I recently bought some triple milled soap at Trader Joe’s – Bisous De Provence. I bought it because it smelled really nice; I had no idea what the whole “triple mill” thing was all about or what made it so special. Like I said, it smelled good so I bought it.
When I got home and showered with it, I was hooked. It was amazing! The lather was so rich and thick, so luxurious (nothing like my Lever 2000). The other thing I noticed is that it didn’t shrink. I have a soap container that is just a little too small for my fancy new soap. I have been using it for a couple of weeks and I don’t think it has shrunk at all! This bar of soap seems to be lasting forever!
This got me to looking, to researching just what “triple milled soap” is, what makes it so special, and why I should even care. Now I will pass on what I learned to you. Who knows, it just may inspire you to pick up a bar of your own (I highly recommend the Bisous De Provence at Trader Joe’s. It is absolutely heavenly!).
What I learned is that making triple milled soap is an art. It really is. See, just because it says triple milled doesn’t mean it is milled three times; it could be more. It is a delicate balance though. Mill it too much and you get a bar of soap that is dry and does not have a very rich lather. If it isn’t milled enough you get a blob that is watery and quickly dissolves into a mushy mess. Yep, it has to be milled just right in order to have the long lasting effect and luxurious lather that you expect with this fancy soap.
This brings us to the milling process. Before soap is made into bars, it is dried which produces crystals. These crystals can make the soap rough or gritty once it is made into bars. Authentic French triple milled soaps are run through a roller mill – heavy duty, commercial grade, usually with anywhere from 3 to 5 rolls. This crushes the crystals in the soap, turning it into a smooth, fine paste. It also gets rid of the excess water and air, making the soap longer lasting and the lather very rich.
So why should you care about triple milled soap? Well, if you want a soap that lasts and lasts, has a rich, creamy lather, and makes your bath an awesome sensory experience, then you might want to start caring – it was enough for me and I don’t think I’m ever going back.