin types but especially good for sensitive and dry skin.  The only drawback to castille is that it can take anywhere up to a full year to cure to an amazingly good bar of soap.  No matter, I thought, I'll work on my patience levels and just find a place to hide it and forget about it for at least 6 months.

The only olive oil I had in the house were my big 3 litre bottles of Olive Pomace - as soapmakers know, pomace can speed trace which isn't always what you'd like so, hence I had some left as I've not used it recently. 

Amanda suggested a steep water discount - she uses equal quantities of lye to water and this is unusual but helps the batter come to trace far sooner than normal (castille is notorious for taken a long time to trace).  The only other additions I made was Silk (as ever, you know what I'm like) and an essential oil blend of Sweet Orange, May Chang, Lavender, Patchouli, Geranium & Ylang Ylang ... it is divine! I added a little titanium dioxide because my pomace olive oil is a rather vile green and I wanted to at least get a creamy pale green.

So I weighed out my lye and water, equal quantities and mixed - this solution is more caustic than when full water is used (due to the lesser amount of water) so I was extremely careful not to splash it when stirring and to wear my safety specs.

I weighed out my oil and mixed my titanium dioxide and blended it into my olive oil.  I then weighed out my essential oil blend and poured that into the oil also. 

I took some time to line the mould and then I was ready to mix.  I poured my lye into my oils and it didn't take too long to reach trace - actually, I erred too much on the side of caution and I stick blended a little too much I think as I have some air bubbles in the final soap.  The pomace certainly speeded up trace as did the water discount and both certainly helped the soap to heat in the mould (the TD will have worked towards this too).  I managed to get it all in the mould and texture the top but I'd rather I had stopped stick blending a little earlier. 

The soap heated HUGELY - I have to say it was the hottest soap I've ever made and I had to put it in my soaping fridge overnight.  I took it out this morning and left it in the curing room for the full day to come back to room temperature til I cut it. 

I cut it this evening - it was hugely solid, almost felt like a very well cured soap in fact.  It took some effort to cut it and the bottoms of it are rather crumbly too.  I probably should have cut this this morning but I couldn't have, no time sadly. 

I can see in some of the pictures that it did gel in part but you'd have to look carefully at it - I HATE the crumbly bum but I do love the smoothness of it and I am rather partial to the creamy look of it.  I ADORE the top though! I washed my hands with an offcut and it bubbles like mad - what was that about slimey castille soap?

So I'm thinking, next time not quite a steep discount, and soap cooler, I'll probably still use pomace but I'll stick blend a tinch less.  Otherwise, I'm really happy with this.

Oh .. the name? Fiore Rustico is Italian (the olive oil connection) for Rustic Flowers ... the rustic for the way it's cut and flowers to try and illustrate the essential oil blend. 

So.. here is Fiore Rustico Pure Castille Soap... enjoy!

Beautifully textured tops

Rustic cut soap!

Ever so smooth soap - you can just vaugely see the gelling in the centre 

Beautiful creamy fragranced rustic soaps for sensitive skin

Huge thanks to Amanda for giving me inspiration - I do wonder if this really needs the 6 month cure time as it feels so hard already ... any thoughts and comments would be welcomed!


  1. Oh the tops are so pretty and I love the combination of essential oils you used. I bet it smells out of this world. I've never made Castille with a huge water discount before and it's wonderful that yours became firm so quickly.

  2. What a nice post. Love the home made soap!

  3. That is beautiful! The blend sounds divine and the look of your bars is wonderful.

    And the name!! I love the name you gave it. :)

    If you're happy with it sooner...then use it sooner (I do!). But I always put half of the batch away for 4-6 months. I think "slimy" castille is also due to using full water. Since you did such a water discount...that really does help to cut down on the slimy factor.

    I've never used silk...I might need to experiment with that!

  4. Thanks everyone, I have to say it does smell really lovely .. hoping it lasts cure time!

    Amanda - do try the silk, I use it in every soap, totally addicted to it, I think it adds a real something to the bar

  5. I think with that steep of a water discount and how much it heated/gelled, you may not need to wait six months. Although castile is like a fine wine, only getting even better in time.

  6. My mom is obsessed with my castile soap and I don't really enjoy making it because it takes forever to trace. I'm excited to try the water discount though. Maybe I'll add a little silk too.

    If I had glitter, I'd put it in just for you.

  7. Lovely looking soap, Celine! I must admit, I can hardly believe there to be a 100% olive oil soap sans snottyness. It just doesn't seem possible in the make-up of its chemistry, despite water discount or silk fibers..

  8. hello your blog is great! Im you newest follower! you can follow my back at:

  9. I use goat's milk in my castile soap, and use a pretty steep discount as well. Can't discount as much as with water, but it still turns out pretty hard right away. I've definitely been known to sell it in as few as 4 weeks, but as everyone else has said, it just gets better with age!


If you like Soaperstar's blog posts, please feel free to comment!! We'd love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...