History of soap reaches the most distant reaches of our modern civilization, and the shiny example of such long journey is Aleppo Soap, a true relic of an ancient time that bridged millennia’s, traditions, and provided a solid foundation for creation of all modern soaps, detergents and other washing agents that are used nowadays all across the world.
Aleppo Soap originated from the Syrian city of Aleppo, one of the most oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world that has stood in its place for more than 8 thousand years, being witness to the rise and falls of many empires, expansion of the culture across the world and the bridging of the connections between east and west at the start of European renaissance. This ancient city thrived on trade for thousands of years, and was famous for being the endpoint of the famous Silk Road that bridged East and the West world before the advancement of sea trade routes in the “Age of Sail”.
One of the most important trade items of the city of Aleppo is without a doubt their unique soap that was made by the generations of merchant families and manufacturers for thousands of years. Formula and manufacturing process for this highly prized soap did not change over time and is still today preformed in its original form – olive oil, sweet bay oil and water are mixed with sodium hydroxide, heated and then left to cool. Soap is cut from the form, and then left to age in the shade for minimum of seven months, during which time soap will change its color from green to its trademark brown.
People from all around the world who visited Aleppo quickly realized that the claims of the soap salesman are true. Natural and biodegradable Aleppo soap is one of the most famous beauty products of the old age, natural moisturizer and humectant, so pure in its form (it has no preservatives, chemical additives or fragrances) that it is used by many for washing babies.
The exact origin of the Aleppo soap is lost in time, and even though there is hundreds of tales and legends about its creation, modern historians cannot confirm any one. The earliest written mentions of this soap come from the 8th century AD, and by the time of the crusades it became one of the most hotly traded commodities of the Syrian territories. Very quickly after that, European nations adopted Aleppo soap, and started producing their own variations.