How to Recognise Real Marseille Soap
How to Recognise Real Marseille Soap
How to Recognise Real Marseille Soap
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How to recognise genuine Marseille soap

By Johanna Garner

Genuine Marseille soap, is full of benefits for your skin. But there are many counterfeit soaps out there. Luckily there are ways to spotthe real deal

Marseille soap has been manufactured in France for over 600 years and is known for its gentleness, whether on the skin, laundry or even house plants. Being 100% organic and pH neutral, it's safe to say that it's full of benefits, particularly when it comes to your skin. For one thing, it's very economical because you can use this soap for 2 to 3 months. It is also ecologically-friendly, richly moisturising, and keeps skin feeling soft and clean.

However, due to its ample popularity, many non-audited versions are produced to mimic the product, using artificial additives such as fragrance or colourants, meaning it isn't actually 100% organic Marseille soap. In fact, if you've got one of those lying around already, there is an 80% chance that it's not genuine Marseille soap. So how do you ensure that you are reaping the full benefits of the soap? Here's a handy guide to help you tell the difference between the real and counterfeit varieties of this iconic product.


It should be noted that traditional authentic Savon de Marseille is a protected French heritage product of the province, despite carrying an age-old recipe that has been used in its manufacturing process for several thousands of years. This means that manufacturers had to strictly abide by specific techniques and standards during the soap-making process in order to preserve its authenticity as well as its natural quality. If you're looking for genuine Savon de Marseille, you need to keep an eye on where it's from–the soap must have been produced in the Marseille region. If you're buying it from somewhere else across the globe, chances are you might be compromising its authenticity.


Take care to read the list of ingredients on the soap package or in the description if you order it on the Internet. Genuine Marseille soap must not contain any added fragrances, colourings and preservatives and thus be exclusively be made from vegetable oils–ideally olive oil. Avoid soap made from palm oil and especially animal fat. Marseille soap must not contain any additives, dyes, preservatives, or perfumes whatsoever.


True Marseille soap is also recognisable by its cubic shape. It is usually sold in cubes of between 200 and 600 grams. It can also come in larger sizes and be sold by weight. Its colour is also an indicator: if the soap is green, it means that it was made with olive oil. If other vegetable oils are used, the soap may be white or ivory. However, an authentic Marseille soap will never be blue, pink, or purple. This would indicate the presence of dyes, which are never used in real Marseille soap. As for its consistency, it must be firm, and once wet, the soap will develop some cracks. If it melts and has a pasty appearance, it means that it is not a genuine Marseille soap.


When you choose a Marseille soap, take some time to smell it: it should smell of olive oil. If this is not the case, then it is unlikely that it is a genuine Marseille soap. If the soap smells of rose, vanilla or any other scent usually reserved for industrial soaps, and is therefore not a real Marseille soap.

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