• The histoy
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  • About soap

In the early 19th century, Bazakis & Patounis from Kallarites, a mountain village in Epirus Greece, established a trade of woven capes to supply the army of Napoleon III. With the money, soap was bought from Marseilles and sold in Greece.

Through this commerce they learned how soap was made. In 1850 their first soap manufacture under the name “Bazakis & Co” was founded on the island of Zakynthos. According to available archives, this appears to be the oldest soap factory in Greece.

Their soap soon became renowned across Greece and beyond with the company experiencing great success. In 1891, at the peak of its operation, the business was expanded by building a second soap factory in Corfu. In the 1930’s the two families divided the operation. The Bazakis family stayed in Zakynthos, making soap until the 1970’s. The Patounis family settled in Corfu, where they continue to make traditional soap in the original factory.

Ιn the 1940’s Spyros Patounis the 4th generation member of the family, having studied chemical engineering, established a chemical laboratory for the quality control of their products. Since then the company has developed a scientific approach to its traditional practice.

We make soap using only the basic raw material of traditional soap manufacture with no additives. That is: natural oils, natrium hydroxide, natural sea salt and water.

Traditionally, this kind of soap would cover all cleansing and cleaning needs. It was also renowned for its disinfecting and healing properties and was used in many paramedical applications such as: Treatment of dermatitis, Controlling acne, Prevention of pressure ulcers (bed sores), Skin rehabilitation after removal of orthopedic cast, Local cleansing, in the preparation for microbiological urine sampling, Denture cleaning,

Our entire range of soap is suitable for Vegans
Olive oil soap

Savonnerie Patounis,is a family business in Corfu, Greece, making pure traditional soap from locally produced olive products.

Our most valued asset is the ancestral recipes and practice that have been passed on from father to son for five successive generations. Our soap has been tested and approved by the local market for over a century, providing our quality assurance.

Today the increasing need for skin-friendly cleansers has given us the opportunity to expand our sales in the international market. As a result, export sales have been growing steadily.

Our premises, preserved with the functioning tools and equipment dating from 1891, constitute a living memory of a unique local tradition. Therefore, in recent years the soap factory has become the subject of academic studies while attracting visitors from the tourist and educational sector. It has been a listed monument of industrial heritage with the Greek Ministry of Culture since 2008.

In 2017 the soap making technique of our house was inscribed on the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece and the Lists which the relevant Convention of UNESCO has set forth.

Soap is the chemical compound which results when oil or fat reacts with alkali (usually caustic soda).

Throughout modern history soap has been a necessity for hygiene and cleanliness in developed societies. It also found application in medicine and pharmacology, due to its healing and antiseptic properties. The quality of traditional soap depended not only on the maker’s skill, but also on the suitability of the oil. The soap made from oils derived from olives was highly prized and sought after. Therefore, most of the early soap manufacture developed around the olive producing regions of the Mediterranean.

Synthetic detergents (washing powder, shampoo, liquid soap etc), developed in recent years, offered practicality and created good impressions, being cheaper and easier to manufacture. Consequently, traditional soap was displaced.

However, an important factor was overlooked: the negative long term effects of the new chemical ingredients on human health and the environment. Today, we know that many of these chemicals are harmful and consumers are increasingly looking for pure natural cleansing products. To this need the existing traditional soap manufacture is able to respond by offering pure soap made of selected natural oils. It is widely accepted that this is the most suitable skin cleanser since it clears the skin’s pores by effectively removing dirt, oily substances and dead cells.