Panorama - la savonnerie du midi

The current site of the Savonnerie, which was built in 1870, was once a mill fed by the waters of Aygalades stream. It was in turn a flour mill and a semolina factory.

In the mid-20th century the site was operated by a certain Mr Garbit, an avid herbalist who became an entrepreneur. His company also owns the Savonnerie du Midi, which was then based in the Canet neighbourhood of northern Marseille. The Savonnerie’s facilities were transferred to the Aygalades site in 1970. The management at the time were committed to traditional production methods, and built new cauldrons boasting the latest advances in technology: they are made of steel and have an integrated coiled heating system for steam circulation. The Savonnerie du Midi still draws on the talents of a master soap maker to manufacture its traditional Marseille soap.  

The PRODEF group is a historic player in the hygiene and cleaning products industry, and has owned the Savonnerie du Midi since 2013. Since PRODEF was founded in 1924, four generations of directors have backed its growth based on a single ambition: to continually improve the quality of life of its fellow citizens, foreshadowing what we now call sustainable development.

Key dates at a glance

  • 1894: The Savonnerie du Midi founded in Marseille’s 14th arrondissement. Aubépine, Aigle Blanc and La Corvette brands launched.
  • 1970: Facilities transferred to the Aygalades site.
  • 1990: The Savonnerie du Midi leads the way by being the first soap factory to offer liquid soap.
  • 2005: ISO 9001 certification (2000 version) awarded.
  • 2011: The Savonnerie du Midi founds UPSM, the Union of Marseille Soap Professionals, with three other institutions to defend and promote authentic Marseille soap.
  • 2013: The Savonnerie du Midi and Compagnie du Midi join PRODEF, a French family company that has specialised in hygiene and cleaning products for four generations.
  • 2014: The Savonnerie du Midi celebrates its 120th anniversary.