Savon (soap) de Marseille
photo taken at
Olivier St Helena St Helena Napa Valley
I love these soaps!
In the Middle Ages big blocks of olive oil soap were first crafted in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille with olive oil from local groves, marine ash and sea salted water. The quality of these soaps were immediately famous throughout Europe and in 1688 French law declared that only soaps made according to certain ancient methods could bear the important mark Savon de Marseille. Now the most prized of all soaps in the world, our Savon de Marseille is still crafted by hand, in Marseille, just as it has been for hundreds of years.
It takes the Maitre de Savon (soapmaster) two weeks to make Marseille Soap. The purest ingredients are heated for ten days in antique cauldrons. The soapmaster knows just the right moment to pour the mixture into open pits where it slowly hardens. Cut into cubes and stamped, without machines of any kind, the soaps are then set out to dry in the sun and cool winds.
Savon de Marseille is recommended by dermatologists throughout the world for dry or sensitive skin, eczema and other ailments. In France it has been trusted for generations to cleanse everything from linens to little faces.
Marseille Soap is totally biodegradable, requires little packaging and its manufacture is environmentally friendly. Authentic Marseille Soap is stamped with its weight in grams - a practice left over from years ago which allowed households to compare prices and plan their inventories. This gram weight is the weight of the soap "frais," or fresh, in the factory. The soap will lose weight as it becomes drier and it will weigh less than the "fresh weight" when you receive it.