Our history-The importance of staying ``small`` and ``traditional``

Everything started in the 1970s when Dominique and Rosine Dauge, farmers who settled in their family owned estate  at the entrance of the village of Fontevraud L’Abbaye, were looking at that time for an additional business in another sector than agriculture and got to meet André Chapuis, a chemist specialised in soap making from the Cher region.

To become herself an expert in soap making and to continue the unique know-how work of this soap making « master », it took Rosine years of learned and applied practise, ingenuity, patience and strength. Today, it’s her daughter Hélène who is in charge of the company.

To conserve accurately this unique know-how of soap production, they both shaped this small family run business and gave it a modern future. The business developped and flourished by integrating the requirements of the cosmetic industry in order to continually propose high quality products derived from 100% vegetal origin.

Everything is chemistry, starting with our body.

André Chapuis

Our know-how

« Click on the pictures for further information »

Hand-made – That is the best description when talking about the soap factory Martin de Candre !

Everything is « traditional » and « hand-made » here, from weighing the vegetal oils to the packaging, and of course the famous « hand gestures » which needs to have been practised for a long time before knowing one’s specific own « way of working the product » or « chemist trick », why not call this « magic trick!» because the oils are transformed into « soap » due to a caustic-base. Busy hands are filling in the forms, mix, press into shape, scrape, cut, stamp, whipe, shape, tidy up, arrange,

seperate, reserve, fold, hold in place, applying every detailed step of the process which is followed by a long sitting time in our soap drying work shop. Finally, you hold in « your » hands a product of outstanding and incomparable quality !
Martin de Candre is the story of a family adventure of traditional soap making which started in 1974, keeping and preserving a know-how that is almost vanished nowadays in France.

Elaborated from a saponification process originated in Marseille, all Martin de Candre soaps contain olive oil.

Fragrances : Lavender, fern, thyme/clove/cinnamon, rose, vetiver.

Rich in oleic fatty acids (up to 70%), the olive oil gives the soap an incomparable softness ! Skin, after washing and rinsing keeps its suppleness, stays smooth and very soft.
It is the ideal toilet soap to use from younger age and for life !

In addition to the excellent fragrance free soap called « Marseille Toilette », the five different fragrances of this range are own creations of the soap factory. Skilful mixing of essential oils with natural resin and waxes to preserve them, the original colours are respected and this explains, for example, why the rose soap is not pink and why the lavender soap is not purple in color.

Elaborated from a process originated in Marseille, those soaps based on olive oil contain a small amount of palm oil which makes them firmer and very economical.

Fragrances : Tolu, benzoin, milk, honey, egg, clay.

Introduced progressively into the soap production since the time when France had colonies in Africa, palm oil, rich in stearic fatty acids, solidifies the soap paste and allows like this the additionning of other ingredients which would have the unfortunate inconvenience of softening the paste !

The Honey, the Milk, the Egg and the Clay, the balms of Tolu and Benzoin treat your skin with additional properties and improve its elasticity and its freshness !

Became « the vital », the « flagship soap » of the soap factory since some years, the shaving soap MdC is a « must » of its kind !

Fragrances : Original, Fern, Fragrance Free.

Shaving is easy and comfortable, the soap leaves a delicate thin layer on the skin with a pleasant perfume.
Very economical if you follow the user advice of Martin de Candre, 200g will last for more than one year !

With or without fragrance, the liquid soap is fabricated based on vegetal oils, olive and coconut. It gently foams, washes, removes grease.

Fragrances : Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood.

Very practical in its transparent PET bottle with its distributor pump, it is suitable for the shower and frequent hand washing.

Our advantages

A 100% local production

Everything is made locally in our production work shop by a team of 10 people who ensure the good execution of the quality process. In the morning we run our two routine productions, every week all year round in order to ensure our production and the turnover of the wooden boxes in which the soaps are drying during months to impregnate and harmonize the odeurs with the soap.

Sustainable products

All our raw vegetal products (oils for the saponification, essential oils, waxes and resins for the fragrances or  additives (milk, honey, eggs…) in our production) are derived from  respectful farming in terms of environment and people. We certify not to use any additif (opacifier, optical brightener, EDTA), no parabens and conservatives, no synthetic fixatives. The palm oil that we use is certified RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)

An international reputation

Today, the Martin de Candre products have widely crossed the regional, national and international borders !! They are very demanded and every day parcels are send to all four corners of the world.

Pictures of our products

Our pictures are always taken at natural day light in their context and in the universe of the production and packaging work shop. During nice weather and season, nothing is more beautiful than working outside in the sublime countryside surrounding the Domaine de Mestré.

Vous êtes les ambassadeurs de l’art de vivre à la française qui fait le prestige de notre pays.


Voici la commande que j’ai passée suite à l’échantillon que vous m’avez envoyé. Ce dernier m’est d’ailleurs parvenu deux jours seulement après mon coup de téléphone, ce qui m’a beaucoup impressionné et, bien sûr, enchanté. Avant même de tester le savon, je me doutais que j’en achèterais un pot, ne serait-ce que pour honorer ce service client irréprochable.

C’est effectivement un savon d’exception comme on l’entend souvent. Au delà de ses performances de premier rang, je suis simplement enchanté de voir qu’on peut encore trouver des artisans qui renoncent aux adjuvants artificiels de notre époque, et se concentrent sur une maîtrise absolue de techniques artisanales, pour concevoir un produit de la plus haute qualité avec les ingrédients les plus simples, et le temps pour seul complice. Vous êtes les ambassadeurs de l’art de vivre à la française qui fait le prestige de notre pays.

Bonne continuation, et à l’année prochaine pour un nouveau savon.


Call us
Domaine de Mestré BP4
49590 Fontevraud l’Abbaye

Opening Times

Monday: 09:00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Tuesday: 09:00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Wednesday: 09:00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Thursday: 09:
00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Friday: 09:00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Saturday: 09:00-12:00 – 14:00-19:00
Sunday: Closed

The Martin de Candre shop is closed on January 1st, Thursday of Ascension, August 15th, at All Saints’ Day and Christmas Day.