The Savonnerie du Midi is one of the last factories using the traditional Method of a Master Soapmaker.
THE SOAP FACTORY
Founded in Marseille in 1894, the Savonnerie du Midi is one of Marseille's last historic soap factories to continue traditional Marseille soap's recipe and " in the know-how". La Savonnerie du Midi is a founding member of the Union of Marseille Soap Professionals. This century-old soap factory has received the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant label. This prize, created in 2005 and awarded by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, distinguishes French companies which preserve the traditional know-how of excellence!
After the Second World War, the Savonnerie facilities relocated to the current Aygalades site in the 15th arrondissement of Marseille.
The management of the time, attached to the boilers traditional production method, then built five more boilers benefiting from all the moment's technological advances (with gas and steam heating).
These Natural Marseille soaps made purely and traditionally of the yesteryear boilers. With award-winning organic vegetable oils and eco-friendly soap, you can carefully perfume your home's interiors.
For those who want to take care of their little nest, La Corvette Traditional Marseille soap made of 72% Vegetable oil range of liquid or solid black soap with olive or lavender scents with linseed oil.
You cannot pass these multi-purpose soaps. It can be use for personal hygiene and household maintenance.
This cube, originally from Marseille, is still made in its region, using the traditional boiler method, under the watchful eye of a master soap maker, exclusively based on vegetable oils, without perfume, colouring or preservatives.
Marseille, the cradle of soap production
Since the Middle Ages, Marseille's city has been the cradle of natural olive oil-based soap production. In the 12th century, the city already had several soap factories, produced oil extracted from olives harvested in Provence and natural soda from plants in the saline environments of the Camargue.
Its specific climate is also conducive to the drying of soaps, by its heat and wind, the famous mistral.
Expansion of Marseille soap beyond borders
Crescas Davin was the city's first official soap maker in 1371. The first industrial factory appeared in the 15th century, exported to other European and the Mediterranean basin, benefiting from its geographical opening and historic port activity. Marseille soap then marketed in the form of green bars of 5 kg or more.
A decree to guarantee the geographical origin of the soap
In 1812, the number of Marseille soap factories rose to 62. Napoleon, sensitive to the benefits of genuine Marseille soap, adopted on December 22, 1812, a decree defining a specific brand, for now, famous soap bricks, "with a pentagon in the middle of which inscribed these words: olive oil, and, following the name of the manufacturer and that of the city of Marseille. "
The text ended with a warning: "Any private person established in a city other than that of Marseille, who sells soaps bearing the mark granted, will be punished with a fine, the soaps will also confiscate. This decree will strengthen the reputation of Marseille and its region.
The decline of Marseille soap
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Marseillaise soap industry, now numbering 90 soap factories, experienced dazzling prosperity before suffering the first slowdown during the 1st World War.
The decisions of the Aix en Provence Court of Appeal in 1927 and the Court of Cassation in 1928 redefine Marseille soap as a product exclusively made from vegetable oil, in a proportion of at least 72%. Production recovered in the interwar period, reaching 120,000 tonnes in 1938, thanks to advances in mechanization.
After a further decline in activity during World War II, the Marseille soap industry suffered a sharp decline, hit hard by competition from synthetic detergents.
The revival of Marseille soap
Since the 1980s, Marseille soap has experienced a genuine revival in response to the needs for naturalness and authenticity of an ever-increasing number of consumers. But with the importation of "soap paste" from different origins, avoiding the heavy and lengthy process of saponification in companies, many traditional "soap makers" then freed themselves from the conventional manufacturing steps, abandoning their professional soap maker to fashion the finished product. The usurpation of the name "Marseille soap" began in particular at that time.
Faced with this situation, the manufacturers of traditional Marseille soap created the "Union of Marseille Soap Professionals", the UPSM, an association under the 1901 law to defend and promote Marseille soap.
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