Traditional French handmade soap was first manufactured in Marseille. It was made only of natural products without the addition of animal fats.
The French used soap since antiquity. In the 12th century, the capital of soap making was Marseille. Provencal soap was sold in 5 and 20 kilos bright green blocks.
An important factor of it's popularity was the law prohibited using the animal fats in production: this soap was made only of natural olive oil, soda or ash with the addition of salt from the Mediterranean Sea.
The stamp on the soap indicates that it consists 72% of the olive oil (although now it is more a tribute to the tradition since in our time more than 10 different additives and even animal fat are used).
Photo: Marseille soap, © Nik Photographie
How to do?
1. You can buy Marseille soap in local shops or supermarkets.
2. Choose a greenish soap with salty crystals on top and a quality stamp. This is how the first soap looked like.
A 300 grams bar of soap costs €3.
More things to do in Marseille
Taste the pastis
The most popular alcohol drink in France, which the locals and travelers like to drink as an aperitif in any time of the day. 24
An ancient French legend says that this fish soup goddess Aphrodite prepared to her lover in order to give him strength and energy for the whole day.2
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