The early origins of soap go back to Egyptian times, where animal fats, oils, ashes and salt would be mixed together. The Romans used soap, as did the Gauls (although the Romans were rather surprised that it was only the men, rather than women who used it). In medieval Europe, soap making was regarded as an important craft, similar in status to the skills required for carpentry, baking or stonemasonry; places such as Marseilles in France, and Genova and Venice in Italy were renowned for their soap making. The soap balls were made from soap mixture delicately scented with herbs, roots and natural essential oils. The scent is long lasting thanks to powder of Florentine Iris root and benzoin. It is much the same process today, a recipe handed down from the 16th century. You are invited to make your own washball, using traditional recipes and ingredients, but adding your own unique touch. Choose your fragrance from a long list of possibilities, such as lavender, rose, orange, lemon, honey, and lots more.