Le Savon de Marseille : The Grand Father of all soaps from Provence !
Pictured below are bars of this iconic soap we found at the back of a shelf in Pascal’s grand mother’s pantry …they looked so cool we brought them with us when we moved and use them as a display in the shop …now in plain site for people to see !
Grandma Gratienne had gone thru the first World War so when the 2nd World War started , she stocked up on soaps so they would not miss it this time around . They were using it for everything , from laundry , hair and body to cleaning furniture or floors . Today French people still use Savon de Marseille for everything . We have sold it since the day we opened our shop in 1996 . We’ve had to educate our clients who have now discovered how wonderful it is too ! Yes it is the best soap and I will give you a full course on it so you will be able to appreciate it even more .
Marseille soap has been produced in Marseille for about 600 years. The first documented soap maker was recorded there in about 1370. By 1913 production had reached 180,000 tons , and in 1924 there were 132 soap making companies in Marseille but now only four remain …Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea , olive oil, and the alkaline ash from sea plants together in a large cauldron . This mixture is then heated for several days, stirring constantly. The mixture is allowed to sit until ready, then poured into a mold and allowed to set slightly. While still soft it is cut into bars, stamped, and left to completely harden. The whole process can take up to a month.
There are two main varieties of Marseille soap , a greenish hued made with 72% olive oil and a white made of palm and coconut oil . At the time the common size bar was 1kilograms ( 2.2 lbs ) easier to rub on bed linen and clothes that were being all washed by hand in a ” lavoir ” a public basin . These soaps are unscented , free of coloring agents , preservative and additive , hypoallergenic and biodegradable ! What else can you ask for !? We prefer the liquid versions and use the bar only to treat wine stains or other kind of red stains in particular . Pre wash by hand the stain area making the soap foam ; let set for 10-15 minutes , do not rinse and put in your washing machine with your regular detergent for a cycle . Stain is gone ! Because there is no synthetic components to the soap you can use it to clean leather bags and sofas , swede shoes …wash with a soapy sponge and rinse well . Just make sure you wet the entire area or it will leave some wet marks when drying out .
The same wonderful liquid soap also come scented , a gentle wash for your hands that will not dry them out ! We carry all the liquid soaps in 14 different scents all created in Grasse and in 3 sizes : a small plastic pump bottle 10 fl oz $22 , a glass pump bottle 16.9 fl oz $27 and a refill bottle 33.3 fl oz $33
Using this high oil content hand soap will not dry out your skin . You can wash your hands over and over . We have a lot of request for a good hand cream from people with dry skin but truly it all starts by using the right soap !
Something nobody really talks about is that the use of hand sanitizers removes the hydrolipidic film (our skin natural barrier to bacteria ) making our skin more permeable and vulnerable to virus . Washing your hands as often as possible with a gentle soap is the recommended way to stay healthy .
Marseille Soap has gone hip and sophisticated with these 3 scents that are perfect for a bathroom or powder room ! Come in a small glass pump bottle ( 10 fl oz ) $26 and a refill $37
Black and white tea come in a matte glass bottle (16.9 fl oz ) $32 or refill $ 37
Last but not least this new version comes enriched with shea butter . Delicate notes of white flowers over a sweet musk scent . 16.9 fl oz matte glass pump bottle $28 , Refill $32 , lip balm $10.95 , Hand cream 20% shea butter $9.95 ( 1oz)
Panier des sens organic Olive Oil and Honey /Propolis lines have a very light scent without being scented . Both soaps are so gentle they can be used on the face . Favorite are the body butter and hand cream which we carry in a regular and purse size .
Mistral soaps are made with natural and organic ingredients and original perfumes from Grasse, France. These triple-milled bar soaps are long-lasting, luxurious and exquisitely fragrant. Here is our current selection wrapped in beautiful paper .
Mistral also has come up with a special line dedicated to men . We carry the large soap bars as well as the hair/body wash , after shave , Eau de Parfum and candles in 5 scents
Keeping it masculine but not musky , this is Pascal’s favorite and I love that it makes the bathroom smells like a Japanese spa !
Elizabeth W uses pure Lavender oil from Provence , it is natural and straight forward that’s why we carry it . We love the hand cream and I use the salve at night or take it on trips because it is compact and solid .
Panier des Sens also makes great scented shea butter purse size hand creams and triple milled soaps . We are often asked the difference in between Mistral and Panier des sens . Both are all natural , hard milled , creamy and long lasting soaps . Mistral uses some organic ingredients , complex scents and more fragrance than Panier des Sens which is more about the natural scent of the actual flower or fruit…Many love how fragrant Mistral soaps are but if you prefer a lighter scent go for a Panier soap . We carry different scents for that purpose , things like old fashioned Violet and linden , rose nectar , lemon blossom , peony , tuberose and best seller cotton flower .
Pair a soap with a purse hand cream or a soap dish to have a little hostess gift always ready !
Not as gifty , just simply wrapped in cellophane these are bigger 8.8 oz $9 and will last you a very long time …
We started carrying Ode about 12 years ago . We had just discovered Mc Evoy Ranch olive oil just north of San Francisco . We loved that they grow their olives organically , and make their olive oil which they are using for Ode body line …plus the fact that the lavender oil is from Provence , true , pure essential oil and we were sold ! I have been using the hand and body lotion since . It moisturize deeply without feeling greasy which makes it perfect for a daytime hand cream . Combined with some of their body oil on those dry weather day and you will never feel more comfortable in your skin . I use the scrubs that contain so much oil on my feet all summer to keep my hills smooth and soft . The quality of all the natural ingredients and essential oils they use makes it a stand out and we have since added the Bohemian rose and Citrus Oro . Their scents are light and will dissipate after your put it on so it is not overwhelming to wear with your own perfume .
Sea salt scrub 10 fl oz $ 37.50, Tube hand cream $2.4 fl oz $16, Body oil 3.7 fl oz $45 , Body lotion with pump 10fl oz $33 , Balm 2oz $22
Ask us about their facial line made with tones of skin loving ingredients …we carry it as well . All my friends and I are using it now …it does not make me break out or cry like all other creams and is truly that wonderful ! Moisturizer cream , cleanser and face oil …the best of all !
Looking for Bath products ? Here are the ones from Mistral : Bubble bath , salts and shower gel in lemon verbena , lavender and sweet white flowers
Fragonard perfumed embossed soaps make the perfect gift as they come with a matching soap dish and a beautiful box $29.50 ( Eau de Parfum available in all scents $ 59 )
The shop is now open again ! For your safety and ours we recommend that you make an appointment so you can skip the line . We are taking this reopening one step at a time and are making all the efforts to keep all of us safe .
You can always order anything for pick up or shipping : firstname.lastname@example.org Call or text 619 518 0401