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Savon de Marseille
Handcrafted large soap bar made from pure olive oil, sea water, and soda ash derived from marine plants. Gentle enough for skin and can be used for laundry, household cleaning, and much more. Made in Marseille, France. (
This olive oil soap has been made the same way for centuries from ingredients that are all native to Provence: olive oil, sea water, plants from the Mediterranean Sea. Completely plant-based and biodegradable. Hypoallergenic; made without additives, dyes, or perfumes. Never tested on animals.
Cut a loaf of soap bars using a wire
Use & Care
Gentle enough to use daily on skin; because it has neither chemicals nor detergents, it won't strip skin of its natural oils. Use it also for shaving, as shampoo, or for brushing teeth. Shave off flakes to use for washing laundry, and because of its mildness, it's good for delicates and baby clothes. It can be used as a stain remover, to clean leather, and for all kinds of household chores, including cleaning dishes, floors, walls, kitchen, bathroom, etc. It can also be used for killing the aphids that plague your plants (make a dilute solution and spray affected areas), defending your clothes against moths (hang a piece in your wardrobe), and supposedly even relieving cramps (though this one may just be an old wives' tale).
Production & Design
Since the Middle Ages big blocks of olive oil soap have been crafted in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, an area that is naturally endowed with the raw materials used to make it: olive oil from local groves, marine ash, and sea water. In 1688, under Louis XIV, the Sun King, French law declared that only soaps made according to traditional methods, ”without animal fats, could bear the mark Savon de Marseille".
It takes the Maître de Savon, or master soapmaker, two weeks to make each batch. The ingredients are heated for ten days in enormous antique cauldrons. Historically, the master soapmaker would taste the mixture to determine whether it was correct, but a better modern understanding of the soapmaking process has eliminated that step. The mixture is then poured into open pits to harden. The slabs are cut into cubes and stamped, then set out to dry in the sun and the Mistral winds.
Tallow soap making, engraving
300 g: 1.75 inches x 2.25 inches by 3.75 inches
600 g: 3-inch cube
Olive oil (72%), salt water, soda ash
Savon Nostalgie Series via Savon de Marseille