The history of Marseille soap goes back through the centuries and traces of the first mixtures, based on oil, water, and ashes can be found in antiquity.
A story that began on the shores of the Mediterranean and which today spans the entire world.
It is in the Middle Ages that the manufacturing process was invented, by adding lime to the leached ashes. Marseille soap will become historical and acquire its letters of nobility in Marseille, to the point of giving its name to the manufacturing process. At the end of the 16th century, the soap industry was born from small family businesses in Marseille.
This region: the South and Provence, has indeed the raw materials necessary to the manufacture of the Real Marseille Soap: olive oil, salt, and ashes of salicorne of the Camargue. Industrial production developed from the 17th century, with the creation of the first Marseilles factory by Georges Prunemoyr, in 1593. It is in the 19th century that the profession of soap maker was organized and the Phocaean City asserts itself as the main place of production.
At that time, Marseille had dozens of soap factories, each with own brand.
François Merklen fixed in 1906,
The formula of authentic Savon de Marseille, with 12% fatty acid.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the city of Marseille had 90 soap factories. This flourishing industry reached its peak in 1913, with a production of 180,000 tons of soap.
It is after the 1st World War that production starts to decline.
After 1950, the arrival of synthetic detergents will sound the death knell of soap bars.