Soap with olive oil: nourishing properties

Close your eyes for a moment and think to yourself: what does clean smell like? How does it make you feel? Where does that thought take you?

We all have our own subjective view of what clean smells like – it’s something that varies from person to person and is closely tied to our individual memories and experiences. And yet, for all of us, it’s a smell that evokes pleasant thoughts and brings back good memories.

It’s the smell that used to waft out from our grandmother’s wardrobes or drawers, where she used to hide away little bags of lavender or bars of soap. It’s the smell of children after bath time. It’s that fresh, vibrant smell of Marseille soap which conjures up images of wet laundry hung out in the sun to dry.

From Aleppo to Marseille: the ancient tradition of soap

The product we now know as Marseille soap actually derives from ancient Aleppo soap, the oldest kind of soap in the world, which was being produced in Mesopotamia way back in 2500 BC.

This ancient soap production technique, based on the use of two ingredients, olive oil and laurel oil, spread throughout the Mediterranean after the Crusades, reaching Italy and Spain too. But it was in Marseille that the technique really took hold – and was quickly adopted by local producers.
In around 1688, during the reign of Louis XIV, a decree was passed down stating that Marseille soap could only be produced in that area, using specific ingredients.

According to some sources, this ancient soap production technique was also adopted outside of the Marseille area, but the king’s intervention tied production to that specific area and created a brand of sorts – one that became recognized across Europe. In the centuries that followed, Marseille grew to be one of the main soap production hubs in the continent, and by the start of the 20th century the region had around 90 soap factories.

Over the years, the recipe for Marseille soap underwent tweaks and changes, but to this day the best Marseille soap is still made from just a few select ingredients.

The essence of clean: Olive Oil Bar Soap

What makes the ideal everyday bar soap? For us, a good bar soap should feel delicate and pleasant on the skin, produce a nice lather and give off a subtle perfume.

And it was based on these principles that, back in the 1970s, we created our Olive Oil Bar Soap, a proper Marseille soap with a unique formulation specially designed for washing the body every day. The high content of unsaponifiables in olive oil gives our Bar Soap restorative, soothing and antioxidant properties which make it suitable for more delicate skin types too.

Our Olive Oil Bar Soap is neutral, dermatologically tested on sensitive skin types and suitable for full-body hygiene. It can be used every day for handwashing or in the shower. It cleans delicately, creating a pleasant lather and leaving the skin feeling soft.

The unique smell of the soap derives from the presence of essential oils from Mediterranean flora: it is a fresh, citrussy yet never overbearing fragrance, offering notes of bergamot, lavender and rosemary, with sweetness added by jasmine.

Thanks to its delicate yet lasting fragrance, our Olive Oil Bar Soap is also perfect for scenting drawers. Could this be that clean smell you remember from your grandmother’s wardrobe?

The new shape of delicacy: Olive Oil Liquid Soapbottle

Solid or liquid – which do you prefer? We all have our own habits and preferences when it comes to soap. As such, in 2010 we launched our Olive Oil Liquid Soapbottle, which channels the traditions of Marseille into liquid format.

We use olive oil in the saponification process, which allows us to create a proper, completely plant-based olive oil liquid soap with a pleasant, creamy texture. It’s different from regular synthetic liquid soaps because it contains no chemical surfactants or aggressive foaming agents. The presence of the unsaponifiable part of the olive oil makes this soap suitable for everyday use, because it leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Thanks to its completely plant-based formulation, our sulphate-free Olive Oil Liquid Soapbottle allows you to take care of your skin while being kind to the environment. Unlike many synthetic soaps, our product is not a pollutant.

Our soaps are suitable for the needs of all the family, because they respect the more delicate skin of children too. They can be used every day, from the moment you wake up and get ready for the day right through to your evening shower – and even when you’re doing the laundry too! Learn more on our website.