If the idea of lounging in the bath surrounded by lovely, perfumed bars of olive oil hasn't sold you, French soaps just simply look great & can be nicely arranged in the salle de bain or given as gifts.
Soap from Marseille, or Savon de Marseille, has been made for about 600 years, and must be made in, or around, Marseille to carry the name. Originally, all soaps had to be made from olive oil, but vegetable oil varieties exist today. For moi, I like the earthy bars like rosemary or basil, but the sweeter vanilla & almond varieties are amazing as well. The soap sells for €2.50 a bar (or three for €10), but if a trip to Provence isn't in the cards for the next few months, there are several web sites for ordering online. And, as it turns out, Martha Stewart has an online article (wow) on How to Make Savon de Marseille. For now, I'll leave the soap-making to the experts, and continue my all important market research; heavily reliant on pretty colors & the all-important sniff test.
[photo: Sanary Sur Mer market]
Where to buy Savon de Marseille