Aleppo soap (also known as savon d’Alep, laurel soap, Syrian soap, or ghar soap, the Arabic word « غَار », meaning ‘laurel’) is a handmade, hard bar soap associated with the city of Aleppo, Syria. Aleppo soap is classified as a Castile soap as it is a hard soap made from olive oil and lye, from which it is distinguished by the inclusion of laurel oil.
The origin of Aleppo soap is unknown. Unverified claims of its great antiquity abound, such as its supposed use by Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Queen Zenobia of Syria. It is commonly thought that the process of soap-making emanated from the Levant region (of which Aleppo is a main city) and to have moved west from there to Europe after the first Crusades.
Today most Aleppo soap, especially that containing more than 16% of laurel oil, is exported to Europe and East Asia.
Aleppo soap can be used daily as soap for washing and shampooing, as face mask, as shaving cream, and for bathing infants and babies.Laurel oil is an effective cleanser, antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-itching agent.