Traditional French Soaps

Our Original French Soap is made from olive oil, in the same manner that it has been made in and around Marseille for over 600 years. This method of production guarantees both purity and a soap which simply doesn’t have harmful chemicals found in most high street soaps.

In fact, in 1688 Louis XIV introduced regulations known as the ‘Edict of Colbert’, limiting the name Savon de Marseille to soap produced in this way and within the area.

Traditionally the soap is made by mixing olive oil with soda ash and lye in huge cauldrons. The process takes about two weeks from start to finish. The ingredients are mixed and then rinsed with salt water (traditionally Mediterranean sea-water) to remove excess soda. The mixture is then heated and stirred for about ten days and then rinsed in fresh water. The hot ‘paste’ is then cooled and poured into moulds where it starts to dry. Two days later it is then cut into blocks, cubes or bars which are further dried before being hand stamped.

The stamp guarantees that there is at least 72% oil in the soap. The original product is unperfumed (see our original cubes) but individual soap makers add fragrances. Some manufacturers add shea butter or honey but we believe that this adulterates the product. Regrettably some of our soaps contain palm oil as well as olive oil but the amount of oil remains at 72%.

Because the soap contains only natural ingredients it is very kind to the skin. Many users report that they no longer use moisteriser and eczema sufferers often tolerate French Soap better than any other.

Our range of Original French Soaps only contains olive oil and we sell only fragrances typical of the region.