The Marseille Soap Museum in Salon de Provence

The story of soap: past and present at the Marius Fabre Marseille Soap Museum

It’s only natural that the iconic southern French product Marseille Soap should be honoured with its own museum. In the case of Marius Fabre Marseille Soap, it’s based in the company’s working factory in the pretty town of Salon-de-Provence. Even the Marseille Soap Museum entrance (see below) looks quintessentially Provençal – a reflection of just how intertwined the story of soap and the history and economy of the region have been at different times in the past.

The Marseille Soap Museum in Salon de Provence
Source: http://www.musee-savon-marseille.com/en/

Made from seawater, soda ash, lye and olive oil, traditional Marseille soap is a hard soap produced in cube format. In the early years of the 20th century, almost 200,000 tons of Marseille soap was being made in the region each year. The museum charts the history of this crucial household item, which has been a fixture in the local economy for around 600 years (not to mention a product that’s been in use for almost 5 millennia). Advertisements, tools, machinery and other exhibits will give you a better understanding of the industry and the people who have worked in it.

To find out more about the Marseille Soap Museum’s opening hours and other useful information, the ‘practical information’ section has all the answers you’re looking for.