End of Summer Chamomile Soap—With a Recipe

The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and I'm starting to make soap with all the harvests from my plot in The Hell's Kitchen Community Garden.

This year I had both Roman chamomile (the perennial that flops over like the ancient Romans after a Bacchanalia) and German chamomile (the annual with good posture like a German soldier). Both smell like apples, have similar properties and are most famous for treating upset tummies and sleeplessness.

Peter Rabbit's mom gave him chamomile tea after Mr. McGregor chased him out of the garden.

Chamomile is also wonderful for your skin and is said to help with rashes, irritations, fight acne and protect your skin from free radicals.

I picked my cheerful German and Roman chamomile flowers all summer long, popped them into a net bag to dry, then infused them in olive oil.

One little note about chamomile essential oil. It doesn't matter if it's German, Roman or Moroccan, it's expensive, so I blend it to keep down the cost.

This recipe makes for a truly luxurious soap with super gentle, creamy, moisturizing lather. It's a perfect companion in the tub after a long day of running from your own Mr. McGregors.

End of Summer Chamomile Soap
Makes 3.25 pounds before cure

2 ounces castor oil
8 ounces coconut oil
12 ounces olive oil infused with dried chamomile
7 ounces (sustainable) palm oil
4.5 ounces (deodorized) cocoa butter

12.73 ounces of water (I use NYC tap)
4.72 ounces of lye

2 tablespoons rice flour
1.5 ounces End of Summer Chamomile essential oil blend (2 parts Roman chamomile, 4 parts ylang ylang, 1 part orange 10 fold and 1 part may chang)

Proceed as you would with any cold process recipe (wearing gloves and goggles of course!) and add the rice flour and essential oil blend at trace.


  1. Hello! Just found your blog - in my pursuit of all things "Auntie Clara" LOL.

    This recipe looks like one I want to try. (I'm relatively new to soapmaking but have 15+ batches under my belt anyway. Do you purchase the End of Summer essential oil blend or do you prepare that by mixing yourself?

    Thank you for the inspiration! I recently make some salt bars (using a Brambleberry recipe that used table salt). My family is crazy about it. One child had scars that lightened, another's acne went away. Definitely I'm making more salt bars. They are also amazingly smooth! I just had trouble cutting them so may try using some molds instead of a loaf mold. Thanks again! Looking forward to more posts/pictures!

  2. Heather Holland WheatonMarch 28, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Hi Gina!

    Thanks for dropping by. I'm a devote follower of Auntie Clara. She's amazing. I get so many ideas from looking at her site. I just don't always end up doing them.

    End of Summer Chamomile is a pretty easy recipe. Nothing really tricky about it. I made the essential oil blend myself. Warning! Chamomile essential oil is pricey. If you see it some place cheap, it's most likely diluted. You could substitute lavender essential oil with the above blend and you'd still end up with a lovely, calming scent to your soap. And have enough money left to send you kids to college.

    Salt bars are great. And yes, using individual molds is easier than cutting them.

    1. Thank you so much for the reply. I REALLY love making soap and really want to up my game a little bit. Wondering if you have pics of the first batch made to sell? I always have these big inspirations/plans when I get ready to make a batch (worthy of gifting), but then... one thing leads to another and it just turns out looking wonky. Ever have that happen? I think probably I should get a "real" mold to start LOL instead of my homemade ones LOL...

      I'll try the blend. Sounds really nice.

      My other question is - do you order your essential oils online or buy local? Seems like there is a wide range of prices and like you said, the quality for less expensive oils may not be worth the risk.

      Love your posts. What a fun blog!

  3. Heather Holland WheatonMarch 29, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    You can see my early days of soap making on SubPlotSoap.blogspot.com. Very rustic. Very primitive-looking, wonky cuts—I was using a silicone bread loaf mold that bowed like crazy and made for even more wonkiness.

    I 'decided' to start selling soap to friends and colleagues when the soap began to take over my apartment. I just carried a little box with me containing labeled bars and some samples—didn’t even figure out the cost. Was just happy with whatever cash I got since it would go to support my soap making habit.

    Finally, I had a woman offer to buy a bunch wholesale, so I sat down and figured out the cost—paying myself less than minimum wage (I was working in a nice smelling sweat shop!) and my wholesale price was too high and the woman backed out.

    Since then, I decided to write a cozy mystery series with a heroine—Haley Maxwell—who makes soap. Among other things. The soap I make now is either for recipes that will be included in the books and/or for posts on this blog.

    I tend not to make big batches (love the 1lb loaf mold from Bramble Berry), so I don’t need to be as concerned about cost and can be a little decadent when it comes to essential oils.

    I don’t buy wholesale and get most of my essential oils from Enfleurage (in NYC, but they have a website) and Rose Mountain Herbs. Both have a great selection of excellent quality oils. I also get more basic essential oils like lavender, lemongrass and orange from Bramble Berry.


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