The Soap of Marseille Factory
I don’t know about you, but every time I travel, I can’t help but bring back something with me. Small items, spices, postcards, notebooks … As if they had the power of keeping a good moment, or extending the holiday a little bit more after I get back home…
This summer, I took advantage of our long drive to the south of France to stop admire the Mucem, a beautiful museum in Marseille! And that’s when it hit me.
What if we brought back Soap of Marseille ?
I know the idea may seem a bit funny knowing I can find it anytime at the Monop’ downstairs … But still I thought of “Le Sérail”, the latest craft and traditional soap factory based in the Phocaean city. An opportunity for a small family outing and to give a story to the soaps we would bring back with us. If, like me, you use a lot of it during the year, you’re gonna like this visit! Here we go !
Welcome to chauldron room !
The soap maker develops two types of soap: the white (vegetable oil) and the green (vegetable oil with 60% olive oil!). The task is to boil the mixture up to 100 degrees! Then…
They say taht the Master Soap Maker tastes his soap que !
In fact, he puts a drop of soap on his tongue. If it’s too salty, then it must be washed with water to remove the impurities. This is repeated until reaching the original taste, more sweet and smoother.
It looks like molten lava! The strong smell and the boiling soap make a really special atmosphere … I find myself in a sort of laboratory from 1949 !
Then the soap maker takes the dough into a large room and places it on a piece of wood. It is left there for 48 hours to cool down and harden.
Time to the cutting !
It’s incredible! I discover that it’s done mechanically. (Yes yes, by hand !!!)
Each piece of soap is placed on wooden shelves and kept for days to dry out.
C’est la dernière opération: l’estampillage.
You just can’t put out a single soap without reminding of the savoir-faire behind it. They are held one after the other inside a cube, which closes and prints on the soap different logos showing the composition and the origin of the merchandise.
And of course I had to leave with small memories … This is my selection! As I don’t like the smell to be too strong, I went for the simplest: olive oil, vegetable oil and I absolutely loved the donkey milk soap as a moisturizer. And you ? Are you also a fan of Marseille soap ?
Savonnerie Le Sérail : 50 boulevard Anatole de la Forge, 13014 Marseille www.savon-leserail.com