We all have a daily routine and shaving plays a role. These days it seems that faster is better and price is favoured over quality. At Blake’n Blade Shave Shop, we believe in slowing down and enjoying your morning routine with a shave that pampers you and leaves you feeling fresh and relaxed for the day ahead. We have scoured the globe to find the best products available worldwide that are not only unique, but made of lasting quality by passionate producers. Saponificio Varesino is one of these pearls with a fascinating history and superb products.
A Passion for Soap
Many of the products we sell come from companies with a long tradition, because if you can stay in business for over 70 years, you must be producing something great. Saponificio Varesino’s history dates back to 1945 in Brebbia, Italy, near the shores of Lake Maggiore. Over the years, Saponificio Varesino has perfected their craft through new processing techniques that maintain their reputation as an excellent producer of shaving soaps.
Bardelli Dante had just returned from the War and found that there was a high demand for grooming products like soap. With no prior experience in the field, Dante learned everything he could about saponification and invested what little money he had to start Saponificio Varesino.
Since then his values and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation to ensure that the same passion and quality go into each bar of soap. Saponificio Varesino believes in quality and tradition, and in using only the finest natural ingredients. This ensures the best final product. As Bardelli Dante says: “If you persist and insist, then you reach your goals and conquer”.
Old Traditions of Saponificio Varesino
Saponificio Varesino still uses the old method of saponification of Marseilles, now becoming increasingly rare in soap factories. Marseille soap is a traditional hard soap that has been made from vegetable oils and produced around Marseille, France for 600 years. Traditionally, Marseille soap is made by mixing sea water, olive oil, and alkaline chemicals like soda ash and lye. This mixture is heated for several days with constant stirring. It then sits until ready and is poured into the mold. While the mixture is still soft, the bars are cut and stamped.
Experience comes from over 70 years of soap-making and attention to detail through every step of the process. Saponificio Varesino produces up to 2500 tonnes of soap per year using much the same method. The base ingredients are checked for quality and consistency. The first phase, saponification, is when the fats – mainly glycerides and fatty acids – are converted into salts. Their shaving soaps are 100% vegetal and are palm oil-free. In fact, for saponification they use only food grade vegetable oils, 50% of which are coconut.
Saponificio Varesino Where Products are Born
In 1948, Saponificio Varesino made its Stella Alpina laundry soap bar, a product that is still in production today. The cube-shaped bar still looks the same as it did then. As the years passed, more products like toilet soaps were made and now Saponificio Varesino produces shaving and bath soaps, as well as a skincare line. Their shaving soaps are constantly being improved, which is why you will see Beta 4.0-4.3 stamped on their products. The shaving soaps are triple-milled, meaning they are grated into fine particles and passed through a pair of closely spaced rollers until it turns into a paste.
Hope you enjoyed reading their story and please let us know what you think of their soaps and balms in comments below. You might also be interested to read how we find the best products for our shop, then head to this article Finding best-performing shaving products thru daily testing. to find out more.