On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live
Spotlight on France
rss itunes

Aleppo soap "made in France"

By Alison Hird

The Syrian town of Aleppo is famous for its laurel soap. But since the war reduced the city to ruins, the vast majority of its 50 factories have closed. Now the soap is being manufactured 4,000 kms away, on the outskirts of Paris.

Franco-Syrian businessman Samir Constantini began importing Aleppo soap more than a decade ago, mainly for the French market. When his supplier's factory in the ancient Syrian city was destroyed, he invited the master soapmaker, Hassan Harastani, to come  and make the soap here in France. Using the same recipe and thousands-year old savoir faire, they now produce four tonnes a week. Their company, Alepia, supplies the French, Spanish and Polish market, and has its sights on Asia.


Victims of sexual violence have 'no faith' in justice system

SOS Notre Dame: Paris's magnificent, crumbling Gothic cathedral

Sheep farmers in Aveyron warn against over-protecting wolves in France