Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Better Than Soap On A Rope!

Here's James Martin in his kitchen making pastry. Yes, that is his home. unlike other cooks, who film in a TV set on a West London Industrial Estate and pretend it is their kitchen and their table etc, JM is actually in his own house.
Notice behind his right elbow, a bowl of lemons - but what is that behind his left elbow? It looks like a lemon on a stick!
Well, it is, sort of. It is a ProVenDi soap. In 1950, on the shores of Lake Geneva, a French, family-run soap business invented these novel soaps. The owners, expert 'savoniers' realised that bars of soap left by the sink can easily become slimy and slippery - and slide out of wet hands onto the floor. Why not drill a hole through the middle of the soap to make a bar that rotates on a shaft?
It was a stroke of genius- schools and public washrooms across France loved the idea. Just rub damp hands round the moisturising Marseilles soap to create a creamy lather. And teachers and janitors do not have to fish disintegrating bars of soap from the floor, or out of basins of water. For almost 70 years they have been in French schools. I have no idea why we didn't have them in British schools [my school had those horrid dribbly liquid soap dispenser, which were always empty anyway] I love Marseilles Soap, it is a real treat when friends and family return from holiday with a little bar for me. 
My Futility Room Plans included dreams of French my Christmas Present from Bob was this - a lovely lemon soap on its own stem. You have no idea how excited I was when I opened my gift on Christmas Day! He's mounted it behind the FR sink [although I know it will have to come off temporarily when we eventually do get round to painting] Thank you Bob.
I am not sure that having soap like JM will improve my cooking though...


  1. I'm afraid I have rather unpleasant memories of cracked, browning, rather unsalubrious lumps of soap on a shaft like that in many a French public washroom. If they stay bright, and yellow, then fine, but some of the ones I remember were distinctly unhygenic!

    1. I shall endeavour to maintain mine in good condition FD!

  2. Wow love this. We are having a new kitchen soon. And I am going to get one of these. Thanks for sharing. Donna x

  3. I’ve got one , I too saw it on a James Martin show. A beautiful smelling soap and it seems to last forever.

  4. I want one now. That is such an interesting little story. Thanks. X

  5. Fabulous and I like James Martin too. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  6. Disappointed that they are not in stock


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