I’ve been wanting to make Aleppo-inspired soap for some time now. My beautiful friend Shonna surprised me with some laurel berry oil so I made some!
From Wikipedia – “Aleppo soap (also known as savon d’Alep, laurel soap, Syrian soap, or ghar soap, the Syrian word for ‘laurel’) is a handmade, hard bar soap associated with the city of Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo soap is classified as a Castile soap as it is a hard soap made from olive oil and lye, from which it is distinguished by the inclusion of laurel oil.”
This is a pretty simple soap to make. You’ll need olive oil, laurel fruit (berry) oil, sodium hydroxide and water.
Don’t confuse laurel fruit (berry) oil with bay laurel essential oil (laurel leaf). They are completely different. Laurel berry oil is a base oil that saponifies. Bay laurel essential oil is just that…an essential oil. The laurel berry oil that I used is from BeScented.
Typically people use 20-30% laurel berry oil and the rest olive oil. In the recipe below, I use 20% laurel berry oil.
Aleppo soap is usually done using a hot process method. Check out some of these videos.
Isn’t that amazing!?
We’ll simply make a cold process soap, but you can hot process it as well. I would add more water if you plan to hot process.
This recipe is 32 oz. oils and fits into a Bramble Berry 10″ silicone loaf mold. I used the tall and skinny mold from Bramble Berry. I used a 5% superfat and discounted the water quite a bit. I used 1.5 times my lye in water.
I didn’t add any color or scent because I wanted to see how it comes out. The laurel berry oil has a wonderful pine scent. It came through a bit in the finished soap, but was very light.
SAFETY WARNING! If you’ve never made soap before, be sure to start with our basic soap making guide. This recipe and instructions are for experienced soap makers. Be sure to gear up in your goggles and gloves before you make soap.
Aleppo Soap Recipe (Laurel Soap Recipe)
- Olive Oil – 25.6 oz. (80%)
- Laurel Berry Oil – 6.4 oz. (20%)
- Water – 6.2 oz.
- Sodium Hydroxide – 4.15 oz.
Step 1: Make your lye solution. Weigh the water and lye into separate containers. Pour the lye into the water while stirring. Be sure to mix your lye solution in a well-ventilated area.
Step 2: Weigh out your laurel berry oil into the container that you’ll be mixing your soap in.
Step 3: Weigh the olive oil into the same container.
The laurel berry oil can have chunks of fruit in it. Use your stick blender to make sure it is 100% blended and pureed.
Step 4: Once your lye solution has cooled down to 130 degrees F or below, pour it into your oils and mix to trace.
Step 5: Once you reach trace, pour into your mold.
Step 6: Let your soap sit for 24 hours, unmold and cut your soap.
Step 7 – Cure your soap. Since this is a high-olive oil soap, you’ll want to give it a nice long cure. At minimum, cure for 6-8 weeks. A 6 month to 1 year cure is even better!