What’s the Deal with Marseille’s Soap?

France’s main port city is known for its omnipresent street art, its bouillabaisse, and a little drink called pastis.

But if you’re getting souvenir gifts from France’s second city, it’s probably going to be soap. But why is savon de Marseille such a popular attraction? After all, you can buy the stuff pretty much anywhere in France. What makes it so popular?


In this video, vloggers Damon and Jo visit a real life savonnier to find out what soap has to do with Marseille’s history, how it’s made, and why it’s so good. Spoiler alert: it’s all about the olive oil. French soapmakers in Marseille were some of the first to take advantage of the olive-rich Mediterranean shoreline and turn those olives into slippery, scented gold. Watch the process at this local soap shop in the panier of Marseille. And don’t forget to turn on your closed captions for English!

Looking for other things to do in Marseille? Check out this article on the french beach towns you should visit this summer.