A traditional method

Between science & alchemy

Marseille soap traditional cauldrons

"For over a hundred years, we have tasted our soap in the cauldrons to check on perfect manufacture. If the paste stings the tongue it means the soap needs another rinse in pure water. Who today still has such know-how?"

The fabrication of  Marseille soap was born and developped through practice during centuries, based on observation and human sensibility. As they mastered this bubbling, steaming paste, soap makers were born as “fire masters”, watching over a fabrication close to alchemy.

Under Louis XVI reign

In 1688, Louis XIV laid down by means of an Edict by (the king’s minister Colbert), the rules which institutionalised Marseille soap : production in cauldrons and only based on vegetable oils.

But it was not until the early 19th century that the saponification process was codified and later analysed in laboratories.

Colbert Edit : the rules of Marseille soap manufacturing

A unique know-how still alive

Marseille soap flow

Through the traditionnal production of Marseille soap in cauldrons is less and less followed, the Marius Fabre soap company in Salon-de-Provence has, since 1900, kept this unique know-how alive by handling it down from generation to generation.

At the Marius Fabre soap company, we still use the traditional method of fabrication, supported by chemical analysis of the paste at the end of the process, and we take time necessary to produce “real” Marseille soap as it should be done.