Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rustic French Soap {favorite things}

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This is NOT a sponsored post. I'm simply sharing a soap that I happen to love.

What do you think of when you someone says "French soap"?  When I was younger, "French soap" meant beautifully formed, finely milled soap that was generally reserved for guests or for when we spent the night at my Grandmother's house. 
My Grandmother had a jar full of small bars of soap that she'd unwrap for each of us at bath time on warm summer evenings when we spent the night at her house. The fragrance was decidedly floral and I seem to remember it smelling a little bit like carnations...or maybe it was lavender...or roses. I don't remember exactly but I do know that it smelled so wonderful that it made my mouth water and left a scent on my skin that lasted for an entire day (or at least until after church the next day).

It probably would have been even longer if I had been a young lady who liked to play cards and help in the kitchen instead of a girl who preferred to spend my days running around outside and rolling down the hill in my Grandparents' backyard.


Today when someone mentions "French soap", it's this soap that I think of.  Savon de Marseille. Big,chunky, rustic, irregular, blocks of soap made from palm and vegetable oils and usually not scented at all.  The company has been around for over 600 years and the soaps are still made with the purest vegetable oils including olive and palm and the cubes are still cut and stamped by hand and sold by weight.  


These soaps are incredibly gentle, require little or no packaging and can be used on everything from fine linens to little faces. In France, they're sold piled high on tables like produce and if you purchase them commercially, they're wrapped simply in paper which makes them a "green" product that I love to have in my home. 





The soap pictured here is made from palm oil. It smells like...well, to me, it smells like French soap and it's elegant in its simplicity.

You can order the soap online or on EBay by searching "Savon de Marseille". I purchase mine from my friend, Lisa at her shop, The Frenchman's Wife in La Grange, IL but they are currently out of stock. She has a new batch on order but it may be several months before they arrive so it's best to phone first.  Of course, her shop is filled with other lovely things besides soap.


Of course I still love finely milled French soaps. The lavender fragrance gets me every time.  I keep a couple of bars on hand for guests and maybe, someday (in the FAR distant future) I'll be a Grandmother who keeps it for my Grandchildren when they spend the night but today, I'm using big, chunky, rustic, palm oil soap to wash my hands....and to remove a few spots on my linen tabecloth. 

Happy Tuesday! I'm doing a little spring decorating around the farmhouse today. Stop by later this week to see it.

Kimberly