Marseille, France. It is exactly here that, in the end of the 18th century, the first modern soap was created. Great Master soap manufacturers introduced new, unique, magnificent formulas and started using innovative working methods never seen before. It was the beginning of a new Age Only natural and selected ingredients were employed, and they were worked with techniques that, today, we consider original, classic, traditional. For the very first time a mix of pure vegetable oils (Olive, Coconut, Palm) was used, all raw ingredients treated with soda at very high temperature: this is the famous Marseilles saponification method. The soft soap paste so produced was pressed and put into a wood moulding and subsequently enriched with essential oils, natural fragrances and balms, added at the end of the cooking process. This soap paste was then properly cut creating the shape of soap bars, which were hand stamped or pressed into brass moulds. Finally, a particular attention was given to seasoning, with the soap bars left to dry in wood cases for a period of six/eight months. A period in which the soaps became highly refined and effective for gently cleaning the skin. This process was first adopted in Italy by Virgilio Valobra, the greatest Italian Master soap manufacturer, who, in 1903, established the factory that still carries his legendary name. And in France, where everthing began over two centuries ago, a new traditional soap factory, follower of the famous Marseilles saponification method, was founded in 1974: Martin de Candre. MdC soaps are today exactly how they were in the past: 100% pure and natural, no preservatives, no chemical additives, only essential oils. They are truly of the highest quality, just like the soaps produced by Virgilio Valobra. Or, to be more precise, they are even more unique, since you can buy them exclusively at the MdC on-line shop: http://www.savonnerie-martin-de-candre.ic-sites.com/. One of the renowned specialities of this French company, on which I obviously want to focus my attention, is the shaving soap. A traditional wet shave with the Martin de Candre shaving soap is a fantastic, great, marvellous experience. This amazing soap is housed in a beautiful 170 g glass round pot, with an aluminium lid and a Kraft labelling. It is also available in a small 50 g travelling pot and in a more sturdy wood bowl. For those who want more the factory offers even some limited edition, elegant, decorated glass bowls in different shapes. The price of this soap is high: 34 for the standard 170 g pot, 22.50 for the small 50 g pot, 48.50 for the wood bowl and prices between 15 and 26 for the limited edition glass bowls. The good thing is that this soap is economic to use: in a few seconds and with a few swirls your brush is very well loaded. Therefore, I suppose, a 170 g pot should last over a year, with daily use. The scent is a fresh, unique and nice mix of lavender, mint and rosemary. A strong fragrance that sticks around during the whole shaving process. A real pleasure. Like other top shelf soaps (Cella, Valobra or Tabac) the latherability is exceptional, truly. With no effort you can easily build up a beautiful, creamy and dense lather. And what a lather! Super slick, super moisturizing, super rich. It sticks very well to the skin and my DE razor just glides wonderfully all over my face. After the shave I feel great. The overall quality and performance of this fabulous French product is, again, simply incredible. And what is really amazing is that this soap is a very simple soap, with only six ingredients listed! So how is all this possible? Where is the trick? Here is my answer: the exclusive use of pure and selected ingredients, the care in the manufacturing process and the desire to offer the very best, maintaining live the original formulas and working methods of the great European Master soap makers of the past. MdC shaving soap, proudly produced in the ancient style is, in conclusion, a true gem: 100% natural, expensive but economic to use, very easy to lather, very comfortable to shave with. Or, if you prefer, Martin de Candre shaving soap is simply one of the finest soaps available on the market today.