05-12-2014, 03:00 PM
#1
  • vikkktor
  • Junior Member
  • Pitesti Romania
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You now about Aleppo Soap?
,,Aleppo soap (also known as savon d'Alep, laurel soap, Syrian soap, or ghar soap, the Syrian word for 'laurel') is a handmade, hard bar soap.
Aleppo soap is classified as a Castile soap as it is a hard soap made from olive oil and lye, from which it is distinguished by the inclusion of laurel oil.
The origin of Aleppo soap is lost in time. Although claims of its great antiquity abound,such as references in the popular press to Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Queen Zenobia of Syria using Aleppo soap,these claims have yet to be verified by Scholarly method.
It is commonly thought that the process of soap-making emanated from the Levant region (of which Aleppo is a main city) and to have moved west from there to Europe after the first crusades based on the claim that the earliest soap made in Europe was just after the crusades, but in fact the Romans in the first century AD knew about soap and Zosimos of Panopolis ca. 300 AD described soap and soap-making.
Today most Aleppo soap, especially that containing >16% of laurel oil, is exported to Europe and East Asia.
Traditional Aleppo soap (Ghar) is made by the "hot process".
First, the olive oil is brought into a large, in-ground vat along with water and lye. Underneath the vat, there is an underground fire which heats the contents to a boil. Boiling lasts three days while the oil reacts with the lye and water to become a thick liquid soap.
The laurel oil is added at the end of the process, and after it is mixed in, the mix is taken from the vat and poured over a large sheet of waxed paper on the floor of the factory.
At this point the soap is a large, green, flat mass, and it is allowed to cool down and harden for about a day. While the soap is cooling, workers with planks of wood strapped to their feet walk over the soap to try to smooth out the batch and make it an even thickness.
The soap is then cut; three workers drag a rudimentary, rake-like cutting device through the soap to cut it one way, then again the other way until the whole mass is cut into individual cubes. Each cube is stamped with the soap artisan's name.
The cubes of soap are then stacked in staggered cylinders to allow maximum air exposure. Once they have dried sufficiently, they are put into a special subterranean chamber to be aged for six months to a year.
While it is aging, the soap goes through several chemical changes. First, and most importantly, the free alkaline content of the soap (the alkaline which did not react with the oil during saponification) breaks down upon slow reaction with air. The moisture content of the soap is also reduced, making the soap hard and long lasting. And lastly, the color of the outside of the soap turns a pale gold, while the inside remains green.
Modern Aleppo soaps are manufactured using a "cold process" and contain olive and laurel oils, and may contain a variety of herbs and/or essential oils.
Traditional Aleppo soap is made with 100% natural, olive and laurel berry oils, water and lye
The relative concentration of laurel oil (typically from 2% - 55%) determines the quality and cost of the soap.
In the 20th century, with the introduction of cold process soap making, Allepian soap artisans began introducing a variety of herbs and essential oils to their soaps.,,
In last two months, I use only aleppo soap with 55% laurel oil. I recommended. Have a strange smell, not perfume,one oil and lye scent. I,m familiar with the lye smell, because in my country a lot of people who live in outside of the towns, made soap in the house for own use.This soaps ,,home made,, have inside lye and plants like lavender. But this ancient soap, aleppo, have laurel oil, who is one rare and expansive ingredient. Be careful because is it fake on the market. The soap must float in the water, outside have beige color, inside green.

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 05-12-2014, 03:08 PM
#2
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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Thanks vikktor! I found this video online; it shows the process you describe:


I look forward to trying it some day. Although since it's very expensive in the US ($10 for 200g?!) - I might have to wait a while. Smile

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 05-12-2014, 03:21 PM
#3
  • vikkktor
  • Junior Member
  • Pitesti Romania
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Yes unfortunately the soap with 55 procent laurel oil, 200gr is 8-12us.As in Europa. And because it is war in Syria, I think it is not very easy to make for export soap. But it consumes hardly lasts a month.

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 03-22-2015, 02:33 PM
#4
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I have been using Aleppo soap for twenty years, only Old Ghar Aleppo soap is not green on the outside. Many Aleppo soaps are green. I have tried Greek and Turkish Olive soaps but the Laurel berries are a key ingredient. 

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 03-22-2015, 02:38 PM
#5
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Great write up on Aleppo soap.  Last time I checked Kalustyan's in NYC carried that soap and I bought half dozen of them.  The soap lasts loooong. 

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 03-22-2015, 04:14 PM
#6
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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I'm a fan of Aleppo soap, I use a few each year, my skin likes it a lot.

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 04-11-2015, 04:15 PM
#7
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Thanks for the post. I was curious after reading it so I ordered a bar and I must say i'm impressed. It's all I use now.

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 04-12-2015, 05:02 AM
#8
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Check your local Mediterranean grocery.  Ours had a bunch of Aleppo soap, very reasonably priced.  It's not my favorite, but it's pretty nice.

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 04-12-2015, 05:07 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Yes, thanks for the post. Ordered a couple of bars in and have to say it is pretty good.

Bob

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