The traditional olive oil soap mostly known as Aleppo Soap, has a famous reputation. It is lesser known that the traditional formula with pure olive, which plays a major role in the Iraqui cuisine indeed, and laurel oils, water and soda extracted from sea salt is not only a Syrian one but is the traditonal way to make soap in many countries of the Middle East and also Iraq. The well known Marseille soap is also comparable.
The mixture oil, water and soda is heated in big cauldrons for at least three days and is then poured onto the ground to cool and solidify. Then the soap bars are cut with a special rake-like utensil. The bars are then stacked into columns to dry and mature in the open air for a at least six, sometimes up to nine months. During this stage the colour of the drying olive oil soap will change from green to turquoise blue to its final visual nature, a reddish-brown hue.
Traditional soap making can still be found all over rural Iraqi villages like Bizayez Abu Hallan, Al Harooja and others.