Very often, tourism in Provence centres around natural sights and wonders such as the wetlands of the Camargue or the mountains of the Luberon. However, at the Marius Fabre Marseille Soap Museum (www.musee-savon-marseille.com/en/ ), the emphasis is on human skill.
Soap has been made in various forms for thousands of years. Different techniques have been refined over the years, and one of the most famous kinds of soap is still produced in the area around Marseille and Salon-de-Provence. This hard soap is called ‘Marseille soap’. Based on the premises of an existing soap manufacturer, Marius Fabre, the Marseille Soap Museum (shown below), is the ideal introduction to this local tradition. It tells the story of the soap and the people who made it, using artefacts, pictures, displays and even a tour of the company’s working factory. There are boxwood stamps, used to mark the cubes of soap with the firm’s name or logo; soap presses, promotional posters, washboards and examples of early soap-making machinery. The museum boasts a convenient location near to Salon-de-Provence railway station and is open on weekdays and Saturdays. Entrance to individuals is free and more information can be found by clicking on the link in the picture below.