Bath Hamman Collection - What is Aleppo Soap?

Aleppo laurel soap (also known as Savon d’ Alep) is named for the city where it was first made – Aleppo, Syria.

The soap making industry has been associated with the city of Aleppo, where the people made it their profession since antiquity. This industry dates back about 1200 years. That’s why our soap is classified among traditional handcrafts.

Even with the mass arrival of synthetic soap, many households still continue to trust only the purity and gentleness of the laurel castile soap bar to wash everything from linens to little faces!

Every year from November to March, the soap is manufactured after the olive harvest season. The freshly pressed oil is mixed with water and sodium hydroxide and then heated in enormous cauldrons to begin the multi-stage saponification process.

The mixture will ultimately turn into a thick liquid soap. Laurel oil is then added, enhancing the paste with its active ingredients such as fatty acids and antioxidants. This is the ingredient that sets Aleppo laurel soap apart from other soaps. Laurel oil is a unique ingredient that comes from laurel trees found plentifully in the Mediterranean climate.

The mixture is poured from the vat over a large sheet of wax paper on the floor of the factory. This green mass is allowed to cool down and harden. The soap is then cut: a rake-like cutting device is dragged through the soap to cut it one way and then the other way, until the whole mass is cut into individual cubes that are then stamped with the soap artisan's name.

The cubes of soap are stacked in staggered racks to allow for maximum air exposure. Once they have dried, they are aged for about six months. During this time, the outside of the soap turns from green to its trademark yellow or brown color.