Aleppo Soap Recipe – Soap Inspired by Aleppo (Laurel Soap Recipe)

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.”

Aleppo Soap Recipe

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.

making lye solution

Step 2: Weigh out your laurel berry oil into the container that you’ll be mixing your soap in.

laurel berry oil

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.

laurel fruit 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!

diy aleppo soap

Happy Soaping!

Amanda Gail

 

About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.

24 Comments

  1. Amanda D May 15, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    I made my first batch of Laurel Berry Oil Soap- tweaked the recipe (a good bit) I added a little Babassu oil, Castor oil, Laurel Berry Oil (20%), Lard, Coconut Milk (50%) Olive Oil (infused with chamomile and calendula) and a blend of German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, and Lavender EO. It actually smells great. I’m giving it a good 6 month cure. It already lathers well and feels amazing. Can’t wait to make more. Thank you for all your great advice!

  2. Cee April 17, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I luv the smell of aleppo soap… it smells like a smoky camp fire to me. Your soaps are a lovely shade of green… have they turned tan yet? If it’s not too much trouble, could you please post a pic when they do? And note the date? TIA

  3. Solichin April 8, 2017 at 4:31 am - Reply

    Thank u for your article

  4. Amanda April 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    What are the benefits of this particular soap that you have found? Just curious. Waiting on my Laurel Berry oil to ship out soon 😉

  5. Debbie March 19, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I have to say I love this soap already. I made it last night and cut it this morning. It came out beautifully. I appreciate the history behind true Aleppo soap, and I do realize that this is not exactly the same, but I feel like it is a little piece of history anyway. I found the scent of the oil out of the bottle a bit like Neem, and thick like Neem as well, but I have to say it smells really fresh and… I don’t know, different this morning. I used a sliver right away as I do with every soap I make, and I love the scent it left on my skin. Thank you for posting this.

    • Florence Lam August 14, 2017 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Did it trace very fast? We usu add more water like 3 times o slow down the rrace. Why did u have to cut diwn the water?

  6. Riad March 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Hello for all, I am a master soapmaker of Aleppo Soap.
    i would like to precise that Aleppo soap not only a recipe. It is ancestral know-how transmitted from one generation to another.
    We can not call the soap you made with your recipe “Aleppo soap”.

    Aleppo soap is cooked in hot water for 2 days, then spread on the ground and after cutting and stamping, rests in the open air for 9 months (drying period).

    • Jill Gatwood March 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Riad,
      I’m honored to meet you. I first learned about the city of Aleppo many years ago from a documentary film I saw about the ancient tradition of soap making there. It is tragic to hear about the war and destruction happening in your city. Where are you now and are you still making soap? I had heard that one master soapmaker from Aleppo is now making soap in France.

      You are right, this is not the traditional method for making your soap, which is very labor intensive, ancient art. I am not that experienced, so I will try this cold process method – using olive oil and the laurel berry oil – and will be sure to let people know that, while it contains some traditional ingredients, it is a simple representation, made to honor the “real thing” from Syria. I will offer this soap for sale and all proceeds will go to the Syrian American Medical Society, to aid Syrian war refuges https://www.sams-usa.net/. I will be sure to educate my customers about the history, tradition and different method used to make real Aleppo soap.
      Jill

    • Dawn March 28, 2017 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Hello Riad,

      I have watched a video of soapmakers in Aleppo many times on YouTube. Can you tell us, with the current political situation in Aleppo, are any soapmakers left there in the city?

      Thank you.

  7. Kay March 13, 2017 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Can I double this recipe? Including the lye and water? Thanks.

  8. Nancy Croumlich March 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Tried this tonight, doubled the batch in a slab mold. Not used to this much water discount, but made sense, traced nicely. I would describe the scent as a deep, somewhat smokey forest! Already made a resin stamp with a hand carved laurel design and soap name. Now the waiting game!!!! Thank you.

  9. Kay March 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    If I want to double this recipe, can I double everything, including lye and water? Thanks so much.
    Looking forward to making this recipe!!!!

  10. Marley March 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Did you insulate your soap? Did your soap gel?

  11. Angelika March 7, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    I would like to try this! Can I use an essential oil with this recipe, If so what would you recommend?

  12. Maggie March 7, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Never heard of laurel oil. Very interesting new recipe. Thanks for the post.

  13. Marilyn March 7, 2017 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Amanda you said above you unmolded in 24 hours. I guess I would have thought it would have been very soft? Thanks so much for sharing! Looks a beautiful soap.

  14. odette March 7, 2017 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Love the colour

  15. natasa March 7, 2017 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Hello!

    I just want to ask you, when I checked your Allepo recepie in Soap calculator, I saw that the quality of this soap is very low?(Hardnes range from 29-54, in this recepie only 22….ect?

    Best regards Natasa

  16. Elsa March 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    How long did you stick blended it? Did they thickened up fast? Some said that they hand mixed it for 15mins and reached thick trace.

  17. andrea March 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    thanks! I recently “discovered” some “Aleppo soap” that I had hidden from myself. It gets lighter and mellows out a lot. I love it. The city of Aleppo falling to ISIS inspired my soaping journey….

  18. Kay March 6, 2017 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Did you heat up your oils?

    • Amanda Gail March 6, 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      No I didn’t. I just used them room temp. I did have my lye hotter than normal at 130 degrees F.

  19. Paige Dains March 6, 2017 at 11:02 am - Reply

    What’s it smell like? I’ve never heard of it but sounds awesome.

    • Amanda Gail March 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      It smells like pine, but very faint. I might have given you a bar in that soap I gave you! If not, I’m sure we have more somewhere. It does need to cure for a bit. 🙂

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