Sunday Sojourn – Soap-making in Marseille

I’m appearing on author Jennifer C. Wilson’s blog today, talking about traditional soap-making in Marseille. This features in my recently-completed latest novel, provisionally entitled The Corsican Widow.

Jennifer C. Wilson

Happy Sunday everyone! Today, we’re visiting Marseilles with Vanessa Couchman, and learning about soap-making in Marseilles…

Vanessa Couchman

Thank you for inviting me, Jen. It’s great to be back.

As it’s Sunday, here’s a nice clean subject. We all use soap, don’t we? (At least, I hope so!). It’s the kind of product we take for granted these days. I certainly did until I decided to set part of my latest novel in a soap factory in the southern French city of Marseille.

Soap has been made for centuries and Marseille became a centre of production. The olive oil needed to make the soap was in plentiful supply. Also, the city was a major port and imported other soap ingredients and exported the finished product. In addition, Marseille’s warm but windy climate helped to solidify the soap.

By the time of the French Revolution in 1789, the Marseille area had 65 savonneries

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