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Article: Three Generations of French Beauty and Savoir-Faire

Family-owned company carefully crafts Bastide creams

Three Generations of French Beauty and Savoir-Faire

Forty kilometers away from our Aix boutique, nestled in Carnoux-en-Provence, sits a family-owned gem of scientists and product formulators that have dedicated their craft to the love of Provence and family.

Thomas is the third in his family to oversee this operation, founded in 1948, that focuses on “les produits de beauté de maman.” We’ve known Thomas and his family for some time for their R&D formulation expertise – done the artisanal and Provence way.  It was only natural to partner with them on developing our clean line of creams and lotions that are deeply moisturizing, never greasy, and safe enough to use on the whole family.

We were fortunate to all find time to sit down with Thomas and his father, Jean, to shift from our normal day-to-day conversations of “I love this cream! But can we make also just a teeny, tiny bit richer so we can put it on extra dry skin???” to talk about some bigger topics, like why a family gets into the business of beauty manufacturing for three generations, and why they’ve anchored their business and themselves so heavily in Provence.

Beaker with Clean Cream Ingredients

“A great beauty product must be beautiful to the eye, pleasant to the touch, and must feel good to use. If one of the three parameters is not met, then the product will be bad,” Jean explains, with patience, poise, and poetry. “We like our business for its diversity – research and development, the mechanicals, everyday is different.” What has not changed for generation, however, is the family development credo: “Respect for the environment, respect for the profession, and,” Thomas recites without hesitation, “respect for what we do.” Ultimately, “much of our business is through human contact. We bring what we do best, to match the customer’s needs and requests.”

For Bastide, our vision and yearning was to formulate a high quality line of body care products for ourselves and our loved ones made from the best of Provence’s natural ingredients. We also demanded that these products would be kind to our bodies (so clean and delightful that we could enjoy abundantly without moderation or pausing to worry about what we were putting on and into our bodies) as well as kind to the earth (sustainable, not wasteful). Jean and Thomas immediately understood our vision. Why? “Because we all have children,” Jean says. Immediately we knew we were in good company.

A great beauty product must be beautiful to the eye, pleasant to the touch, and must feel good to use.

Inspired by the colors, tastes, and scents of Provence, Jean gushes: “Its colors, smells; it’s indescribable, almost imperceptible.” We attempt to describe it anyway – is it the sun-ripened fruits, the olive trees, the soft and shimmering light reflecting on façade walls, almost as if painted by Cezanne? Jean cannot decide. “There are just too many good things in Provence.”  

Beauty found in nature and flowers

After three generations of business success, we ask Jean and Thomas for their secret sauce. “This is a professional practiced with passion,” Thomas answers with conviction. “It is passion that dictates the rest,” – a passion passed on as a trade secret in this Provencal family.

We adore our Beautisans!

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