Also called "bath candy" or "tub truffles", these luxurious bath melts truly are a treat for any bath! The rich, chocolate scent of cocoa butter and the aroma of your chosen essential oil or blend combine for a perfect aromatic masterpiece that is not only pleasing to your sense of smell, but leaves your skin feeling wonderful as well! Making some of these bath melts for your friends can be a lot of fun—but be sure to save a few of these delightsome treats for yourself as well!
Cocoa butter (1/4 cup): This can be found at many health stores, or any other store that sells soap or lotion making supplies.
Sweet almond oil (2 Tbsp): This can be found at many grocery stores and health stores.
Essential oils (10-20 drops): These not only give your bath melts their own unique scent, they also add the benefits of the essential oil you use to your bath melt creations. Some essential oils that work well are peppermint (especially good with the chocolate aroma of the cocoa butter for creating a mint-chocolate bath melt!), geranium or lavender.
Pack cocoa butter into a one-fourth-cup size measuring cup until it is packed level with the top, then dump the cocoa butter into a heat-proof measuring cup (such as a Pyrex™ brand measuring cup).
Place the heat-proof measuring cup in a large frying pan that is filled with 1" of hot water.
Place the frying pan and measuring cup on the stove and turn the burner on low.
Stir the mixture in the measuring cup with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer every couple of minutes until the cocoa butter is just melted (about 5-10 minutes).
Add 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil to the melted cocoa butter and stir together.
Turn off stove and carefully remove the measuring cup from the frying pan and place the measuring cup on a towel on a counter-top or table.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes).
Add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oil or blend and stir.
Pour the mixture into small candy or soap molds (an ice-cube tray also works if you don't have candy molds). Carefully place the candy molds with the bath melt mixture in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the bath melts have solidified all the way through. Don't leave them in the freezer too long, or else your bath melts will freeze, causing them to crack and split apart.
Tip: The flexibility of the candy molds can make it difficult to move them with the liquid mixture without having it spill out of the molds. It is quite a bit easier to place the candy mold on a small cutting board, baking sheet, or other stiff tray before filling, and then to move the tray with the filled molds sitting on top into the freezer.
Remove the solidified bath melts from the freezer and pop them out of their molds. If desired, wrap with colored foil squares or tissue paper while still cold. Store your bath melts in a cool location. This recipe makes about 10-12 small bath melts.
To use the bath melts, place one or two (depending on the size of the bath melts and the desired strength of aroma) in a hot bath and enjoy! The bath melts will quickly melt in the warm water, leaving behind a wonderful aroma, and the skin conditioning properties of the cocoa butter, almond oil, and any essential oil you used.
Use ultramarine powders or other natural powders and oil-soluble colorants to color your bath melts. Add the colorant after adding the essential oil, and hand whisk the color into the liquid mixture for even distribution.
Try using different animal shaped molds to create your own "Bear Bath Melts," "Tantalizing Tub Toads," "Scrumptious Shower Sharks" or whatever else you desire. Wrap your bath melts with a colored foil that matches the animal (green for frogs, gold for bears, etc...), then use paint, markers, or stickers to create eyes, mouths, and other items on the foil to decorate it like the animal inside. (To make the white part of the toad's eyes in the picture above, I actually used a quick-drying white out. I then used a black permanent marker to make the smiles and the dark parts of the eyes).
Place several bath melts in a small container or basket to give away as gifts (I used a 4 oz. plastic salve jar decorated with a label I quickly created on my computer using clip art and a fun font; this size jar holds eight or nine small bath melts). Combine some of the bath melts with some aromatherapy soaps and some exfoliating foot scrub for an aromatic-bath gift basket.
If you are looking for some blend ideas that you can use for your bath melt creations, try the book 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller. This book contains some great smelling blend formulas. For more information about the ingredients in this recipe, and other natural ingredients that you can use in health and beauty products, see the book Making Aromatherapy Creams & Lotions by Donna Maria.