The art of traditional soap-making in the 21st century
Born in Marseille, France, La Corvette brings traditional soap to the 21st century. We find out more about the brand’s origins, offerings and environmentally conscious approach to household essentials.
Can you please tell us a bit about the history of La Corvette?
For more than 120 years, the Savonnerie du Midi, one of the world’s last historical soap factories, has been making traditional Marseille soaps in the best tradition, of which La Corvette is a supreme example: a blend of history, tradition and expertise, often imitated but never equalled.
La Corvette follows traditional recipes of soaps manufactured in Marseille or elsewhere in les Bouches-du-Rhône, boiled in a cauldron, using only vegetable oils, with no chemical additives (no dyes, no perfumes and no preservatives).
What exactly is Marseille soap and how is it made?
Marseille soap is made from vegetable fats and oils and contains a maximum of four or five ingredients including vegetable oil, palm oil, copra oil, salt water and soda. Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing seawater from the Mediterranean Sea, olive oil and the alkaline ash from sea plants together in a large cauldron. This mixture is then heated for several days while being stirred continuously.
Traditional Marseille soap is made in large open-air cauldrons from oils of exclusively vegetable origin, without colouring agents, perfumes or preservatives. These oils are mixed and cooked in the cauldron, under the action of soda, and are gradually transformed into soap. Only the master soap-maker has the know-how passed down over several centuries to obtain authentic Marseille soap. He guarantees that the five stages of the “Marseille process” are respected.
Please tell us more about La Corvette’s range.
La Corvette offers a wide range of products from this historic tradition, adapted for contemporary needs and suitable for all the family, while respecting both the environment and traditional French expertise. Many of these authentic products are designed either for body care or domestic use.
Liquid soap: These gentle liquid Marseille soaps are made from 100 per cent vegetable oil. They are enriched with moisturising glycerine to leave soft skin.
Bar soap: Our bar soaps are Ecocert Greenlife-certified and made in Marseille from vegetable oils, with luxury Provence gentle scents such as lavender, sweet almond, rose, honeysuckle and orange blossom. They can be used for household cleaning as well as body care, and are perfect for those who want to take care of their health and wellbeing while looking after the environment.
Home care range: Our natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products offer a more sustainable approach to everyday home care. The black soap paste with linseed oil or liquid black soap with olive oil is perfect for removing stubborn stains; the Lemon Miracle Cleaner is the ultimate multipurpose product; and our ecological dish soap is 100 per cent natural and biodegradable but doesn’t skimp on cleaning, degreasing and making your dishes shine.
Méditerranée range: Our newly released premium range of organic cosmetic products brings the atmosphere of the Mediterranean to your every day: a bouquet of generous and refined scents, an explosion of light, the call of the open sea, a reverie of softness and purity. The range includes soap bars, liquid soaps and hand creams made from raw materials of natural origin and enriched with organic ingredients.
Please share the philosophy behind La Corvette.
La Corvette’s history and tradition lays a big part in our business and we strongly claim our origins from Marseille! Small three-masted ships used to carry out discovery missions from the port of Marseille, corvettes were used in the 19th century to supply Marseille soap factories with raw materials. This sailing ship continues its course and is in keeping with the times by offering products adapted to modern needs while respecting tradition.
How can the La Corvette range help users live more sustainably?
Sustainability and environmental awareness is a big part of the La Corvette philosophy. We encourage our customers to buy in bulk, whether it be soap bars or soap chips, to reduce packaging waste. Many of our products are biodegradable, and we also offer a range of scrubbing brushes and sponges made from natural materials so they won’t impact the environment at the end of their lifespan.
What’s next for La Corvette?
La Corvette aims to provide traditional Marseille products to Australia’s doorstep. They believe Australians will love their uniquely formulated products; the quality is unmatched and they are excited to finally be down under.
For more information, visit lacorvette.com.au.