It is a life experience in Martinique in a house that was not connected to the mains drainage which is the basis of the creation of the company SamaUma in Villars-Fontaine in Côte-d’Or. Everything flowed into the street, which prompted Laurent Dodeur and his family to change their mode of consumption by eliminating all the products used daily, such as bleach, toilet cleaning products, linen tablets, etc. As Marseille soap is not suitable for children because it is too astringent for the skin, Laurent has started making cold soap. The result was a resounding success with his entourage, friends and neighbours. It rained a lot. That’s how the adventure started. It continues today in the form of a company. Interview with Laurent Dodeur, soap maker from Côte-d’Or.
SamaUma, what does that mean?
It is a tree that grows in Brazil and means “tree of life”. My co-founder Lucia is of Brazilian origin and therefore we wanted to create a French brand with Brazilian colors. This brand was created in July 2020.
Last year, you won the “Slow Cosmetics” label, is that a guarantee of quality?
Absoutely. This label is a movement that guarantees clean and healthy formulas, with a reduction in packaging, honest marketing, a fair price and which favors short circuits and above all craftsmanship. Everything is 100% natural. We are also labeled “Eco-cert”. We prefer oils that I bring from Brazil, in particular Bassou oil, with properties that are even better than coconut oil or palm oil. It is a nut that grows exclusively in northern Brazil, which is very penetrating and therefore will provide many benefits for the skin.
In terms of price, does that mean that your soaps are much more expensive than those found in traditional shops or in supermarkets?
There is a certain cost since it is an artisanal work. We also support a whole number of craftsmen and producers of natural plants who are businesses on a human scale. It is a little more expensive to buy compared to an industrial product. Now, these products last much longer, and are really of very good quality. The scented soaps are at 7 euros 20 and the natural soap, therefore without essential oil, is sold at 6 euros. 20. Daily use of soap is about a month for one person.
You make your soaps cold. Why? What is the difference with, for example, Marseille soap?
The cold technique means that we will simply mix the ingredients and it is all the magic of the “chemical” process, which will in fact make the soap. The advantage of this technique is that you don’t cook. The oils are not heated so they retain all their intrinsic properties. As a result, it will bring a lot of benefits for the skin.
SamaUma is a company which is today under what status?
We are in SAS We were therefore created in July 2020. We are referenced today in a dozen shops, mainly in Dijon. The objective of this would be to reach 50 stores this year for a turnover equivalent to approximately 80,000 euros. Today, we offer a range of eight soaps, therefore scented with essential oils and a natural one which is the basis of all the others.
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The new eco – SamaUma in Villars-Fontaine is good for your skin