Bonjour, mes amis! As a lover of all things French beauty, I am excited to share with you my top picks for the best French body soaps. There’s just something about the way the French approach skincare that makes us all want to emulate their effortless beauty. From luxurious ingredients to divine fragrances, these French body soaps will transport you to the streets of Paris and leave your skin feeling silky smooth. So, whether you’re a Francophile or simply looking to elevate your body care and shower routine, read on for my recommendations on the best French body soaps to try.
History of Soap Making in France
Soap making has a long history in France, dating back to the 7th century when it was established as an art. During the Middle Ages, it was a craft practiced by monks in monasteries. The use of soap for personal hygiene was not widespread in France until the 17th century when it became popular among the aristocracy.
Marseille soap, a type of hard soap made from vegetable oils, has been produced in Marseille, France, since the 17th century. It is made using traditional methods and is considered a high-quality soap. Marseille soap was originally made using olive oil, but over time other vegetable oils were also used, such as coconut oil and palm oil.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, soap-making became more industrialized in France. Soap factories were established in major cities, and soap-making became a significant industry in Marseille and other parts of the country. Many of these factories used the traditional method of soap making, known as the “cold process,” which involves mixing fats or oils with an alkali solution to create soap.
Today, French soap making is still a thriving industry, and French soaps are known for their high quality and luxurious fragrances. Many small, artisanal soap makers continue to use traditional methods to create handmade soaps using natural ingredients, such as olive oil, lavender, and shea butter. French soap remains a popular product both in France and around the world.
Best French Soaps
Here are the best French soaps to buy to cleanse your body.
Fragonard Jasmin Perle de Thé Perfumed Soap
Fragonard is a French soap brand that has been in operation since 1926. The brand is known for its unique scents developed in the heart of Grasse, France. Fragonard produces a range of scented soaps that are perfect for sensitive skin, and they are especially popular for their Jasmin Perle de Thé Perfumed Soap, a jasmine green tea-scented body soap. Other popular scents include rose petal, lavender, verbena, and linden. For a sampler, go with this set of 4 Fragonard soaps to try out different scents.
L’Occitane Extra Gentle Vegetable Based Verbena Soap
L’Occitane is a luxury French soap brand based in Provence that is known for its high-quality body care. The brand uses natural ingredients such as lavender, shea butter, and almond oil to create their soaps. Some of the best soaps made by L’Occitane include the Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Verbena Soap, the Shea Milk Soap for sensitive skin, and the Almond Delicious Exfoliating Soap. The brand’s most popular soap scents are lavender, verbena, and almond.
Yves Rocher Relaxing Soap
Yves Rocher Relaxing Soap is a classic, natural soap known for its calming and relaxing Lavandin Blackberry scent. The Bretagne, France-based Yves Rocher brand uses natural ingredients such as Botanical Glycerin, lavender, orange blossom, and bergamot to create their soaps. The best soap made by Yves Rocher is their Relaxing Soap, which is perfect for unwinding after a long day. Other popular scents include orange blossom and bergamot.
Bastide Artisanal Provence Soap
Bastide Artisanal Provence Soap is a contemporary French soap founded by hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai and his wife Shirin von Wulffen. The Aix-en-Provence-based brand uses natural ingredients such as olive oil, shea butter, and lavender to create their soaps. The best soap made by Bastide is the Miel de Lavande Soap, which has a sweet and floral scent of honey mixed with lavender. Other popular scents include fig, rose lavender, and verbena.
Pré de Provence Lavender Soap
Pré de Provence is a local French soap brand that was founded 45 years ago. The brand uses natural ingredients loved by the French like shea butter, lavender, and verbena to concoct its soaps. The best soap made by Pré de Provence is their Lavender Shea Butter Soap, which is perfect for dry skin. Other popular scents include honey almond, milk, rose, and verbena.
A la Maison de Provence Sweet Almond Bar Soap
A la Maison de Provence uses a traditional soap recipe that dates back to 1828! The locally produced soaps follow the French Milled process, transforming vegetable oils into smooth soap during a slow and delicate process. It was founded in 2011 by François Bogrand. The best A la Maison de Provence soap with the highest ratings is the Sweet Almond Bar Soap, which comes in a pack of four. This triple French milled natural soap is ultra moisturizing to the hands and body. Ingredients include argan oil rich in Vitamin E and shea butter. Other popular A la Maison de Provence scents include oat milk, lavender flowers, pure coconut, rosemary mint, honeysuckle, lemon, lilac, plumeria, sea salt,
Le Petit Olivier Olive Oil Soap
Le Petit Olivier is an affordable French soap that is sold in grocery stores across France. The brand uses natural ingredients including olive oil, lavender, and almond oil to create their soaps. The best soap made by Le Petit Olivier is their Olive Oil Soap, which is a vegetable-origin-based soap perfect for sensitive skin. Other popular scents include lavender and almond.
Le Petit Marseillais Savon Brut Unscented Soap
Le Petit Marseillais is a budget French soap brand that is known for its cheap soaps. The French brand uses natural ingredients from France like authentic Olive and Palm Oils to create their soaps. However, the best soap made by Le Petit Marseillais is their Savon Brut Unscented Soap, which has a simple, clean unscented experience. It’s best for people with easily irritated or sensitive skin! Other popular scents include honey and orange blossom.
Compagnie de Provence Palm Soap Cube
Compagnie de Provence is a French soap brand that uses traditional soap-making methods in the south of France. The Made-in-France soap brand uses all-natural ingredients associated with French culture like olive oil, almond oil, and shea butter to create their soaps. The best soap made by Compagnie de Provence is their Savon de Marseille Palm Soap Cube, which is a sensitive skin soap made with extra pure 72% oil. Other popular scents include almond and shea butter.
Dior ‘J’adore’ Silky Soap
Dior ‘J’adore’ Silky Soap is a luxury French soap made by the haute couture fashion and beauty brand Dior. The brand uses natural ingredients like jasmine, rose, and ylang-ylang to create their soaps. The best soap made by Dior is definitely their J’adore Silky Soap, which has a floral and fruity scent taken from the iconic fragrance. Other popular scents include rose and jasmine.