Our story

Marius Fabre

From 1900 to 1910

In 1900, barely 22, Marius Fabre founded his soap company in Salon-de-Provence.

 He started up in the garden shed, where he set up two cauldrons and a few moulds.

 At that time, Salon-de-Provence was an extremely prosperous city, thanks to the commerce of oil, soap and coffee. The abundance of raw materials in Provence (olive oil in the Alpilles, soda and salt in the Camargue and oils (coco-nut and palm) coming in from the colonies via the port of Marseilles) had made possible the development of the soap-making industry. The arrival of the railway in 1873 greatly facilitated commerce.

History of Marius Fabre, french Maseille soap manufacturer

From 1910 to 1920

Marius sold his first soaps under the brand names of «The Book», «The Knife», «The Planet» or yet, «Concord», he also traded in olive oil.

In 1914, called up at the beginning of the war, he left his wife, Marie, in charge of running the business. For four long years, with the help of an old Italian foreman, she carried on the production and sale of the soap.

In 1927, thanks to its success, the Marius Fabre company moved to its present premises, much larger and with space for the huge cauldrons necessary for soap making.

From 1920 to 1930

In 1927, thanks to its success, the Marius Fabre company moved to its present premises, much larger and with space for the huge cauldrons necessary for soap making.

The soap factory Marius Fabre in 1920
Fernand Fabre

From 1930 to 1950

In 1938, the eldest son of Marius, Fernand Fabre, took over the company from his father.

The Second World War breaked out, and rough materials were hard to find.

The 1940’s announced the decline of the soap industry in the Marseilles area. The Marius Fabre soap factory resisted, trying to find new outlets.

"La Sainte Famille" marseille soap brand

From 1950 to 1970

From the 1950’s onwards, the soap industry declined in the Marseilles area. There were several reasons for this :

  • the appearance of products for washing-machines ;
  • the creation of new soap companies in other regions ;
  • the development of supermarkets, which meant that consumers no longer stocked goods such as household soap.

Although many soap companies closed down, the Marius Fabre company managed to overcome difficulties.

In the 1960’s, the purchase of a famous brand name «La Sainte Famille» (The Holy Family) from the Roux company in Marseilles, gave new life to the Marius Fabre company.

Henri Fabre

From 1970 to 1980

In 1973, Henri Fabre, Marius’ youngest son took over the factory. Those were difficult years, as competition from petroleum-based products was fierce for the Marseille soap. Habits changed and with them customers.

Marie-Hélène Fabre et Robert Bousquet

From 1980 to 2000

In 1987, Henri handed the company over to his daughter Marie-Hélène, who had been working with him for several years, and to his son-in-law, Robert Bousquet.

Together, they decided to maintain the tradition of one of the oldest southern soap companies.

Marie et Julie Bousquet-Fabre

The 21th century

In 2020, the Marius Fabre soap company celebrated its 120th anniversary.

Today, Marius’ great grand daughters, Marie and Julie Bousquet-Fabre, are perpetuating  this great family adventure with the same passion.

Twenty five people work at the Marius Fabre company, which is represented in France and abroad by twenty sales representatives.

Participating alongside the Marius Fabre family, generations of local inhabitants have worked beside the factory cauldrons to contribute to the fame of Marseille soap and the Marius Fabre company.