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To those that adored her, she was called Minette--a sweet, diminutive nickname for one of the most influential women of the ancien régime.

Her real name was Anne-Catherine de Ligniville, known in society as Madame Helvétius. For more than 50 years, her salon in Auteuil was home to the most brilliant men of the Enlightenment.   

But she herself was not brilliant. According to her friends, she could not spell any better than her Angora cats. 

That didn't matter. She was loved well and loved often by some of the most famous men of her time.

Future French finance minster Baron Turgot was so in love with her that he proposed to her twice--once before she married her husband and again 20 years later, after her husband had died.  

The writer Fontenelle--who supposedly said of Minette, "oh would that I were 80 again"--was besotted with her.  Even Ben Franklin proposed marriage. 

What was Minette's secret?  According to Ben Franklin it was the sense of ongoing happiness that she created.  With her quick wit and gaiety, those around her felt a bit happier for being in her presence.

Our Minette soap commemorates this charming woman who used her cleverness to create a world that she loved.  Graceful and feminine, this beautiful bar is reminiscent of the best years of ancien régime France--a time of new knowledge, classic beauty, and elegant design.

Weight: 3.6 oz / 103 grams

Size: 3" diameter / 1 1/8" H

Available in custom colors and scents for an extra $2 per bar. For more info on ordering custom colors and scents, go here.

Anne-Catherine de Ligniville Helvétius

Anne-Catherine de Ligniville, Madame Helvétius

Portrait by Louis-Michel van Loo


Coconut oil, RSPO palm oil (cruelty-free, sustainably sourced), safflower oil, kosher glycerin, shea butter, water, sodium hydroxide, sorbitol, propylene glycol (vegetable), sorbitan oleate, oat protein, titanium dioxide, blue oxide pigment, green oxide pigment, ultramarine violet oxide pigment, fragrance oil.