The Soap

Soap 100 % Made in Marseille!

Discover

Made in Marseille, Made in Provence and now a protected name!

You have to earn the name Made in Marseille! A pure, genuine and authentic 'Savon de Marseille' must be made with at least 72 % vegetable oil (this indication is stamped on one side) and produced using artisan methods. But I agree - it's not always easy to see the wood for the trees when you're faced with a wall of soap in the shops currently springing up all over the place and on the market stalls of Provence. It's always best to check out the label, because bona fide 'Savon de Marseille' should only contain 3 ingredients: olive oil, palm or copra oil and soda (which disappears during the manufacturing process).

Le Savon

Marseille soap store

Le Savon

Authentic Marseille soap

Back in the 17th century, Marseille was an ideal manufacturing base, with Provence providing plentiful quantities of the natural ingredients used to make 'Savon de Marseille': olive oil, soda and Camargue salt. Its port was perfect for developing the soap trade and the flourishing soap industry spread to Salon-de-Provence. At the time, soap was manufactured by oil makers.
There are currently only 4 soap makers left in Marseille and Salon-de-Provence: the 'Savonnerie du Midi', 'Savonnerie du Fer à Cheval' 'Savonnerie du Sérail' and 'Savonnerie Marius Fabre', which still use the ancient cauldron manufacturing technique practised by master soap makers. All 4 manufacturers are grouped under the 'Marseille Union of Soap Professionals' (ASPM) label – a quality charter guaranteeing the soap's origin and extra-pure composition, with 100% vegetable oil and no perfumes, colourings or additives.
Various other soap makers also use old-fashioned artisan techniques. Not all of them use the cauldron method, but they do use pure vegetable oils for their traditional soap cubes. And that's not all: 'Savon de Marseille' manufacturing techniques are set to evolve with the emergence of the more-ecological 'cold process' technique, which does not pollute the environment. Brands include the 'Savonnerie du Regagnas' in Trets and 'Savonnerie d'Antan' in Meyrargues.

Good news! To fight counterfeits, 'Savon de Marseille' soap has (finally) been awarded its own Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), guaranteeing genuine 'Savon de Marseille', Made in Provence – watch out for the label next time you're purchasing.
'Extra-Pure' Savon de Marseille is found in bars and cubes and is ideal for cleansing sensitive skins, cleaning minor wounds and removing stains. In stick form, it is excellent for the teeth and gums - so you really will be washing your mouth out with soap ;-). Slices are used to repel moths, liquid is perfect for household and garden use and flakes are used for delicate clothes.
The local soap makers often jazz up their soaps with perfume or colouring for a more pretty range. But beware, these soaps cannot lay claim to the Extra-Pure label as they have added extra ingredients.
Most artisan soap makers offer guided tours to share their time-honoured know-how. This is a great way to check out the authenticity of the products on offer and ensure they are bona fide Made in Marseille or Made in Provence.

Le Savon

The manufacturing

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul
Le Savon

Another kind of Marseille soap !

Things to do

Quartier des Savonniers
Site

Quartier des Savonniers

Salon de Provence

L'essor commercial des années 1880 a fait apparaître une nouvelle bourgeoisie dont la richesse marque la physionomie architecturale de la ville. Les négociants font construire des demeures ostentatoires jouxtant l'entrepôt et les bureaux. De toutes les villas élevées au XIXème s, la plus…

Savonnerie du Régagnas
Savon

Savonnerie du Régagnas

Trets

L'huile d'olive vierge de première pression, issue de la culture biologique constitue la matière première des savons du Regagnas. Maria Gennen saponifie elle-même ses huiles par un procédé écologique (saponification à froid), sans cuisson, ni relargage. En outre, elle n'utilise que des…

Place des Huiles
Olives - Huiles d'olives

Place des Huiles

Marseille

La boutique marseillaise, entre entrepôt à huiles et maison de famille désuète, propose des huiles d’olives de Provence et des savons de Marseille sélectionnés avec soin. Côté cave à huiles on trouve 19 bouteilles différentes - AOP Vallée des Baux, AOC Aix-en-Provence ou AOC…

The entire agenda

Inspirations

Terroir

The "Navette"

Read more
Terroir

The Sea Urchin

Read more
Tradition

The Pastis

Read more
More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.