On one side are the soapmasters, based mainly in the Mediterranean port that gave the soap its name. They say that the label of authenticity should go only to products made strictly by the original Louis XIV-approved recipe.
[...] On the other side are a group of 12 large companies, including L’Occitane, a global chain retailer of body and fragrance products. They want the government to certify their recipe, which allows the use of cheaper vegetable oils along with additives and perfumes to produce scented soap bars in a rainbow of colors.
— An effort to obtain geographical indication for Marseilles soap (a designation previously reserved for food items) pits the traditionalists against the world of modern manufacturing. Read more at In France, a Recipe Squabble over Marseille Soap at The New York Times.