Marseille soap

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Zany_in_CO

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I was soap browsing this afternoon when I came across this recipe for Marseille soap in Soap Naturally by Patrizia Garzena and Marina Tadiello. I remember a French gal on one of the forums years ago who commented that Savon de Marseille is a rather common soap (I s'pose like Ivory Soap in the USA) that was used for general household cleaning -- floors, laundry, but not so much for bathing. Any way, if anyone is interested, here's the recipe.

Read more about this soap here:
Savon de Marseille

I had no idea that Marseille, France is on the Cote d'Azur. Cool. :cool:
 

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Curtis

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The description on the recipe says it's laundry soap. Any reason this could not also be a bath soap? It doesn't look harsh at all. Maybe make it with beer or add some sugars to add some bubbles?
 

Zany_in_CO

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@Curtis As with most recipes, feel free to tweak to your heart's content. Personally, I'm fascinated to see how well a 50/50 OO and tallow soap cleans. Adding beer or sugar is probably a good idea to boost lather.
 

Emmanuel

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Hey ! did this thread needs a french history guy ? (probably not)
The name "marseille soap" referes to the french "savon de marseille" and traditionally, this is a 100% olive oil soap and it has been for centuries !
In 1688, a law was past to declare that only olive oil could be used in this soap. But in the XXth century, english soap made with animal fats where much cheaper and the original marseille soap suffer from it. The restriction on olive oil became less and less revelant. Now "savon de marseille" is not regulated wich means you can name literally anything "savon de marseille". This receipe can totally be called "savon de marseille" but has nothing special, for me , a true soap of marseille would be a castille made by hot process (because the soap of marseille is also about the process) since marseille is an olive oil producing region.
the more you know ^^
 

Emmanuel

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Quick question @Emmanuel... do you or have you ever used it? Whacha think of it? How common is it in French homes?
I've never used a real soap of marseille (with olive oil that is) , now a lot of them are made with a lot of palm oil. In my experience the scent (due from the pomace olive oil) is unpleasant. They are more aggressive than CP soap (there is no glycerin in soap of marseille due to the process). Basically evry person in france know about marseille soap but they don't necessairly know about the palm oil nowadays. It's not really used anymore for shower and body.
 

Froogly

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Marseille soap is traditionally 100% olive, hot process and the soap paste is washed with brine to remove glycerin which would make it unsuitable for use as a laundry soap. So it is like a 0% superfatted glycerine-free castille. Not the most gentle for cosmetic use but fine for household. Making a comeback in flake form, as a laundry powder.
 

Dianae

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Quick question @Emmanuel... do you or have you ever used it? Whacha think of it? How common is it in French homes?
I lived in Paris for a semester in college in the late 90s. I traveled with our class and instructors to the Loire Valley on through the south of France towards Nice. It was such a beautiful experience. We visited castles, churches, gardens, sampled wines, bread, cheese, and had many opportunities to shop for local products, lavender bundles, olive oils, textiles, etc, etc. We were fortunate to tour one of the olive oil producers in the southern region. We tasted the pure olive oil on French bread (yum!) I no longer recall the producer but I do recall buying two cubes of Savon du Marseille, 100% Huile d’Olive; each side of the muddy-green cube was stamped and always wondered how they did it. They were hefty, somewhat awkward to shower with but I bought them anyway. I used one and still have the other to this day, somewhere.... I remember it hardly lathered and it smelled earthy and natural. I don’t recall feeling clean after using it either, prob because I associated lather with cleaning action. Skin was soft though. No artificial fragrances whatsoever. It lasted for quite some time. The one I still have floating somewhere turned brown on the outer layer from age (not surprised for +20yo soap cube). I won’t be using it to bathe, but when I find it, I’ll upload a pic if anyone cares to see it. Had I known then about my homemade soap hysteria, I would have asked too see how it was made! Ahhh, memories......
 

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