If you ever come to Marseille, don't think that every soap you'll find on a cute market stand is a "Marseille Soap" made in Marseille, cause most likely, it will not... A few days ago, I took a soap-making workshop at the Grande Savonnerie de Marseille and learned a few secrets behind these quintessential goodies from the South of France.
The main one begin that 3 things need to be respected for a soap to be called Marseille Soaps:
- Natural ingredients (and only 3 - lye, water and a minimum of 72% olive oil - though palm oil can be used too for its detergent properties) and no added-fragrance nor coloring agents must be added,
- Manufacturing process in 4 specific steps,
- Location of the production (region of Bouches-du-Rhone in France).
On a side note, if you see Sodium Tallowate listed in your soap ingredient list, know that you are washing your face with rendered beef fat, and that it may cause eczema and blackheads. This lovely ingredient is often used in wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, other cosmetics, be ware...
On the other hands, Marseille Soaps are known to be hypoallergenic, moisturing, disinfectant, biodegradable (in less than 28 days). Much better, no?
La Grande Savonnerie - 36 Grand Rue 13002 Marseille
I know, it's been a while since I wrote on here... you'll understand in a minute. Let me put it this way: I've been keeping busy with major transitions in the last few months ~ I got married, moved back to my home country after years of gypsy-ing around and perhaps, most importantly, I've been appreciating the biggest change to come so far: motherhood. I'm now settled in my new home, creating life as we speak, building our nest one branch at a time, looking at life with a brand new lens and while I'm getting used to all of this, I decided it was time to start spreading the love again, from Marseille.
The first gem I found and wanted to blog about is the oh-so-cute-lunch-place named Kitch&Bio. Opened over 2 years ago by former architect Marion, you get a nice homey feeling as soon as you walk in. Her sense of style shows in every corner, from the décor to the plates. Her goal being for her customers to leave satisfied and happy, she serves generous vegetarian "plats du jour", all made with fresh, organic, local ingredients delivered daily to her door. As the sweet tooth that I am, I couldn't resist to also try her einkorn-flour-cookies, and yes, they do deserve their title of Best Cookies in Marseille ~ even if that's the only one I've tried so far!