By Marantine Mauguin
After a BTS in Chemistry and a career in the pharmaceutical industry, Mary Holleville decides in 2018 to start making soaps after having started making them at home. In his shoprue Carnot in The Eagle (Orne), it has created a laboratory which allows it to manufacture all its products.
Le Normand, a local soap
She uses the method of cold saponification which allows him to obtain surgras soaps, “which means that there is oil that remains unsaponified to take care of the skin”.
For this chemist, “a soap is quite simple to make”. All you need is a mix of sodium hydroxide solution and of oil. But be careful, washing soda is a corrosive so you have to be careful.
For her oils, Marie mainly uses olive, coconut, shea and castor oils, but also rapeseed, because “I also wanted to work with local producers”. She avoids making soaps in the summer, because the process requires “a fixed temperature and humidity”. The ideal climatic conditions are “not too hot and not very humid” so as much to say that this summer Marie Holleville was not able to make a lot of soaps.
Manufacturing resumed with a vengeance between September and now for a hundred soaps made weekly.
Once the soap is made, you have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for it to dry. Surprisingly, but a soap has no date expiration, “the longer it is left to dry, the slower it will wear out”.
In her shop, Marie offers for sale a soap named The Norman. The ingredients may surprise with Pays d’Auge apple juice and sour cream. “Crème fraiche being a fatty substance, it fits perfectly in the realization of a cold saponification”. This soap exists to honor the region, “I am based in Normandy, so we also have to mark the occasion”.
At the Christmas markets
Despite the fact that we can afford some eccentricities with the ingredients, there are still rules to follow since “it’s likened to a health product”. Among the rules to follow are the product traceability and the formula.
Indeed, each new formula must be sent to a appraiser which verifies that it is indeed risk-free.
In the same way, Marie Holleville’s soaps are not designated as being able to respond to skin problems.
For them to be claimed as such, they would have to be dermatologically tested and that has a cost.
During the month of December, which is fast approaching, this former employee of the pharmaceutical industry will be busy at the Christmas markets in the region.
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