The “Savon de Marseille” is prepared under the supervision of a “Maître Savonnier” (Soap Master) with the original equipment of the end of the nineteenth century.
The five steps :
1- The Saponification step
The vegetable and olive oils are hardened in a big cauldron.
The result of the caustic soda added and heat make the soap.
2- The Removal – The Release Step
Soap being insoluble in salt water in this second step marine salt is added to lead the caustic soda laundry in excess at the bottom of the cauldron, soap staying above.
3- The Cooking Step
Complete transformation of vegetable and olive oils into soap.
4- The washing Step
The soap paste is refined to phase out glycerol and impurities and no saponified fatty acid.
5- The Liquid
A last washing with clean water lead the soap to its end state a smooth and pure soap.
These different steps take about one week.
Each cauldron can contain until 8 tons of soap paste.
The Casting Stage
Then the soap is hot casted in 70 degrees in pools named “mises”.
It’s going to chill and being solidify during about three days.
For cutting Stage
The soap slab is cut in blocks of 40 or 50 kg before being cut again in units of 2.20 lbs (1000g), 1.32 lbs (600g), 0.88 lbs (400g), 0.66 lbs (300g).
All is hand done with epoch making machine.
The drying Stage
The soap cubes are placed on shelves where they are going to dry in the open air between one week and 15 days to allow water evaporation.
The Stamping Stage
The entire manufacture is done in a craft way all the cubes are stamped one by one into soap press machine containing epoch tulip molds.
The soap is imprinted on its six sides.
The veritable “soap of Marseille” is a natural product made exclusively from copra, palm and olive oils, without any coloring agents or artificial additives.
Still crafted by hand, in Marseille, just as it has been for hundreds of years.
It must imperatively contain 72% oil, the percentage stamped on each bar of soap.
14 days are needed to obtain the soap.
Authentic Savon de Marseille is stamped with its weight in grams – a practice left over from years ago which allowed households to compare prices and plan their inventories.