Marseille's Remedy thieves balm and oil ($12 and $18, respectively). Both products are all natural, versatile, and smell so good! the balm is a go-to for sore necks, and the oil can be used to make massage oil, deodorant, antioxidant syrup, and a whole lot more. here's the folklore about these time-tested products... . In 1413, as the bubonic plague decimated France, a group of merchant sailors were arrested for robbing dead and dying plague victims – a crime punishable by burning alive. The judge offered them leniency for their terrible crimes if they would share the secret which enabled them to expose themselves to the plague without contracting it. The sailors explained that they were spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of France’s sea ports. They had prepared a special herbal infusion which they applied to their hands, ears, feet, masks, and temples and this protected them from infection. As promised, the judge did not burn the men alive – he hanged them instead. Soon after, plague doctors began to wear beak-like masks stuffed with absorbent material soaked in the sailors’ blend to protect them from disease. The sailors’ original blend, containing vinegar and garlic, was known primarily as Vinaigre de Marseille. This formula was marketed by medical suppliers as the first line of defence for hundreds of years, and has been a staple of pestilent prevention in every plague since its formulation. The rise of the modern pharmacopeia saw this staple placed in the pages of forgotten history. Marseille’s Remedy is the most traditional concentrated form of the original recipe.