Strong of more than 160 years of existence, Fer à Cheval Savonnerie perpetuates the method of making and saponifying Marseille soap in a cauldron according to the true “Marseillaise” method. It was in the 19th century, in the city of Marseille, that hundreds of small factories made soap, the flagship product of Marseille.
THE STORY OF THE OLDEST SOAP FACTORY IN MARSEILLE
In 1856, on chemin de Saint-Marthe, a candle manufacturer quickly and exclusively became a factory dedicated to producing Marseille Soap... After an acquisition in 1895, the factory manufactured Marseille soap on behalf of several brands including Le Chat, and in 1953 it assumed charge of perpetuating a historic brand that since 2003 remains the factory's only representative: Fer à Cheval.
Here, we manufacture and select the ingredients to create the bases for Marseille Soap... We are at the very source of the product and pass on this know-how from generation to generation, so much so that we are now a Living Heritage Company and hold a Tourism Quality label for maintaining age-old expertise.
FER À CHEVAL, A GOOD-LUCK BRAND
In the 19th century it was customary to give your soap factory or brand an expression, word or another phrase evoking happiness and luck to make the business prosper under the best auspices. With the name Fer à Cheval (horseshoe) proudly accompanying the symbol stamped with seven nails, success and fortune were sure to be ours. And we are indeed fortunate, because today
we remain the oldest Marseille soap factory to perpetuate its production using an age-old recipe. We like to believe that this name will continue to bring us good luck.
THE VALUES OF OUR SOAP FACTORY
"Our soap is not perfect, it is alive.
It evolves over time, depending on the seasons and the vegetable oils we select. But in our eyes it is still the same love story.
A STORY OF MEN WITH PASSION
A real good Marseille Soap is watched like milk on the fire... All our master soap makers, trained by the old masters, have perpetuated this artisanal recipe, without preservatives or coloring agents, without perfume or added animal fat...
Each bubble, each smell, each sound and each hatching are the fruit of an experience and have a very particular meaning...
The quality of our products and the authentic image of our soap factory are only linked to what we hold dearest: the passion of our men, like Michel, our master soap maker for over 30 years. A transmission already planned since the soap factory has a new apprentice master soap maker; Stéphane, who learns and is enriched by the ancestral know-how to continue the tradition of authentic Marseille soap.
WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC MARSEILLE SOAP?
We can give it a thousand adjectives: refined, authentic, sober, raw, healthy, natural, effective, emblematic...
Marseille Soap is the alternative to industrial products for the body as well as for the house... The true natural, generalist and, moreover, multi-talented.
Unfortunately, it is not protected and many counterfeits are flooding the markets of France and the tourist stores. Our soap factory, the oldest Marseille soap factory still in operation, is committed to the defense of authentic Marseille soap made in cauldrons according to an ancestral know-how dating back to Colbert's edict in 1688. We have obtained the EPV (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant) and OFG (Origine France Garantie) labels, and we are co-founders of the UPSM (Union des Professionnels du Savon de Marseille), which has applied to the INPI for a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) recognizing the ancestral manufacturing process, and offering clear information so that consumers can find their way around.
In order to better understand our artisanal know-how, we deliver you the secrets of the manufacturing of the traditional Marseille Soap, manufactured according to the ancestral process in Marseille since more than 160 years.
To make a traditional Marseille soap, several criteria must be met...
A geographical origin : Marseille region
A manufacturing in cauldrons according to the Marseilles process in 5 steps
A composition of exclusively vegetable oils and without additives (preservatives, colorants, perfumes, animal fat)