Marseille soap: why we love it so much?

Panier des sens eco refill Liquid Marseille Soap with olive

Marseille soap is much more than a soap. Associated with our beautiful Provence, it reminds us of lavender fields, Marcel Pagnol's movies and pétanque games. Made from three simple and natural ingredients: vegetable oil and soda or potash. We tell you more through this article!

A little history

The origins of soap go back a long way. The concept of soap itself dates back to 2000 BC. Clay tablets have been found mentioning the use of a " soap paste ", which was used to prepare wool before dyeing in Mesopotamia. However, it was the Gauls, in Europe, who were the first to make soap from goat tallow (animal fat) and potash from beech ash. It is then in the Mediterranean basin that will develop its manufacture. Aleppo soap, originating from Syria, based on olive oil and oil of bay laurel, arrived on the coasts of Marseille. It is from this time, that the Marseille soap was born with the first official Marseille soap maker: Crescas Savi in 1971.

The first soap factories appeared from the 15th century in the region and it is in the 16th and 17th century that the industry develops thanks to the regulation set up by the Edict of Colbert in 1688. The regulation emphasized the use of local raw materials such as pure olive oil coming only from Provence as well as salt and soda, brought from Camargue. The use of tallow, which compromised the quality of the soap, was also prohibited. It damaged the linen whereas Marseille soap could be used in the laundry.

The real Marseille soap, how is it made ?

We went to the Unicorn Soap Factory in Marseille and to the Marseille Soap Museum to discover all its secrets, especially the making of Marseille soap.

The first step is hot saponification. Oil and soda are mixed in the cauldron to make soap. The raw soaps will be cut. They are then put in a machine which will transform them into pellets. These pellets will be put in a rolling mill to make rolls. This allows torefine and homogenize the soap and to obtain chips of Marseille soap. Then we pass in a second rolling mill, still to homogenize the soap. The soap will be poured into a plodder which will produce a soap strand. Pieces of soap will be cut, then each piece will be molded or stamped (signature of the brand on the soap).

The manufacture of solid and liquid Marseille soap is not exactly the same. For a liquid soap, potash is used in the first step of saponification. The soap molecule has a very different structure than solid soap, because soap does not harden and remains soft.

Marseille soap, its uses and benefits

An authentic Marseille soap must be made of exclusively vegetable oils and not of animal fats.

Surgras, our liquid hand soaps, are naturally rich in moisturizing glycerin from the traditional saponification process in the cauldron of master soap makers. They clean gently. Sulfated surfactant free, dermatologically tested, their formula is composed of up to 97% of ingredients of natural origin. Moisturizing, resulting from the process of traditional saponification with the cauldron, the glycerin is naturally present in our Liquide Marseille Soaps. Able to retain up to 25% of its weight in water, it acts as a water reservoir for the skin and is thus an excellent moisturizing agent. It is also known for its emollient and protective properties. Olive oil, an active ingredient in some of our liquid soaps, has antioxidant properties that help fight skin aging. A true luxury alchemy, it delays cellular aging, thanks to the vitamin E that fights the formation of free radicals. It also improves the quality of the skin thanks to its nourishing and toning action in depth.

Marseille soap is also an effective detergent. It is perfect as a base to create your own homemade laundry, thanks to its legendary cleaning and degreasing efficiency. Liquid black soap is perfect for this purpose!

The composition of Liquid Marseille Soap is different from that of solid soap. Indeed, in the Liquid Marseille Soap, it is possible to add adjuvants (essential oils or perfume absolutes) of lavender, Orange Blossom, verbena, almond or jasmine essence and make it the most precious soap. Travel to Provence with our Marseille soaps with sweet Mediterranean fragrances.

The Liquid Marseille Soap in limited edition, at the Olive

Back to the roots with theoriginal scent of Olive Marseille soap to celebrate our hometown and its ancestral know-how. Our reusable glass bottle displays, for the time of a limited edition, a neon blue as intense as the city's light. Wild, (re)beautiful, urban, plural. Practical, this glass bottle is refillable and reusable ad infinitum thanks to our eco-refills. You can also refill your glass bottle with our liquid soap dispensers in our stores. Discover our liquid Marseille soap with Olive.


Panier des sens eco refill Liquid Marseille Soap with olive


Marseille soap with lavender essential oil

The classic, the inescapable, the bright blue flower of the lavender of Provence with its intense perfume and which transports you to the doors of Aix-en-Provence in the region of Provence, memories of summer vacations, surrounded by fields of lavender. Take a break, discover our Marseille soap, solid or liquid, with soothing lavender.


Panier des sens eco refill Liquid Marseille Soap with lavender

Marseille soap with verbena essential oil

Enjoy the scent of the delicate and fine flowers of the verbena, immerse yourself in a bath of foam and close your eyes, and think that you are lying in a field of verbena in Provence under the soft rays of the sun. Discover our Marseille soap, solid or liquid, with Relaxing Verbena.

Panier des sens Liquid Marseille Soap with verbena essential oil

Marseille soap with jasmine perfume absolute

Jasmine isthe most intense perfume of Provence with its floral fragrance of Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute: illuminated by the brightness of fruity notes slightly honeyed. It reveals an armful of white flowers with voluptuous and generous notes. The heart of Jasmine, both poetic and sensual, is carried by a background of light wood delicately musky. Discover our Marseille soap, solid or liquid, with Precious Jasmine.

Panier des sens Liquid Marseille Soap with jasmine

Marseille soap with Orange Blossom perfume absolute 

Spring, which arrives in Provence, "the pretty season" as the song says, and with it, the magical and sweet scent of orange blossoms, and its memories through this fragrance... This is what the bewitching fragrance of Orange Blossom makes us think of. After a planty start with small grains, a joyful and addictive Orange Blossom is revealed, revealing sunny and generous heart notes. Picked at the beginning of spring, Orange Blossom exhales a unique and bewitching sunny scent. Its citrus freshness echoes the radiance of the Mediterranean, a true ode to light and lightness. Discover our Marseille soap, solid or liquid, with Orange Blossom.


Panier des sens eco recharge Liquid Marseille Soap at the Orange Blossom