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14 March 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

How to make honeysuckle, ylang ylang & vanilla soap for Mother’s Day

This sweet-scented floral soap makes the perfect homemade gift.

Close up of honeysuckle flowers

If you’re still searching for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, consider going homemade with these delicately-scented bars of cold process soap.

We all know that when it comes to our mothers nothing means more than a homemade gift. After all, they were the ones who stuck our drawings up on the fridge back when we could barely hold a pencil.

This honeysuckle, ylang ylang & vanilla soap is a sweet gift for any occasion, but we’ve blended these delicate scents especially with Mother’s Day in mind.

Although the days of macaroni art might be behind you, you’re never too old to craft that perfect gift yourself.

Before you start:

This recipe won’t include a list of equipment and the instructions may not be minutely detailed at every stage.

That’s because you can find all of this information by heading over to this article: A beginner’s guide to making soap using essential oils.

We recommend having it open as you work through this recipe, especially if you are fairly new to soap-making. You should also pay attention to all the relevant safety information contained in the article.


Can I use essential oils to make this soap?

If you’d like to experience the natural benefits of ylang ylang then feel free
to substitute in Ylang Ylang (Extra) Essential Oil.

However, there are unfortunately no essential oil substitutions for honeysuckle or vanilla as they cannot withstand the process of steam distillation.

This is why we’ve chosen to use fragrance oils in this recipe.

What is yellow oxide pigment?

Yellow oxide is a natural colourant that it’s quite easy to source from online retailers. It gives the bars of soap a pretty light yellow colour to compliment the pressed daisies, but it isn’t an essential part of this recipe.

You can feel free to swap it out for a colourant of your choice, or leave it out altogether and let your soap bars remain a neutral colour.

Optional decoration:

  • Pressed daisies
  • Witch hazel

You will also need a spray bottle in order to spray the witch hazel.

How do I press daisies?

Gather a large amount of garden daisies, making sure to choose larger flowers with lots of petals. Snip off as much of the stems as possible and place the flowers face up on two sheets of paper.

Place two additional sheets of paper over them, and then place a heavy book directly on top of the paper. You can also use a flower press for this.

Leave the flowers for at least a fortnight before checking the results.

Wax, salt crystals and soap on a table


  1. Mix the yellow oxide powder in a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Measure your coconut oil and shea butter into a pan and your olive oil and castor oil into a jug.
  3. Pour the distilled water into a heat-proof jug.
  4. Dissolve the sodium hydroxide crystals into the jug of water. *Please refer to our soap-making guide for instructions on how to do this safely.*
  5. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a pan on a very low heat. When both have melted, remove the pan from the heat and set down on a heat-proof surface.
  6. Pour the olive and castor oil into a pan with the melted coconut oil and shea butter.
  7. Measure the temperature of the mixed oils and lye solution – both should be around 35-38 degrees Celsius.
  8. Pour the lye water through a sieve into the pan of oils.
  9. Stir the solution together. Then hold the stick blender to the bottom of the pan and blitz for a couple of seconds. Turn off, stir, and repeat until the mixture thickens to ‘trace’. At this stage it should have a thin, custard-like consistency.
  10. Add the honeysuckle, ylang ylang and vanilla fragrance oils and fully mix in using a spatula.
  11. Leave the soap in its mould for 48 hours before cutting into bars. You should then leave the soap to cure in a cool, dry place for 28 days.
  12. When the soap has fully cured, spray the top of each bar with witch hazel, sprinkle the pressed daisies on top, and spray with witch hazel again. It is important to do this after the curing process is complete, as it prevents the daisies from losing their colour during the 28 days of curing.
  13. Leave the witch hazel to dry on the top of the bars for 12 hours, at which point the pressed daisies should be stuck on.
  14. Package up as gifts and give away – or keep for yourself!

      Shop our essential oil range here.

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