Our Journal Co-Founder Frédéric Fekkai Explains Bastide
"By definition, a bastide is a traditional manor house with terracotta-colored stone walls found in the country side of Provence. For me, a bastide is paradise.
Our family bastide, named Domaine Chantecler, is located in Aix-en-Provence, my birth place and hometown. As soon as you arrive, your shoulders immediately come down two centimeters. Driving up to our home, you are greeted with a view of olive trees and lavender fields carpeting the landscape. The air smells of fresh, blooming nature, and the very heady scents just surround you. It reminds me very much of my favorite Neroli Lumìere fragrance, which is light but equally powerful and intoxicating. These scents signal that I am home.
A bastide reflects the historical culture of Provence. The first bastides were built in the 17th century, and you can still find many in the south of France. When we renovated the property, we made sure to maintain the old world charm by restoring the home with great respect to its heritage. The ocher finish of the façade is traditional Provençal, and the Anduze pots overflowing with greenery are an iconic symbol of French gardens.
For Shirin and I, a bastide is where friends and family gather to create moments that will be linger long after the party is over. In the summer, we’ll take our meals out in the garden, where lemon trees are flourishing, and we enjoy fresh produce directly from our garden or from the bountiful markets in Aix.
At Domaine Chantecler, all of the rooms flow into our kitchen, where we enjoy the company of loved ones over simple meals and a glass of rosé.
I love that I can carry on some of my favorite traditions from my childhood with my family, like our annual olive harvest, an ancient Mediterranean tradition. We shake the green olives from the gnarled trees and make our own olive oil every October. Olive oil, which we call “liquid gold” in Provence, is featured in many of our products, including our oil-based body wash and our triple-milled solid soaps.
During the kids' summer vacation, we spend as much time as possible outdoors by the pool. We look forward to our time there every year.
It’s such an relaxing experience after the daily hustle of New York to have time to eat, to read, to walk, to enjoy the air.
The essence of a bastide is at the heart of our company in every way. Rooted in the culture and lifestyle of Provence, Bastide transports you to a place of serenity, encapsulating the warm memories of summer. Our products help you escape the rush of everyday life and indulge in the rituals of slow beauty, just as we do in Provence.
With every use, we hope you embrace a little bit of la vie Bastide."