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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Savon de Marseille

I've just returned from a glorious Mediterranean cruise. This trip has been on the bucket list for quite some time and Scott and I finally decided it was the perfect way to celebrate our 42nd anniversary. My sister Rose and her husband joined us - she was celebrating a milestone birthday, her 60th. 

The weather in May was fabulous, typically in the 60's and 70's and mostly sunny. One of our ports of call was Marseille, the second largest city in France.
Marseille as a port city on the Mediterranean coast is known for it's shipping and commerce, fishing, and tourism industries. Guess what else it's known for? Soap! 

The history of soap making in Marseille goes back  over 600 years. Then, as today, the soap is made from a mixture of sea water from the Mediterranean Sea, olive oil and alkaline ash from sea plants. These are heated for several days in a large cauldron then poured into molds and while still soft cut into bars and stamped with the traditional label
 "Savon de Marseille". I had to ask the shop keeper why the soap was imprinted with a horseshoe. She explained that there are only a few factories still making the authentic Savon de Marseille, one of the them is la savonnerie Fer de Cheval - or Iron Horse factory.

 Savon de Marseille Olive-300g
Image result for pre de provence

These traditional soaps come in many different colors and scents. I'm partial to lavender and verbena but you can find rose, almond, sandalwood, lemon, pineapple, eucalyptus, and more.

The palm oil block is used for laundry, favored for it's degreasing properties. The olive oil soap is rich in vitamin E and will leave your skin soft and smooth.

Soap from Marseille makes for a great souvenir or inexpensive gift for those on your list who had to stay at home!

I like to join

1 comment :

  1. I am so jealous -- France is on MY bucket list! Sounds like you had a good time. I know I would have bought lots of soap! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen