Marseille soap or Savon de Marseille is a traditional soap made from vegetable oils that has been made around Marseille, France, for about 600 years, the first recorded soapmaker in the area in about 1370. By 1688, Louis XIV introduced regulations (Edict of Colbert) limiting the use of the name savon de Marseille to soaps made in and around the Marseille area, and only from olive oil. Today this law still stands (although the regulations now allow other vegetable oils to be used).

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Joel Barish

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