Savon de Marseille process (?)

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SimpleSoaper

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I'm wondering if anyone here is has some thoughts about what goes into making savon de Marseille soap. First, I'm wondering what gives it the green color. When making 100% OO soap at home, it does not have the same dark green color as the Marseille soap. I've read that some French soaps contain green clay that gives them the color, but I also have to wonder about Papoutsanis soap, which is also a dark green. The ingredients list for Papoutsanis does not contain any green clay. Is it the type of olive oil they use that makes it dark green? Maybe a less refined olive oil?

I'm also wondering about the scent. The Marseille soap I've used has a nice earthy scent, but the OO soaps I've made smell more like raw olive oil (which I don't care for). Again, "earthy" makes me think clay, but is there any other ingredient or process that would give it this smell? I've tried adding green clay to a couple of batches of OO soap, but it did not impart any noticeable fragrance.

I'd love to find a recipe or process that approximates savon de Marseille soap. The next thing I plan to try is to make a hot process batch of OO soap, and then do a salt water boil. From what I've read , they do something like this as part of the savon de Marseille soapmaking process to remove impurities. Maybe this removes the olive oil smell as well?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

Obsidian

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I would guess the color is from unfiltered OO that is very dark green and murky. If you watch this video, that dark green oil they add is OO. I'm not sure you can get oil like this, at least not in the US.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTADF_FDbkw[/ame]

Before you try any kind of salt boil, also called salting out, do some research. Yes it removes impurities but it also removes any superfat and all the glycerin. Salting out was originally done because the purity of lye was hard to calculate and salting removed excess lye. With todays lye, salting isn't necessary and can actually make the soap harsher due the the removal of glycerin.
 

SimpleSoaper

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Thanks Obsidian. I've seen that video in the past and was impressed by the dark color of the olive oil. There are several "unfiltered" olive oils on the market, but none are as dark as that stuff they were using. It makes me wonder if that was the leftover bits from the olive squeezings or something...

Regarding the salt extraction, I've read several write-ups describing the Marseille soap making process, and quite a few mention that they add saltwater at some point after the oil/lye mixing to "remove impurities". It seems that most of these write-ups are written by people who do not really understand the process, or are perhaps simplifying things so it can be understood by a general audience, so it's kind of hard to know exactly what the process is. I did not know that salting out removes glycerine, so I will keep that in mind. I'll probably try a small batch to see how it comes out.
 

Soapmaker145

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Aleppo soap gets its color from laurel oil which is a dark green oil with distinctive smell. It is added at 10 to 20% of the oil similar to coconut. It not only adds the green color, it adds a distinctive smell and short chain fatty acids similar to coconut that improve the lather. The result is a unique soap that requires a long cure just like any other olive oil soap. I've received some as a gift and I've wanted to try laurel oil ever since. The only source I've found is from Turkey and I've not wanted to venture that far to source an oil.

The organic extra virgin olive oil from Soaper's Choice is a dark green but it produces a light bar. The green color from olive oil does not survive the cp process.

I remember reading about the Savon de Marseille soap process. The soap needs to be pressed after removing the glycerin which requires equipment that aren't readily available to home soapers.
 

shunt2011

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I have made an Aleppo type soap and the oil is actually used between 10-40%. I used 30% per a recipe I found. It's an unusual soap with the sane type of lather as a 100% OO soap. It's very slimey and smells like split pea soup. Mine is now 8 months old and I test it every couple weeks

I got the oil in a co-op purchase. 1 have another lb left but not sure I'll make it again.
 

Soapmaker145

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Shunt, you probably didn't have the right laurel oil. It should have smelled green and peppery with a touch of juniper. The lather should have felt more like 80% OO, 20% coconut soap. If I had to choose a favorite scent for a soap, I'd probably pick the laurel oil. The only sources for it that I know of are Syria and Turkey which makes me suspicious of the supply we get in the US.
The soap I got was sourced from Syria and bought in France by a family member.
SimpleSoaper, please share your experience with the bescented oil.
 

shunt2011

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I most certainly do. It came from a very reliable supplier. They are a Soapmaking supplier and sourced it from out of the country. She also has a Facebook group. I had a friend bring me a soap from Syria and its very similar.

The scent of it definitely changes from bottle to soap.
 
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penelopejane

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I have made quite a few 100% OO batches of soap now using different OO and think the OO you use makes a huge difference. (Still not passed a year old so not conclusive yet). I am not sure how you would go about sourcing the right olive oil for the savon de Marseille.
Duplicate sorry I shouldn't post from my mobile :(
Duplicate sorry.
I most certainly do. It came from a very reliable supplier. They are a Soapmaking supplier and sourced it from out of the country. She also has a Facebook group. I had a friend bring me a soap from Syria and its very similar.

The scent of it definitely changes from bottle to soap.

Did you like the original Syrian soap? Was it cured a long time? Did your soap turn out the same? I am interested to know if they use some secret ingredient that you don't know about.
 
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shunt2011

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It was very similar to mine but a bit harsher. I think I likely used a higher SF. I'm also sure it was much older than mine. It was a good experiment. I keep a bar in the bathroom and use it periodically mostly on my face. It is a gentle bar of soap.
 

SimpleSoaper

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Shunt, you probably didn't have the right laurel oil. It should have smelled green and peppery with a touch of juniper. The lather should have felt more like 80% OO, 20% coconut soap. If I had to choose a favorite scent for a soap, I'd probably pick the laurel oil. The only sources for it that I know of are Syria and Turkey which makes me suspicious of the supply we get in the US.
The soap I got was sourced from Syria and bought in France by a family member.
SimpleSoaper, please share your experience with the bescented oil.
There is a video by the bescented lady in the link I gave above, where she says that she sources the oil in large quantities and then repackages it. I can't remember if she says where - it's been several days since I watched the video, but I'm thinking Turkey. Anyway, this oil smells like your description above so hopefully it's the real deal. The reviews on the bescented website were all positive.
 

Soapmaker145

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Anyway, this oil smells like your description above so hopefully it's the real deal. The reviews on the bescented website were all positive.
That sounds very promising. You may have the correct oil. The one source I found was from Turkey and had certified organic oil. I bookmarked it but I'm not finding it right now.

I have 2 lovely laurel trees (Laurus Nobilis) that I grow in pouches to bring them in for the winter. We use them for cooking (bay leaves). They haven't flowered yet and I have no idea if I'll ever get any fruit out of them. I'm curious to smell the actual fruit. The composition of the oils from the leaves, flowers and fruit are similar (published reports). The scent of the soap I got was very similar to the leaves from my trees with additional deeper notes. The ingredient list didn't have any FOs or EOs. The similarity to the actual trees is what I'm going by. The laurel oil is supposed to be pressed from the fruit and contains both essential and non-essential oils. The soap was very mild and lasted a long time.
 
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