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Scrub up for the New Year with these soapy French fancies – I'm buying them in every damn colour!

Are these not gorgeous? And quite the perfect way to make a fresh start to 2018. I spotted them in Stroud’s delicious interiors store Cornflower & Calico while hunting for that elusive gift for the mother-in-law and, bingo, shelves of jewel-coloured Savons de Marseille drew me to the back of the shop.

The youngest mudlet and I were quite transported by everything about these soapy delights – the touch, the look and, of course, the smell. Could we choose a favourite? Not easily I can tell you. But eventually she opted for the Fleur D’Oranger and I for the Vetiver. The scents were divine, and the orange and green looked pretty cute together in a 1940s kind of way.

green and orange Marseille soaps

Daughter and I have now both swapped out the shower gel for notre savons and unlike previous experiences with soap I can report that they leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

So what’s the story? It turns out Savon de Marseille is a French national treasure dating back 600 years and is traditionally made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean with olive or palm oil in eight-ton cauldrons. Then it’s poured into moulds, cut into bars and stamped with enviable typography.

blue and black Marseille soaps

Cornflower & Calico’s current favourites, Marine and Opium, are a gorgeous soft blue and chalkboard black, a winning colour scheme that I’m thinking of redesigning my bathroom round. Obsessed, moi? Well, maybe just a little.

Oh, and the soap and accompanying dish went down a treat with the mother-in-law.

Cornflower & Calico, Unit 2, No 50 High Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 1AN. Tel: 01453 757336;

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