The History of Aleppo
Produced in the
ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, this soap has a 2000 year history.
Year after year people have produced it using the same method,
neither adding to nor removing anything from the original recipe.
Even the Bible mentions it, associating it with renowned olive
groves of the Middle East and Mesopotamia. Even earlier we find it
mentioned on Babylonian clay tablets. Not for nothing were the
wealthy oriental califs among its most enthusiastic devotees. Even
Jesus and his disciples probably appreciated this soap. Soap from
Aleppo was particularly highly prized after 800 a.d. when it spread
throughout the Mediterranean on a wave of Arab expansion, reaching
continental Europe. At Massillia (modern day Marseille) local
people made their own version but using olive oil on its own.
Aleppo soap is thus generally regarded as the true predecessor of
the variety from Provence, not just a close relative - and is of
superior quality too. The composition of traditional Aleppo soap
oil, oil of Bay
Laurel berries and soda
ash (sodium carbonate).[i]