The history of soap goes back thousands of years and it was only in "16th century Europe" that olive oil became the main ingredient of the hard white soap we know today - Castile soap from the area of Spain where there was an abundant supply of olive oil.
Step back in history to the Tudor times in England and find out about making soap. The Tudors used to call their soap a "wash ball".
Now you can have a go at making your own...
You will need:
- 45 grams plain white soap - either as a block or in flakes
- A knife or grater if using a block of soap
- A bowl and a wooden spoon
Step by step to make your soap
If you use a block of soap, create flakes with a knife or grater.
Crush a few pinches of dried lavender with a pestle and mortar to make them into a powder. You will find that lavender can be quite coarse.
Use a wooden spoon to mix in the crushed lavender and press into the soap flakes. Add the few drops of warm water with added lavender essential oil to help it bind. The small amount of liquid should be added at just a drop at a time. Too much will make it difficult for the soap to become solid.
Squeeze the mixture together firmly with your hands to compact it. This is an important step to ensure the soap stays firm when you use it. Then roll the mixture into a ball between the palms of your hands.
Leave in a warm place to dry which can take up to three or four days. You will know when it is dry because it will be solid and you can use it just like any other soap.
Wrap in parchment paper and tie with string or ribbon so it is easy to store or even provide you with a perfect natural gift!