chatting with shirin von wulffen of bastide

by Sharon Santoni

bastide aix en provence

When we put together our August Stylish French Box, I was very excited to include a candle from Bastide.    As we worked together on the details I became intrigued by the husband and wife couple that has created this  lifestyle and beauty brand.  Shirin von Wulffen and  her husband Frédéric Fekkai, acquired a 25 year old brand, which they have relaunched as Bastide,  based in Aix-en-Provence where Frédéric grew up.

 I was interested to know more about Shirin and her life in provence, and I asked her a couple of questions about the couple’s lifestyle in the south of France, and how the brand influences her own routine as well as that of her family.

Hello, Shirin, thank you for joining us today.   Could you tell us about your daily routine, in terms of beauty and health?

Thank you for inviting me!    With two kids and an extremely energetic husband, no two days are the same but I try to do some exercise every day: in provence I usually swim or go for a hike with our dog, Gypsie. As I get older, I crave yoga more and more. It makes me feel balanced and clears my thoughts. Sometimes when I am having a bad day, I put my legs up against a wall for 10 min and this can completely change my mood.

bastide aix en provence

How do you balance running your business and being a mom?

The is no such thing as the perfect balance but I really try to focus on the moment and to not let my thoughts and to-do lists run away with me. I feel incredibly lucky to have a schedule that is flexible and allows me to spend time with my kids. On the flip side, I also think it’s valuable for my kids to learn to be independent when I am not able to be with them.


bastide aix en provence


What do you love most about Provence?

The light and the smells. Whenever I am in Provence I have an urge to be creative and I thinks it’s because of the incredible light.

bastide aix en provence

What are your current inspirations for Bastide, the brand?

The nature of Provence is a constant inspiration. It’s incredible to see how plants always find a way to protect themselves and nothing is more beautiful. Currently I am very inspired by wildflowers and how they thrive regardless of how hot and dry the weather is.

bastide aix en provence

What does healthy living mean to you?

Being present and aware. Eating locally and organically as much as possible. Moderation. Laughter. And a bit of Rosé!!

How do you approach decorating your home in Provence?

I could spend every waking hour at antique markets and galleries so our home is a collections of pieces that we fell in love with. Some from Paris, some from travels and many from Isle Sur La Sorgue which is about an hour from our house.

bastide aix en provence

What is one of your favorite family recipes?

Ratatouille… I love the flavours of all the mediterranean vegetables as they slow cook together, especially when I bought them the same morning at the market


Thank you Shirin for spending time with us today!

If you’d like to know more about Bastide then you can pop over to their website and check out their selection of candles, soaps and body creams


david terry August 29, 2017 - 12:02 pm

Oh…..this is the Frederic Fekkai whose products are promoted in US magazines (my only exposure to his business)via a series of advertisements featuring photographs of him, not-so-subtly suggesting “Wouldn’t you love to have this handsome man running his fingers through your hair while, smiling that way, he pampers and indulges you in his private salon???…”

I recall the industry’s doing this (quite successfully) with Yves St. Laurent and Vidal Sassoon, back in the late 70’s). It was always amusing (if one’s alert to the implications/suggestions of American advertising) to wonder what reasonably-intelligent woman would really think that either of them was in the market for an American girlfriend/wife. Or, for that matter, a girlfriend/wife of any nationality.

In any case, I vaguely was aware that Fekkai was happily married-with-children (I’ve previously seen that family photograph somewhere). One has to admit that they’re a marvelously good-looking family; I imagine that his wife gets a chuckle out of how his image is promoted in the States (as has historically been the case for the perfectly-content wives of several sex-symbol actors such as Paul Newman, etcetera).

Beautiful house, not entirely by the way…..

level best as ever,

David Terry

david terry August 29, 2017 - 12:06 pm

P.S. I’ve always been more than a bit amused, over the past twenty years or so, to find that, anytime you mention the movie “out of Africa” to a woman (at least the ones I’ve known), she immediately takes a sharp inhalation…..and breathily blurts out “Oh my GOD…that scene where he washes her hair??….Oh, my God……”.

I’ve never quite understood the reaction, but, then, I also don’t understand why anyone would ever want to spend more than three minutes in a bath-tub or shower, no matter who was in it with you.


David Terry

Sharon Santoni August 29, 2017 - 12:14 pm

David …. you never fail to brighten my day ! 🙂


Rosanna Clifford August 29, 2017 - 3:07 pm

Hi Sharon,

I live in Sydney. Will Bastide send their products to Australia?

Best wishes,

Taste of France August 29, 2017 - 5:18 pm

David’s comment is wonderful, and I have to admit that when I saw Frédéric Fekkai’s name, my reaction was, Oh, she must get her hair pampered all the time, the lucky thing.
PLUS Shirin lives in a beautiful home. Sigh.

Terrt August 29, 2017 - 10:00 pm

Shared this with my Prayer Group . . . so lovely

Harlene August 30, 2017 - 9:14 pm

Hi Sharon I wish you could stop by for a visit you give me a treat every other day on my iPad . I would just like to hang with you for a while .Most sincerely from California

Lenore October 13, 2017 - 9:10 pm

Do you know if that bed is an antique or something current?
I LOVE it.

Emily Crawford December 18, 2017 - 6:03 am

Such gorgeously chic packaging! <3


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