From the middle of the 19th century until the Second World War, Marseille soap factories multiplied. There are more than a hundred soap factories in Marseille. They are powerful and often owned by large Marseille families. Around 30% of the population worked directly or indirectly through this industry. Marseille soap, recognized internationally for its effectiveness, is exported throughout the world and in particular to our colonies.
It was in 1906 that the term “Extra pure 72% oils” was defined, which served as a guarantee of quality: the chemist François Merklen set the percentage of vegetable oil in Marseille soaps at a minimum of 72%. This percentage was necessary to avoid fraud where the proportion of water could reach up to 50% of the soap. With this level of water, the soap lost half its weight in just a few uses.
The mention “72% oil” is therefore a guarantee of the quality of authentic Marseille soap, which assures you that it is composed of at least 72% vegetable oils, supplemented by soda and water. and salt.