oap production is a Marseillaise
tradition since the 18th century.
About fifteen soap
factories made Marseille the leading Mediterranean centre for
the production and shipping of olive oil and natural soda-based
under Louis XIV, the first regulations concerning the production
and the brand-naming of soap were introduced. These rules, set
by the Sun King, are still in force today.
he veritable "soap of
Marseille" is a natural product made exclusively from
copra, palm and olive oils, without any colouring agents or
artificial additives. It must imperatively contain 72% oil, the
percentage stamped on each bar of soap. 14 days are needed to
obtain the soap. The vegetable oils and the soda are first mixed
in a big cauldron. The paste is then cooked for ten days at a
temperature of 120°C.
Then, it is washed to eliminate
the soda and set to rest for 2 days.
After having dried
over 48 hours at a temperature of 50 to 60°C, the soap is
ready to be cut into 35kg blocks.
A whole month goes by between the
start of production and the soap finally appearing in the shop.