December 8, 2011
1 Savon de Marseille
2 Savon de Marseille
‘Savon de Marseille’ is one of the world’s most popular and well-known soaps, which is as popular today as it once when it was originally created many centuries ago. Being made from a delicate blend of water from the Mediterranean Ocean and the region’s finest olive oil, ‘savon de Marseille’ really epitomises the essence of the city of Marseille and the Cote d’Azur – luxurious, refined and brimming with natural beauty!
This height of luxury soap dates back more than 600 years when the first documented soap maker of the Cote d’Azur province reportedly created Marseille soap.
The soap rapidly became a symbol of wealth and taste across France, and so popular had it become, that in 1688, King Louis XIV, otherwise known as “King Louis the Great”, inaugurated regulations so that the name ‘savon de Marseille’ could not be used anywhere but in Marseille and its surrounding areas.
By the early 20th century production of the Marseille soap had reached a phenomenal 180,000 tons a year, and in 1924 there was a total of 132 soap-making factories in Marseille and the Cote d’Azur, all churning out the sweet-smelling soap in abundance.
Modern day varieties of the Marseille soap boast little differences since the original production of the world-famous cleanser.
The Cote d’Azur’s distinct cuisine comprising of lashings of olive oil remains, since antiquity, one of the main ingredients of the Marseille soap and the one that gives the soap its feeling of both lavishness and delicateness.
Water taken from the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea is another component of the Marseille soap, which gives it its unique therapeutic and healing powers.
Although despite its uncanny longevity at producing the Marseille soap by using the same ingredients and the same traditional manner of being heated for ten days in an antique cauldron and then set out to dry in the sun the Cote d’Azur is blessed with nearly all year round, there is now a palm oil variety that turns the legendary soap a shade of green – Taken from the oil of the many palm trees that line the Cote d’Azur’s many beautiful promenades, boulevards and shorelines, the palm oil version of the Savon de Marseille is another visible reminder that a soap can be resonant of an area!