Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Salon-de-Provence is the second largest producer of pure soap in France.  We drove there with the idea that we would go to their market on what I read as Thursday but must have been Wednesday.  So instead we visited the Tourist Bureau and learned about the Musée de Savon de Marseille Marius Fabre.  The factory has been in business, first in Marius Fabre's back shed and then in a larger facility, since 1900 making soap primarily from olive oil. 

Stamped soap
Soap drying
At the factory tour, we saw how the olive oil and soda wash are mixed together and heated in large vats.  After further attention, they pour it into deep squares, which are then cut into smaller squares and dried.  They are then cut again and pressed with the molds that identify the soap as "Savon de Marseille" and continue to dry on shelves.   

Our 400 grams
Now I understand what is meant when the soap says "pur" or "pure."  It all smelled so good, it was hard not to purchase many bars; but we settled on a 400 gram cube to use while here--and surely to take home with us as well.  

Tomorrow we leave for Nice to deliver Cindy to the airport on Monday morning for her return to California.  On the way, we'll show her some of the coastal areas between Marseille and Nice.  Then we'll have two extra days to show her Nice and its sights--Biot, Eze, Vielle Nice, the Matisse Museum and others.  The weather is threatening, but we will soldier on--and enjoy it.

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