Have you ever wondered why the French women’s skin is so perfect. Seriously??!! I have a beauty secret to share with you.!!! 3 hours south of Paris by TGV, you will find one of the oldest port towns in France, Marseille. We made the journey to learn more about one of the ancient secrets of the French women’s beautiful skin. Are you ready? It’s Marseille soap …
We visited “La Savonnerie Fer à Cheval”, the largest of the last two remaining original soap makers in the area.When you arrive Fer à Cheval, you’re immediately struck with the scent of fresh olive oil all around you. Especially with the seasonal Mistral winds blowing, stirring the scents in the air. Walking into the factory, we found the original structure from the 1850’s. The grand wooden beams nearly petrified with layers and layers of soap of the decades steaming to the beams.
The Marseille soap recipe is original to the 1850’s, pure with only three ingredients of 72% olive oil, baking soda and water plus a cooking time of ten days at 110 degrees celsius. There’s no fragrance or coloring added.
Olive oil isn’t just for cooking ladies! Have you ever reached for olive oil in a pinch when you needed a moisturizer? I TOTALLY have!
The soap master, Michel, with his southern French accent, shared his story with us. He has been crafting soaps for the last 30 years. He needs no recipe, no thermometer. He knows when the batch is just right. He just knows.
So, after the tour, I put the soap to the test. It’s sublime!!! As a makeup remover, I love how it has a nice little foam when you use it, and it washes away without feeling like there’s a residue. Could this be the replacement to the Erno Laszlo black soap that Marilyn used to use? My skin is soft and fresh & it’s price friendly!!
I wonder if this is how the famous French actress Marion Cotillard who I saw at Cannes keeps her skin so glowy?
Just to give you some history, Almost 30% of the population of Marseille in the early 1900’s were employed by over 90 soap factories, making soap for the entire country of France. The Marseille soap name is not protected, so Marseille is dangerously close to losing the art of their famed olive oil soap due to competition trying to replicate, sometimes with the addition of chemicals and fillers.
How can that be possible with such an important heritage of a beautiful product? If you want to buy the original Marseille soap, a great indicator of authenticity is the color. There are only two colors available. Olive green for the olive oil version and beige for a palm oil version. For more product info on Fer à Cheval, click here.
Have you tried Marseille soap? We’d love to hear about your experience here!
HI, I'M CARLY, A FASHION DESIGNER AND R&D EXPERT WITH A PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, ILLUSTRATION AND VARIOUS ART FORMS. I'VE VISITED AND WORKED IN 22 COUNTRIES AND MY FAVORITE THING IS ALWAYS LEARNING. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY xx