After a few hours of train, we land in Aix en Provence, then drive to Villeneuve. Where are we heading? To our soap workshop, of course! When we get there, we search for parking for a while: get tied up in traffic, some loud honking. Our arrival is not exactly discreet.
With a suitcase under one arm, the camera and the stabilizer under the other, the four of us arrive: Jinjii, Pauline, Inès and Antoinette.
Charlotte, our contact at the workshop, greets us and hands us some white astronaut suits to wear inside (ok, this is a proper laboratory, so we need to calm down).
Here we go ! First step: the lab where the formulations take place. This is where soaps come to life. Formulas are weighed, evaluated and adjusted until the soap is perfect. That is to say: moisturizing, gentle on the skin (and the planet), and the perfume is consistently distributed.
Step two: once validated, the formula is industrially weighed in larger quantities.
Then, Samson takes over the visit and explains to us that he is preparing to take over the running of the family factory alongside his father. After a short stay in Paris, he’s coming back to his roots!
Third step: once weighed, all the ingredients are mixed in a machine, then placed to be shaped into a soap form. The mixture first passes through ‘la boudineuse’ (to form a sausage shape) and once the dough is compressed, it passes through a mold to take the shape of a rectangle. The sausage then passes over a carpet and is cut into small rectangular soaps. Bad luck for the defective and badly cut ones…they set off again immediately for a second ride (starting with a process of regrinding). Then finally, the soaps are stamped with the Bon Parfumeur logo using a special press.
Last step: quality control + packaging. Once again, we check everything with a magnifying glass, everything is controlled! We put the soaps (still warm!) in their little boxes and we send them off to your bathrooms, or kitchens! There are currently 3 soap scents: 003, 101 and 801.
Find more info on YouTube in our video which covers all the stages of this production!