Little Angel all natural Greek olive oil soap is 100% a product of Greece. We manufacture it in partnership with the Patounis family of soap makers who have been making high quality olive oil soaps for five generations.
Our partners, Patounis soap is a true family business located in Corfu, Greece All Little Angel olive oil soaps are made from locally produced olive products. One of the most valuable assets of the Patounis family business is the ancestral recipes and practices that have been passed on from father to son for five successive generations
Our desire to offer skin-friendly olive oil soaps to Little Angel guests brought us to the Patounis family and gave us the opportunity to expand their products to the international marketplace.
The Patounis soap factory, preserved with the functioning tools and equipment dating from 1891, constitutes a living memory of a unique local tradition. 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.
The story behind the Patounis soap traditional dates back to the early 1800’s. Back then, 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 they earned, soap was purchased from Marseilles, France and sold back in Greece.
It was through these experiences that they learned how soap was manufactured. In 1850, their first soap manufacturing facility, under the name “Bazakis & Co”, was founded on the Greek island of Zakynthos. According to all available archives and in formation, this is deemed 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 and 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 soap products. Since then, the company has developed a scientific approach to its traditional practice.
Like any other soap, Little Angel/Patounis olive oil soap is a simple chemical compound that is the result of a reaction between oil or fat and a strong alkali such as caustic soda. * A chemical compound occurs when two ingredients react chemically with each other, forming a new substance. The physical properties of a chemical compound differ to the physical properties of the ingredients of which it is made. That means that, if soap is made properly, it is neither oily nor caustic.
The quality of soap made the traditional way depended not only on the soap maker’s skill, but also on the suitability of the oil. Soaps made from oils derived from olives were highly prized and sought after. Therefore, most of the early soap manufacturing developed around the olive producing regions of the Mediterranean.
Over the years, synthetic detergents (washing powder, shampoo, liquid soap, etc.), offered practicality and acceptable cleaning quality while being both cheaper and easier to manufacture. As a result, soaps made in a traditional processed were eventually displaced by the newer technology and products.
Despite their benefits, an important factor was overlooked, however. The negative long term effects of the new chemical ingredients on human health and the environment were unknown and unaccounted for. Today, we know that many of the chemicals used are harmful to both consumers and the environment and many of us began a quest to find pure and natural cleansing products. To this end, the traditional methods used to manufacture soap, such as those used to make Little Angel olive oil soaps, were able to respond by offering pure soaps made of selected natural oils.
Little Angel pure Greek olive oil soap is made entirely by hand using only proven traditional methods.
The process begins by heating the olive oil in an open cauldron together with natrium hydroxide to attain saponification (the chemical reaction we talked about above). The resulting mixture is then washed out with a sea salt solution. This insures that the purity of the remaining mixture remains intact and the sea slat contributes to the cleansing properties of the soap as well as assists in the curing process.
The cooking process takes about ten days after which the soap is hand-scooped into soap trays where is left to cool and harden. There is no rushing this portion of the process as it is important that the soap be uniformly set into the trays and hand-leveled to make for a consistent cut when the time comes. It is then marked, stamped and cut: again, all by hand.
Finally, the soap is placed on wooden racks where it stays for approximately 4 months to dry and mature. After a careful quality control inspection process, the soap is wrapped, labeled, and leaves Corfu for Athens, Greece. It goes on an airplane and lands the next day at Miami International Airport where it is offloaded and transported to the Little Angel warehouse.
Little Angel/Patounis all natural soap is made using only the basic raw materials of traditional soap manufacturing with no chemical additives. In other words, natural olive and palm oils, natrium hydroxide, natural sea salt, and water. Little Angel offers three varieties of its soap: traditional olive oil soap for daily and mild cleansing of the face and sensitive or infant skin, green olive soap containing chlorophyll for skin-friendly top to toe cleansing, and olive palm soap which contains 82% virgin olive oil and 18% palm kernel oil for more gentle cleansing (B.J. Johnson developed his own formula in Milwaukee in 1898 and called it ‘Palmolive’).