Swirly Birds of Paradise Tropical Soap for Valentine’s Day

Here’s a useful and whimsical gift idea for your loved ones – Birds of Paradise tropical scented pure coconut oil soap!  The fragrances in this soap combine sweet and tangy fruity scents with island hibiscus, making for a true tropical getaway.

This is another one of my favorite superfatted pure coconut oil soaps – I explain why I like these so much in my instructional for making pure coconut oil soap.  This one also has coconut milk, which makes the soap extra moisturizing.  I turns out a bit softer than the pure coconut oil soap, but I actually prefer this blend.

Here’s how to make it.

Remember, before handling the lye, that lye is very caustic and dangerous.  Ensure that it does not touch your skin directly while you’re making the soap – it will burn if it does! Always wear safety gloves and goggles when using lye, and do not breathe in the fumes.


  • 30 ounces pure coconut oil (the kind with a 76 degree F melting point works best – the packaging will usually tell this)
  • 3.8 ounces lye
  • 12 ounces water
  • 2 tbsp (1 ounce) of CandleScience’s Island Hibiscus fragrance oil
  • 2 tbsp (1 ounce) of CandleScience’s Passionfruit and Guava fragrance oil
  • 6 tbsp (3 ounces) cream of coconut milk
  • 10 drops red food coloring


  1. Wearing plastic gloves and goggles, measure the lye in a Pyrex bowl and set aside
  2. Measure the water in another Pyrex bowl and set aside.
  3. Still wearing protective gear, slowly add the lye to the water while stirring.  Never pour the water into the lye! It will cause a caustic lye volcano.
  4. Let the water/lye mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and pour in a mixing bowl.  I like to use a KitchenAid for my soap mixing.
  6. Start mixing the coconut oil and slowly pour the lye in the oil while mixing.
  7. Add the coconut milk while mixing.
  8. Add the fragrance oil and keep mixing.
  9. Mix until it forms a nice trace.  A good soap “trace” means that the oil and lye have successfully mixed and the mixture will look like pudding with no evidence of separation.  In the KitchenAid, this takes about 45 minutes for me.
  10. Pour 2/3 of the mixture into a soap mold.  I love using a silicone soap mold because the soap comes out easily after it has hardened.
  11. Now add about 10 drops of red food coloring to the remaining 1/3 of the soap mixture and mix until the color is well blended.
  12. Pour the remaining pink mixture down the center of the mold in one long line.
  13. Now take a toothpick to make swirls, then take the toothpick in a line down the center for effect.
  14. At various intervals between 12 and 24 hours later, check the soap to see if it is cool enough and hard enough to cut. You don’t want to wait too long or it will be too hard to cut, yet you don’t want to cut it too early while it is still soft. This part is tricky as cutting times can vary based on how the soap turned out and on the humidity and temperature of your house.
  15. If it appears to be ready, go ahead and cut your soap. My favorite tool for cutting is the Multi-Bar Cutter from Bramble Berry. It is a bit expensive, though, so if you don’t make soaps all the time like I do, then a smaller cutter works just fine.
  16. Let your soap sit for about a week to let it fully harden.

Your Birds of Paradise soap is now ready!  Wrap it in pink and white tissue paper for gifts or treat yourself to a tropical spa!

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