[6]   BASIC ADDITIVES (MAP) BAR (Clear or Opaque Soap Base)
​Seeded Strawberry Bar
5 ounces clear glycerin
4 drops red liquid colorant
4 drops orange liquid colorant
1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
Strawberry fragrance oil
My son and his friends could not keep their hands off this bar of soap.  It not only smells authentically of strawberry, but the poppy seeds additive takes it to another level of realism that make it irresistible. 
Additives are exactly that . . . things that you add to your soap.  Different from embeds, additives tend to be of the herbal, cosmetic or medicinal varieties.  Additives add texture and dimension to your soap creations.  That said, as with embeds, what you put in will, invariably, come out.  So, again, think about application.  Additives that you can see (such as poppy seeds) seldom dissolve in bath water.  They may float or sink; they may stick to the sides of the tub; they may hide in folds of skin.  I mention this because I made a lovely herbal bar using dried basil.  I was in the kitchen, following a shower with my newly made bar, when my son came home.  He walked up behind me and found a tiny piece of basil leaf stuck to the back of my neck.  This gave me pause for thought.  Where else might little pieces of basil be?  From what other places had they not rinsed away?

Additives bars are now used only as hand soap in my house . . . kept by the sink, not in the tub area.  If you are planning on making additives bars, I recommend making a smaller hand soap with the actual additive, and an accompanying bath bar that smells the same but contains no visible additives.

Additives do not have to be of the visible or herbal variety.  As was touched upon in the section on soap formulations, additives can be medicinal (calamine lotion, for example).  Most any cream, lotion, gel or ointment that can be safely used on the skin can, in limited quantity, be added to soap.  Here's the rub:  the additive is so diluted by the properties of the soap (as it can only be added in scant quantity), that any benefit from it would be, at best, marginal.  If your skin needs an anti-itch cream, bathe as you normally would and apply the actual cream.  This offers the greatest benefit to the skin.  I mention this not to dissuade you from experimenting with medicinal or herbal additives, I simply do not want anyone misled into thinking that a calamine lotion soap, for example, is as effective as calamine lotion.

I am an advocate of the benefits of herbal medicines and aromatherapy.  It is a given that much of modern medicine was built on the principles established by "home remedies".  But this is not a website about homeopathic remedies.  Yes, rosemary has both astringent and antiseptic properties; thyme is also antiseptic in nature.  Dried lemon peel retains levels of citric and (Vitamin C) ascorbic acids.  These properties, again, will be dramatically reduced in soap making.  When thinking about botanicals and herbs in soap making, think "pretty".  the effect is infinitely more visual than topical . . . EXCEPT in cases of allergies and sensitive skin.  It is the possibility of any level of allergic reaction that make it absolutely necessary to completely and accurately label the soaps you make.  With that caveat in place, let's take a look at some botanical and/or herbal additives.
Ground Rosemary Bar
4 ounces goat's milk glycerin
1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary
Rosemary fragrance oil 
Ground Rosemary
Rosemary contains powerful anti- oxidants and has long been known for its antiseptic properties.  In making soap, which is already antiseptic in nature, adding a little ground rosemary may enhance those qualities.  I simply love the smell, which is a clean, energizing scent.  Though rosemary is one of the few essential oils I have, essential oils are too prone to be skin irritants.  Luckily, my Rosemary fragrance oil is an authentic-smelling, safer alternative.  This is the bar being poured in the section on "Uncontained Space" Cookie Bar Soaps.

The lovely, palest green color of the soap came from the ground rosemary.  There were no colorants added.
Whole Rosemary
Making the soap with dried whole rosemary leaf was more challenging than you might think.  I used clear glycerin for the soap base and the rosemary leaf floated on top.  I stirred well beyond the steam dissipating, but it kept rising back up.  Therefore, in order to obtain, at least, the look of distribution, I had to make four separate pours, of roughly an ounce each.  In order to reduce the appearance of air bubbles i had to spray each pouring liberally with alcohol.  This entailed keeping watch for about 4 or 5 minutes to make sure the appearance of air bubbles had been arrested.  I love the look of this soap, but will limit it to washing hands because the leaves are still and scratchy.
Whole Rosemary Leaf Bar
4 ounces clear glycerin
3 pinches dried whole rosemary leaf
Rosemary fragrance oil 
Ground Cinnamon
In making the ground cinnamon soap, I used goat's milk glycerin so that the ground cinnamon would be well-distributed throughout the soap . . . and so it is.  however, the ground cinnamon released from the measuring spoon in one clump.  It took quite a bit of stirring to break the cinnamon back down so that the soap didn't look like it had moles.  as for the crayon, when the tip broke off, I put it in.

Anti-fungal and a powerful antiseptic, cinnamon is a highly regarded medicinal herb.  Some (not me) even sprinkle minor cuts and scrapes with cinnamon.  That would likely be because of its mild anesthetic properties, a result of the eugenol oil found in both cinnamon and cloves.
Ground Cinnamon Bar
4 ounces goat's milk glycerin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
tip of Mahogany crayon
Cinnamon fragrance oil
Whole Cinnamon Stick
For the whole cinnamon stick soap, the sticks of cinnamon must be dry-fitted to the mold or (in this case) cookie cutter.  Also, the rolled cinnamon bark is an excellent hiding place for air bubbles.  Be sure to spray the cinnamon with alcohol prior to putting them in the soap.

Finally, the cinnamon sticks also float (as one might expect from tree bark).  In this soap, with the depth of the cookie cutter, I had to use my needle nose pliers to place the cinnamon sticks.  As soon as the cinnamon was covered with the melted soap base, the air bubbles began to rise.  A watchful eye and numerous sprays of alcohol kept the bubbles to a minimum.  The peach colorant was used to keep the soap visually in line with the ground cinnamon bar.
Whole Cinnamon Stick Bar
4 ounces clear glycerin
1 drop peach liquid colorant
5 whole cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon fragrance oil
Lavender Flower
The lavender buds soap revealed that, like the whole rosemary leaves, lavender buds float.  This resulted in pouring three layers to achieve a more distributed appearance.  Their lovely purple-lavender color was diminished when exposed to the heat of the melted soap, while the green portions became more vibrantly green.  More importantly, heating the lavender buds (in the melted soap) seemed to have a "tea brewing" affect which turned the clear glycerin from a pale lilac color to something rather resembling tea.

Finally, as I did not stir-cool the melted base first, the jojoba beads melted down completely, which clouded the glycerin that should have, otherwise, remained clear.  OOPS!
Lavender Buds Soap
4 ounces clear glycerin
3 drops lilac liquid colorant
Lavender Ice soap glitter
1 pinch Sky Blue jojoba beads
3 pinches dried lavender buds
Lavender essential oil
Juniper Berries
Some believe juniper berries have anti- inflammatory properties.  Though there is, to my knowledge, no conclusive evidence to support this, there is evidence that suggests they, like many herbs, have antiseptic qualities.

As an additive, juniper berries would begin to fall apart as the soap wears down.  For that reason, I did not include the actual berry in my soap.  I made my own "juniper berries" using blue and purple liquid colorants in a half-and-half mixture of clear and white glycerin with Juniper Berry fragrance oil.  I simply scraped some soap from the berry color cube and rolled it into a "berry".  Multiple pours suspended the "berries" in a base of white glycerin, also scented with Juniper Berry, making this an EMBEDDED bar, not an additives bar.
Juniper Berries Embed Bar 
3 ounces white glycerin
17 homemade juniper berries (soap)
Juniper Berry fragrance oil
For more herbal additives bars, tips and recipes proceed to the following page.

The reverse, wavy side of this soap was pictured with the OOPS! soaps under "Uncontained Space" Cookie Cutter Soaps.
Basic Techniques