From Aleppo to Lyon area, once upon a time Najel...
As both a manufacturer and distributor, the company Najjar has specialized for over twenty years in organic cosmetic products made with olive oil and bay laurel oil. Under the brand name Najel, we offer beauty care for the whole body, including the famous Aleppo Soap, the ancestor of Marseille Soap. Although the genuine Aleppo soap is the showcase of the Najel know-how, since 2014, the company has developped a wide range of natural and organic cosmetics made in its own laboratory in Lyon.
Since 1895, the Al Najjar family has been making authentic Aleppo Soap using traditional knowledge passed down from generation to generation, at its soap factory in the city of Aleppo in the north of Syria. For the last 20 years, through the craftsmanship of the Al Najjar family master soap-makers, Najjar has brought you natural and organic cosmetics of the highest quality.
CREATION OF THE BRAND
Although Najel is today a brand renowned for the manufacture of authentic Aleppo soap and its organic body care range, distributed in nearly 30 countries, its Lyon founders are of a reserved and unassuming nature.
Nonetheless, their Franco-Syrian story is a true fairy tale that began more than 20 years ago when Catherine, a law student, and Manar, a young Syrian doctor, decided to get married. Najel, a contraction of their two surnames, is the first fruit of their love ...
With the support of Manar's family, some of whom stayed in Syria and worked in the historic soap factory, Catherine and her husband decided to market authentic Aleppo soap made from locally produced olive oil and bay laurel oi, in France and abroad. An ancestral know-how that dates back to 1895. An ancestral know-how that dates back to 1895.
MManar Najjar grew up in the family soap factory, discovering soap-making through his grandfather whom he can still see testing the formulation in cooking pots in the kitchen! But ultimately the young Syrian was destined to study medicine. He flew to France to specialize and it was in Lyon that he continued his studies, before practising near Grenoble. It was then that he met his future wife, Catherine. Shortly before the wedding, his father-in-law visited Syria and was amazed to discover the manufacture and the properties of Aleppo Soap. He was enamored and convinced Manar to export this one-of-a-kind product that, at the time, was completely unknown in France. The first container arrived in France in 1996.
Twenty-two years later, they are now completely dedicated to this activity, employing about fifteen people in France and 80 in Syria during the production season and then about twenty the rest of the year and have extended their product range to include natural and organic cosmetic treatments for the face, body and hair.
So Manar and Catherine Najjar devoted themselves to the manufacture and export of this legendary green Aleppo gold from Villeurbanne, in the Lyon area. In Syria, it is Manar's brother Samer who supervises production, from the harvesting of the olives and bay laurel berries to the drying of the soaps, a process which takes 9 months, in the family soap factory located in the north of Aleppo. Since 2011, and despite the Syrian conflict, the family has been working to continue production. This continuity enables many Syrian families to work and to live.
Aleppo soap is a natural product, made exclusively from olive oil and bay laurel oil, which has been granted a Protected Geographical Indication in Syria.
In France: Najjar’s headquarters and laboratory for production and cosmetic packaging
Sales department | Communications department | Quality and regulatory department | R&D department | Accounting department | Production laboratory | Warehouse for order preparation & dispatch
In Syria: As the production of Aleppo Soap is seasonal, the soap factory employs 80 people during the production season from December to March and 20 to 25 people in the low season for logistics and packaging.
Our products are currently distributed in 27 countries around the world by our professional clients (specialist shops for organic, natural and artisanal products, pharmacies, drugstores). Our cares are available for sales on our commercial website for particular clients.
This timeline retraces Najjar’s history from its creation up to today. Take a look at its development and its ambitions.
1895 Start of practice as Master Soap Makers by the Al Najjar family; Aleppo Soap is begun to be manufactured by the great uncle of the current CEO.
1964 Invention of Aleppo Liquid Soap by the grandfather of Mr Manar Najjar, the current CEO.
End 1996 Creation of an import-export business in France, takeover of the family business in Syria. As a trained physician, Manar Najjar recognizes the beneficial properties of Aleppo Soap and decides to spread awareness in France. This marks the beginning of the distribution of Aleppo Soap in France and then across Europe. In this family business, it is Manar’s brother, Samer, and their grandfather who supervise the production of Aleppo Soap in Syria.
APRIL 2000 The company develops and becomes a sole proprietorship under the name of Najjar.
2005 Cosmetics sales increase in France and abroad, and the company becomes Najel LLC. As it grows in size, the company invests in a second warehouse in order to store its products in a single location.
2008 First Ecological and Organic certification by Ecocert Greenlife for the production of Aleppo Soap.
2010 The company becomes SAS|Najjar with the appointment of a CEO (Manar Najjar). This new company status is in keeping with its expertise and development, and allows it to respond to market demand.
2011 Najel modernizes by changing its logo and packaging.
2014 Establishment of the Najjar Laboratory to produce cosmetics “Made in France”.
2016 Najel celebrates its 20th anniversary!
2018 Construction of new premises in Civrieux
End August 2019 Move to the new premises of SAS NAJJAR in Civrieux