Soapiary Journal 2: A History of Soap!

Soap has been around for thousands of years (literally). The earliest evidence of humans using soap was a recipe written on a stone tablet in ancient Babylon. While we don’t use stone tablets to write down our Soapiary recipes, we do take pride knowing that we come from a deep history of artisan soap-makers dating back to nearly 3000 B.C! Although the craftsmanship of soap-making has changed dramatically, and in our Soapiary soaps we never use animal products, we like to know where our roots are.

Early soap making from ancient Babylon, Rome, Egypt, and China all varied slightly. And not all of these ancient societies used the soap to use on the body either. The first soaps used in Babylon were a combination of water, alkali, and cassia oil (Chinese evergreen). In Egypt, they used vegetable and animal fats to create soap and often used it to soften wool before it was woven. In Rome, Gaul (France), and China they used primarily animal fats called tallow that they combined with ashes.

And it was in ancient Rome where the word Sapo became common use, eventually becoming the word we know today as “soap”.

The artistry of soap and soap-making wasn’t considered a luxury until around the 15th century in Europe when the use of animal fats was replaced with vegetable oils. Olive oil and laurel oil became staples in making finer quality artisan soaps. Castile soap, originating in Spain, became one of the finest vegetable-only soaps made during the Medieval era! And just so you...we have our very own Castile soap as well!

Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 300 years later in the 18th century that we started to realize the connection between soap, cleanliness, and health. But, unfortunately, as soap became more popular during the Industrial era, it became highly regulated, taxed, and mass-produced: leaving artisan soap makers in the dust and bringing about an era of impure soaps made with toxic ingredients.

Although the Industrial Revolution did bring about the invention of liquid soap it brought more damage than good. The use of petrol, parabens, aluminium, and animal fats are something we NEVER use in our Soapiary bars.

We look towards the past for inspiration but blaze our own trail, along with the many others, into the future of the high quality, vegetarian/ vegan-friendly soaps without all the nonsense!

It’s time to leave those age-old soap products in the past and jump on board with the purest soaps from Soapiary.