Flower-embellished, all-natural soap makes for a fun DIY project that can also double as a personalized gift. Local holistic wellness coach Jules Aron shares her formula for homemade soap in Fresh & Pure: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms & Cleansers ($19.95, Countryman Press), which starts with a simple base for adding essential oils and dried botanicals and herbs. Create singular scents or try combinations such as lavender and eucalyptus, or rose and jasmine. “These pretty jeweled soaps are a simple way to customize your bathing experience,” says Aron. “If you’ve never made soap before, start here.”
16 oz. glycerin soap base
10-20 drops essential oils of your choice
1⁄2 cup assorted dried botanicals
Choose your molds and prepare them by greasing with oil. Grate the glycerin soap and add it to a double boiler or heat-safe bowl in a pan of simmering water. Allow the soap to fully melt. Remove from heat. Add essential oils and continue to stir to prevent bubbles from forming. Arrange chosen herbs and flowers in the bottom of molds and pour over with the melted glycerin soap base. Allow to cool and set for a few hours before taking the soap out of the molds. For maximum freshness, use within six months.