Handmade soap is a family tradition

Soap making in Lebanon is an old craft established more than a thousand years ago. Handmade Lebanese soaps have been sold through the ages to the Arabian countries and Europe. The Badr Hassoun family has been involved in soap making for 500 years.
The Badr Hassoun Family continues to make olive oil-based soap as they have for the last centuries. Some historians acknowledge, that chemists from Tripoli were the first to process soap. Traditionally, a bride was given an assortment of scented soap, before leaving for her husband’s house. Soap was considered a symbol of purity. However, when this tradition began to die out, so did the soap makers.

Making soap is labor intensive as well as time consuming. First, the olive oil must be boiled and stirred in a large cauldron for six hours. Then certain ingredients are added to the oil and heated briefly until the oil is turned into a soft paste. At that point, perfumes and natural colors are added. The hot mixture is left to cool overnight before being cut into a variety of shapes.

The renewed interest in handmade aromatherapy soaps is

largely due to a growing number of people who, fascinated with self-development and well-being, start taking their health in their own hands. Bader Hassoun’s workshop in the Khan Al-Saboun has never welcomed so many visitors, interested to see how a family’s craft has been preserved over the centuries thanks to skill, exactitude and training but most all, thanks to the artisans’ love for their work. At a time when real craftsmanship becomes more expensive, the handmade aromatherapy and herbal soaps from Tripoli, combine quality and value, and are still affordable

Craftsmanship plays an essential role because it helps us define our relationship to the material world. Buying a beautiful handmade object gives us a sense of timelessness and permanence at an age when our consumer’s society is obsessed by the new and constantly stressed by shrinking time