Soap results from a long chemical reaction which overall is named saponification. The reaction transforms the mixture of
an ester (fatty acid) and a foundation (washing soda or potash) to soap and a glycerol (=glycerine) at a particular
temperature.

Put simply:

OIL + SODA + (WATER) = SOAP + GLYCERINE



There are many saponification processes resulting in many types of soap.

*Hot saponification = industrial soap.

Many types of fatty matter (beef fat, pig fat, palm oil or suet) are heated to more than 100 degrees celcius to start the
saponification process. Additives such as water-softening agents (EDTAs), sequestrants, antioxidants, perfumes,
colourants - all too often polluting - are then generally added.
15 to 20 tonnes of fatty matter per day need to be processed in order to be economically viable! The paste is
cooked for many hours and then cleaned with large quantities of salted water to eliminate the excess soda, the
impurities in the cheap oil, as well as the glycerine - the fundamental emollient in a good soap. The solid soap
is then formed into cubes or into white unscented noodles called bondillons. These bondillons are then reused in a
cold production by so called craft soap-makers; they are coloured, scented and re-glycerinated (with 1% - 3% glycerine),
shaped and stamped. These are the main commercial soaps, organic or otherwise.

*Cold saponification = true handmade soap

This method consists of working at a temperature of around 30 degrees to avoid de-naturing these premium grade materials
chosen for their quality and purity. The cleansing mixture of soda and oil, needs to be thoroughly blended (in a
whisker or mixer) to begin saponification without requiring a high temperature. Only small quantities can be made
at a time. The mixture hardens little by little and becomes soap. Glycerine (more than 8%) which, normally removed
in the industrial process, is carefully retained. The enriching oils, scent, flowers, spices or grains can now be added.

Here lies the art of the soap-maker be they naturo-organic or otherwise. Soap-makers are the masters of their soap,
they need to find and craft a good mixture. Each type of oil or fat has its own properties which determine the
final characteristics of a good soap (foaming, cleansing, softening, and long-lasting). Each flower, essence or
clay is carefully chosen to arrive at a harmonious marriage. Depending on mood, energy and patience each of our soaps
made by the cold method is, and remains, unique.

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