The Théophile Berthon oil mill and soap factory see the light of day at the end of the 19th century in the heart of the French region of Provence, specifically in Salon-de-Provence. As many other soap factories at the time, most of the Théophile Berthon factories are located near the main streets of boulevard de la République and boulevard Nostradamus.
They alone form the major body of architectural styles of the town from the late 19th century up until the 1920’s. Soap factories being the economical drive of the city, the soap merchants are actively involved in the social and cultural life of the society.
After the war of 1870, the economic boom.
The cultivation of olive trees and the trading of its oil are the main resource for the Salon people. Rich in this raw material, the town follows the lead of Marseille and begins to manufacture soap according to the rules laid down by Colbert’s edict since 1688. The period is marked by the emblematic 300g cube of LE SAVON DE MARSEILLE PUR OLIVE. Simply olive oil and no preservatives.
The soap factory is awarded the gold medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1878 and 1889.
The city is successful: the large oil resources combined with the increasing level of mechanization in production as well as the arrival of the railroad in 1871 allow Salon-de-Provence to become one of the leading centers for oil and soap trading.
The company becomes famous for the undeniable quality of its products and its raw materials
Grand Prix 1903 in Hanoi, rewarded once more.
The First World War, followed by the 1929 crisis and the appearance of powder detergents caused the euphoria of the past decades to cease completely. Little by little, the soap factories started to disappear.
The final blow hit the soap industry after the Second World War and caused its downfall. The market was invaded with newly introduced shower gels made with Laureth sulfate. Theophile Berthon’s soap factories will not survive the arrival of this foaming washing base known for being irritating to the skin and inexpensive for personal care products.
Pauline and Jean Pierre meet through work and professional experiences. After the birth of their child, they begin to develop an interest in cosmetics. They quickly notice the lack of products adapted to their son’s sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
On the search for natural detergents, soaps and cosmetics of good quality, they first turn to SAVON NOIR as used by their grandmothers and the traditional Savon de Marseille. They start studying their properties, their use, their method of fabrication and their original composition. By doing so, they discover that 96% of current shower gels are made out of the synthetic and highly allergenic Laureth sulfate base.
They decide to embark on a business venture and find a way to offer high quality products that respect the traditional methods of fabrication. Their goal: to bring back the old ways of making hard soap, also known as saponification.
However, they want to adapt this know-how to today’s needs and create liquid body soaps of superior quality. Therefore, they surround themselves with experts and revive the traditional practice of Berthon’s soap factories.
The first line of liquid soaps that launched is highly dosed in vegetable oil and is made of 98% to 100% from ingredients of natural origin. The SAVON NOIR MULTI-USAGE, containing 100% of pomace oil at saponification, and the SAVON NOIR CORPOREL, with 80% gain success quickly for their highly concentrated composition.
Slowly but surely, the range of liquid soaps begins to grow. The latest addition is the SAVON DE PROVENCE, made up of 20% coconut oil and 80% olive oil at saponification.
As always, the high dosage of vegetable oil, especially olive oil, and the absence of preservatives make the Theophile Berthon’s products stand out.
The brand is distinguished for the quality of the products offered.
Gradually, the line of products expands by welcoming new scents and fragrances.
As time passed by, the demand for face and body products grew. To the clients’ request, they decide to adapt their knowledge and heritage to more technical products: cosmetics.
Their priority was, of course, the quality of the formula and the choice of ingredients, putting the focus on what was in the bottle rather than the bottle itself!
Offering irreproachable products, that were at the same time effective and the most natural possible while maintaining the idea of pleasure. As a matter of fact, according to their philosophy, cosmetics have to be as pure and simple as possible but still be pleasant, in terms of texture and smell…
They put all their focus and investment in the effectiveness of the formula, the quality, the textures, the fragrances but also on the safeness of their products. Doing so, they are able to guarantee a high concentration of vegetable oils, a sufficient shelf-life and safety of use for the consumer.
A concept of “just useful” that helps put forward the fact that Theophile Berthon’s products are responsible, efficient and authentic. All the products are 100% made in France.
The brand is awarded with a special mention from Slow Cosmetics.
This specific mention is given to brands that offer their own formulas and reasonable marketing.
Being able to offer cosmetics that are “intelligent”, “reasonable”, “ecological” and “human”.
Theophile Berthon is exported to Asia and their FACE SERUM wins the “BEST OF THE BEST” trophy for being the best French product during the international exhibition of Cosmoprof in Hong Kong for its SERUM VISAGE Sérum visage (face serum).
The serum is made 100% of active natural ingredients in a “lift and detox” blend of 5 essential oils and 2 different marine plants. It provides a fast penetrating texture and a true moment of well-being.
A true winning situation for the launch of their highly technical line of SKIN CARE PRODUCTS:SOINS POUR LE VISAGE.
Théophile Berthon aims to offer key products with thoroughly prepared formulas.
Theophile Berthon’s team of experts make use of their knowledge and their research to analyze, quantify and associate the benefits of every essential oil to offer products with specific oil blends for a perfect synergy.
As a brand, Theophile Berthon acquires a lot of recognition for the superior quality of their products and continues to rise as a company.
Alexander Wang, an American high fashion designer and Marc Jacob’s right-hand man, founded his brand in 2005. He then becomes the artistic designer for Balenciaga from 2012 until 2015.
For the showrooms during the fashion week of Paris, Wang turns to Théophile Berthon to work on some communication-oriented partnerships. Hence, Théophile Berthon joins Alexander Wang at the presentation the presentation of his new collection, during which they have the chance to introduce their products to buyers from around the world.
These collaborations are reiterated for the Summer 2016, Winter 2016, Cruise 2016 and Winter 2017 collections.
Théophile Berthon continues to develop their range of products with new fragrances, ranging from sumptuous scents such as IRIS POWDER POUDRE D’IRIS to more subtle scents like almond. The brand’s newest addition is the BODY SERUM SERUMS CORPORELS inspired by their bestselling facial serum.
We have received the recommendation from the Cosmetics Observatory in 2015 and have once again reached marks higher than 15/20 allowing us to qualify to sell our products under this label and in particular for our Savon de Provence, Verbena Citrus Fragrance.