Aleppo Soap 16% (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 (16%).
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. Although it has been claimed that soap-making was introduced to the West from the Levant after the First Crusades, in fact, soap was known to the Romans in the first century AD and Zosimos of Panopolis described soap and soapmaking in c. 300 AD.