One 'Le Serail' vintage French soap block, weighing approximately 250g.
Handmade to a traditional recipe from 72% pure oil, these soaps are a lovely honey colour. They originate from the Marseille area of France, where soap-making has been an artisan trade for hundreds of years.
Beautifully crumbly and ancient, these soaps look wonderful displayed in the kitchen or bathroom, with the maker's marks hand-stamped onto each side. Although each one has the weight of 300 grammes stamped onto it, in fact their actual weight is closer to 250g, as their original content has evaporated over the years, contributing to the unique colour and shape of each block in the process.
Marseille soap or Savon de Marseille is a traditional high quality French soap made from vegetable oils that has been produced in the Marseille region for about 600 years. In the 17th Century, Louis XIV introduced regulations limiting the use of the name 'savon de Marseille' to soaps made in and around the Marseille area.
Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea with pure olive oil in a large cauldron. Other ingredients are added and the mixture heated for several days, whilst being stirred constantly. After being left to sit for a while it is poured into the mould and allowed to set slightly. Whilst still soft, it is cut into bars and stamped with the brand and other traditional markings and left to completely harden. The whole process can take up to a month from the start until the soap is ready to use.
For many years it has been the soap of choice in French hospitals, laundries, kitchens and bathrooms alike. It is still made today and sometimes blended with other oils and fragrances.
These cubes are not from the 17th century but probably date from the 1940's and are perfect to add a little authentic French accent to your bathroom or kitchen in a vintage soap dish. Each block side measures approximately 7cm and the unperfumed soap is gentle on sensitive skins, containing no harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances. It can also be used to gently clean delicate clothes, reducing the need for multiple products in your home.
Whilst every effort is taken to ensure that your purchase arrives with you in perfect condition, please be aware that changes in temperature and humidity can affect these old soaps and occasionally some oil may appear on the surface. This is due to the natural composition of the blocks and will disappear with use.
- Natural, biodegradeable soap
- A multi-purpose product for personal hygiene and laundry, suitable for even the most sensitive skin
- Hypoallergenic: perfume, colouring and preservative free
- Healthy alternative to industrial chemicals
- Gentle on the environment and your skin: tough on stains
- Economical: one soap block will last for many weeks
Your soap block will be sent to you in plastic-free packaging with glass paper and recycled cardboard. Sustainable packaging is an integral part of our ethos at kuloko.