My grandmother used to shop for a carrot-based super rich tanning cream which smelled and looked exactly like carrot soufflé. She would take me to this very unorthodox laboratory on the rue Marius Aune in Cannes where a very charming old lady would handle spatulas and pour creams and lotions from huge jars. Some felt still warm from preparation. Everything looked like a mad professor’s hideout, and the products were sold in totally ubiquitous packaging, their simplicity making them beautiful. They were displayed in very old wood casings, window-panned. Everything looked dated and fragile; it was so refreshingly old school for Cannes, a city long abandoned to unsightly vulgarity.
My parents went shopping there later, and our home soaps, big green blocks made from pure olive oil, were a household staple for 20 years. All my best friends who slept over remember the distinctive smell of these soaps. My father always had a bottle of their Eau de Cologne, I later used the Lait d’amandes douces, which had the most divine smell.
The place has not changed since 1825. Recently they were forced to "modernize" and went online. They also had to place expiration dates on their products. But they always offered home delivery, now it’s standardized but until a few years ago, I used to simply call them from Paris, give out my name and address, wait for the products to arrive with a little slip of paper with the amount due written out and would send out a check. Nobody does business like that anymore.I never could figure out if the products were totally organic, simply extracted from the purest ingredients or complete chemistry but I feel true love for this family.