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THE ICONIC MARSEILLE SOAP

THE STORY:

The Marseille soap dates back from the 13th century but its popularity rises in the 17th century during King Louis XIV’s reign.

At this time, strict manufacturing rules were imposed, promoting local ingredients such as pure olive oil from Provence as well as
salt and sodium carbonate from the Camargue region, while animal fat was strictly forbidden (as it compromises the quality of the soap and damages laundry).

In 1906, the reference “Extra pur 72% d’huiles” (Extra pure, made with at least 72% of oil – olive, palm or coconut), becomes a guarantee of quality (limiting potential fraud as
some factories would make their soap with up to 50% of water, resulting in the loss of
half of its weight after only a few uses).

These cubes of Marseille soap (as pictured above) are over a hundred years old.

As you can see, they are still in pretty good shape and I could still use them if I wanted to but at this point, they have become décor in my house because they are so cool looking!

Nowadays, the authentic cube of Marseille is made in Marseille in the purest of tradition.
Traditionally cooked in a cauldron, and customary to its original formulation,

the soap is made from 72% pure vegetable oils including olive oil,

famous for its softening and protective properties,

while no animal fats and synthetic substances are added.

You can find these contemporary cubes of Marseille soap (above) for sale at our Scottsdale Marketplace location.

Its formula is simple, natural and effective:

  • Multi-use: Body, face, hair, laundry, etc.

  • Renowned cleaning efficiency and stain removal

  • Hypoallergenic, fragrance free, colorant and convervative free, ideal for sensitive and allergy- prone skin

  • Easily biodegradable and respectful of the environment

  • Healthy alternative to industrial chemical products

We also have these liquid Marseille hand soap pump bottles for sale at the boutique, in a variety of fragrances (e.g. Fig of Provence, Anise Lavender, Shea Butter, Mint Basil).

MY GRANDMA’S TRICK TO TACKLE LINENS STAINS:

My grandma would always keep a cube of Marseille soap handy for getting rid of the most difficult stains (e.g. oil, wine). Her process was simple and very efficient:


- Rub the stain with the cube of soap (dry cube on dry stain)


- Apply a few drops of water to the stain and “massage” the soap into the stain


- Machine wash


- Et voilà!

THE ICONIC MARSEILLE SOAP

Written by Sophie Christian

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Posted on January 19 2023

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