revealing our august summer living in provence box

by Sharon Santoni

My professional life at the moment runs to several rhythms, that of the tours several times a year, the magazine which is published every two months and of course our box which we create and ship every three months.

Before the box actually leaves Normandy, we spend several months curating the contents, choosing them by theme, by colour, by size.   We always try to include a young artisan brand, alongside more well known and iconic French labels.

We experiment with the best ways to pack the items so they fit snugly inside the box, and so that the unboxing is a real moment of pleasure for our clients.

Today I am very happy to share with you the contents of the August box which has just been delivered world wide.   My theme was Summer Living in Provence, and I tried to combine items to please all the senses.  Beautiful of course, sweet smelling and for this box even delicious!

Take a look through the contents below, and if you would like to receive our next box in November which will be on a Holiday theme, then just click HERE and choose between a one off purchase or a subscription.

Sunglass case by Les Paves Sonores for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

A leather sunglass case from Les Pavés Sonores:

If there’s one accessory we can’t live without in the summer, it’s our sunglasses- that Provençal sun is strong! It’s far too easy to toss them carelessly into a market basket or pool bag, so we much prefer to protect them with this gorgeously chic sunglass case from Les Pavés Sonores, a brand created by two Parisian sisters. The leather is top quality and we love the tie closure detail.

Solid perfume by Rose et Marius for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

A solid perfume from Rose et Marius:

As convenient as small bottles and roll-on perfumes can be, this solid one is even more practical. No risk of leaking in your handbag, and one liquid fewer for traveling on a plane. Plus, who could resist its gorgeous refillable box, inspired by the floor tiles of brand creator Magali’s grandmother’s house?

Cushion covers by Charvet Editions for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

Printed cushion covers from Charvet Editions:

For the first time in the history of the box, we neglected to include an item in our box brochure! And what a shame, because these printed cushion covers were a team favorite when choosing items for this box. Made of a gorgeous linen, our friends at Charvet Editions (who you may remember from our recent Artisans of France box offer or from the Marie Antoinette box in February 2018) created them with a custom botanical print, exclusively for My Stylish French Box.

Chalkboard by Un Esprit En Plus for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

A slate chalkboard from Un Esprit En Plus:

A whiteboard in your kitchen may be perfectly useful, but this slate chalkboard is SO much chic-er and more French! The linen tag adds the perfect rustic Provençal touch. Where would you hang this in your home?

Lavender wands by La Maison Franc for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

A lavender wand from La Maison Franc:

At long last we were able to include a lavender item in the box, as many of you have asked, and I was so happy that it was these beautiful lavender wands. Philippe at La Maison Franc specializes in them, using lavender grown in the Luberon region near his shop in the village of Lourmarin, and ribbon sourced from a French producer in Saint Étienne. He himself received a lavender wand as a gift from his neighbor upon relocating to Provence, and I’d love for you to think of yours the same way- a gift from us to you.

Print by Jean Jacques Sempé for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

This month’s watercolor print:

Jean-Jacques Sempé always imagines his characters in the loveliest of settings, and the one he created for our Provence box is no exception. I think we’d all like to be that lady on the roof of a beautiful house, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, don’t you?

Antique botanical print for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

An antique botanical print:

Last September, I met a very specialised dealer at my favorite antiques fair and discovered his beautiful collection of antique botanical prints, and ever since I have been waiting for the perfect box to include them. They are in keeping with the natural themes and tones of our Summer Living in Provence box, and each is from an 18th century botanical encyclopedia, certainly worth being framed.

Olive oil by Nicolas Alziari for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

A bottle of olive oil from Nicolas Alziari:

In Provence, people buy their olive oil by the litre, and it’s important when cooking to have top quality oil to ensure the best flavor in your dishes. I will always have a special fondness for Nice and its artisan producers, including Nicolas Alziari, who makes delicious olive oils that I was excited to share with you in the box.

Notebooks by Les Éditions de Paon for My Stylish French Box August 2019- Summer Living in Provence- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

EXTRA: A set of mini notebooks from Les Éditions du Paon

Those who are quarterly or yearly subscribers may have noticed that there is always an extra item in your box that is not in the brochure. For this box, we chose this adorable set of mini notebooks, perfect for popping into your handbag to jot down anything you want to remember later- even if that’s just what you need to get at the supermarket!

Tell me in the comments below- what was your favorite item in the August Summer Living in Provence box?

 

 

43 comments

Debbie Courtney August 20, 2019 - 7:27 pm

Sharon, this has been my most favorite box!!! Thought it funny that the pillow covers were not mentioned in the brochure. Glad to know about them now. Kind of thought they were a “special” gift to me! Ha! Wink Wink I miss France so much and especially the south. So nice I am able to get a touch of France four times a year—-until I can return!!! Merci

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:34 am

Hi Debbie, so glad you liked the box! Yes you are right, the cushions were accidentally left out of the brochure. Not sure how I managed to do that! I always take all the brochure shots in one go, so I had the picture, and then just overlooked it when we assembled the brochure

warm wishes

Sharon

Reply
Marsi August 20, 2019 - 7:42 pm

I think my favorites are the sunglasses case and the Rose et Marius perfume compact. Always a treat to open these boxes.

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:35 am

Thank you Marsi, I’m so glad you enjoy our boxes. The sunglasses case is made by a young woman who has started this artisan brand, and I just thought they were unusual design and very well made.

have a lovely day

Sharon

Reply
Anne-Marie Cartier August 20, 2019 - 7:57 pm

I think the items are lovely but not for the price plus shipping, however, I am happy to read that some of them do find these boxes worth purchasing

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:37 am

Hi Anne Marie, thank you for your comment.

We are always extremely careful to curate boxes with a retail value well above the price that our clients pay. In this particular case the retail value is approaching 400$, and our clients pay between 245-265$ (depending on their purchase ) including shipping to their door.

I hope that helps

Sharon

Reply
June Toohey August 20, 2019 - 8:15 pm

Sharon
Who was the lucky winner of your wonderful Provence box? I may have missed the announcement.
Was hoping it was me!

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:39 am

H June, no so sorry, it wasn’t you this time! We announced the two winners about 6 weeks ago. Please try again on the next box

have a beautiful day
Sharon

Reply
Cecile August 20, 2019 - 9:13 pm

Sharon, please find this constructive as I sincerely enjoy this group and the boxes. I have a serious, debilitating allergy to lavender so this was not my favourite box and this allergy has kept me from getting the boxes in the past but I just couldn’t resist anymore! I know lavender isn’t always included so it’s a shot in the dark for me. I don’t get to enjoy opening the box because I have someone else do it just in case lavender is in it. I had made a request to avoid sending anything with lavender but I realise it’s an unusual request and difficult to make special accommodations for this. Also, maybe I’m misunderstanding the extra in the box – was there 1 or 3 notebooks included. Is there a notebook each box? It’s lovely. Considering the allergy, I must say the last box was fabulous. I use my mug every morning. I wear the necklace often. I had the Sempe framed and will have this next one done also. Truly looking forward to the holiday box! (BTW, I periodically remind my husband how lucky he is that I have this allergy because we save a bundle on vacations that I wish I could have!)

Reply
Pamela August 21, 2019 - 2:59 am

In regard to lavender or any other plant material you wish to include in future boxes – you need to be aware that the plant quarantine regulations of some countries prohibit the import of certain plant materials. I don’t know for sure about lavender (I don’t think it applies to essential oils) but you perhaps need to check up on that for the country you’re sending it too. The Quarantine/Customs sniffer dogs will probably cause the box to be opened and the contents pulled about to find the plant material which is likely to be confiscated. I once had a small bottle of rose pink peppercorns from L’Epicerie confiscated on entry to Australia – we have to declare on the Customs form any wood, plant or food materials etc. Customs take from you anything that’s prohibited. Behind the scenes the sniffer dogs run over all the unloaded bags/boxes to identify prohibited material. They are usually good at finding it. Best wishes, Pamela

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:44 am

HI Pamela, thank you for your note and the information about customs. We are very vigilant with the contents of our boxes and we always research products before including them. All the boxes have been delivered safely to clients in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere

best
Sharon

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:43 am

Dear Cecile

Thank you for your comment. I am very sorry that you are allergic to lavender. And I am sorry that we missed your message requesting no lavender. So many people have written asking if we can include lavender in one of the boxes that this seemed like the right opportunity, and the lavender wands are exquisite!
There was one little notebook in each box sent to a yearly or quarterly subscriber. We showed all three in the photo, so that clients would see the different colours.
We are busy preparing the November box now, and I think you will love that one too!
best
Sharon

Reply
Kathy Gahagan August 20, 2019 - 10:37 pm

Hi Sharon, From this box I loved the Sempe’ print, I frame them all! The pillow cases are also very nice. I too love the Giens mug and necklace. I probably won’t wear the figue scent, I’ll gift it.
Looking forward to the Nov. Box.
Merci,
Kathy

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:45 am

Thank you Kathy, so happy that you are enjoying our Sempé prints. We are extremely fortunate to work with him this year. I think the Gien mug was a favourite with many of our clients

best
Sharon

Reply
Natalia August 20, 2019 - 10:46 pm

Dear Sharon,
As are all of these beautiful boxes,this one is especially wonderful and so very well received!
Everything useful AND lovely as well,I will use each item with pleasure!
I am especially appreciative to have other delights substituted for a candle (which,as I know I mentioned before,I cannot burn due to my husband’s asthma).
Merci mille fois!!!
Now am happily anticipating November!!

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:46 am

Thank you Natalia, so happy that you are enjoying the boxes 🙂

best

Sharon

Reply
Annette Williams August 20, 2019 - 11:23 pm

ANNETTE from Australia
Sharon – I have been following your Blog from Day 1 and for the first years each day I would turn on my computer and enjoy living and travelling around France possibly three tones a week. It was wonderful living your life on Normandy with your family and your 2 adorable dogs. But like most things in this world you have turned Commercial and now a possible weekly epistle from you is about purchasing boxes, subscribing to a magazine, purchasing tours etc etc.
How disappointing that you have chosen the commercial retailing path and abandoned your original wonderful blog.
I for one really miss the true Sharon who wrote so delightfully about France. Good luck with your future enterprising business.

Reply
Shelly August 21, 2019 - 1:21 am

I must agree with Anne- Marie. You are making a killing on these boxes! Some of the items seem wonderful, but pads of paper, a lavender wand, a tag and chalk… Definitely not worth the money. I would love to know the actual dollar amount these items cost. While I do love your blog ,and have for years, you have lost that feeling of a friend in France to the commercial business feel you currently have.

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 9:39 am

Dear Annette, dear Shelly

Thank you for your comments. I am happy to address your criticisms. First of all Shelly, regarding the retail value of the items that we include in the box. We are extremely vigilant to ensure that the retail value of the box is well above the price that our clients pay. And of course, the price includes shipping to their door. Our faithful clients who have purchased the box since we started nearly 3 years ago, are confident that each box is worth its price, and that through the boxes they discover French brands that are not available outside of France.
Annette, I know that my blog started out as just a blog. And I loved those days, but not everyone realises just how much time and effort goes into maintaining a regular blog. As the blog became a full time job, sourcing material, taking and editing photos, writing, publishing and keeping up to date on the technical side too, I also found myself replying to a huge number of emails and private messages. I could not justify to myself or my family, working full time on something without creating an income for myself.
Each of the commercial activities that you mention have grown from a demand formulated by our readers. The tours first of all for those who want to discover a different side to France; the boxes for those who love to receive a quarterly surprise box of French goodies and the magazine for those who just love to read more about this beautiful country.
I make no apologies for having reinvented myself and created a small business with a great little team.
Having said that, it is my aim to write more often on the blog about life here in France. In the coming months there will be a blogpost each week that is more in the style of the original website.
I hope you understand this point of view, and the need for me to manage my time and energy while moving forward and creating content that our readers enjoy.
with kind wishes
Sharon

Reply
Shane Pollard August 28, 2019 - 10:32 pm

Dear Sharon
I’ve followed your blog for along time and love it!
Each of your posts transported me to France. I loved seeing the development of your gorgeous garden, your two sweet dogs and snippets of daily life in Normandy.
I’m a Francophile, my daughter is married to a French man and lived in France for 18 years.
I also have a blog and I am aware of the time and work involved in presenting each post.
Hence my posts are few and far between now!
Sharon, I admire you for having the vision to create your business from your blog – well done!
I love your french boxes, I’ve bought the last two and love the contents of both!
Incidentally the blue Létol scarf in the May box has become my Winter signature look – it is much admired by my friends too… thank you!
I live in New Zealand, a long way for the little box to travel and it is expensive by the time NZ Customs slap their duty on plus they wanted information on the oil and lavender!
I frantically emailed MSFB and Emma responded immediately with the info – I was impressed with her speedy reply and support thank you!
Once I had the box in my hands and got the first whiff of Provençal lavender, it was so WORTH it!!!!!
I haunt the French shops in Auckland so I know what’s available here and I haven’t come across any of the items you’ve included in your boxes.
Sharon, in parting let me just say, I feel lucky to have the opportunity of buying your exquisitely curated box.
Keep up the good work!
Kind regards
Shane

Reply
Lynne F. Nelson August 20, 2019 - 11:27 pm

What a special treat!

The one notebook is lovely….

I adore the lavender wand—have a collection displayed in an antique porcelain wine cooler. It is so much fun to spontaneously share them with houseguests or other lavender lovers.

The beautifully presented box evokes smiles and sweet memories of our trips in France. Your clever choices are so enjoyed. Merci!

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 9:41 am

Thank you Lynne, your comment made me smile
🙂
best

Sharon

Reply
Sheila in SF August 21, 2019 - 2:37 am

Interesting comments both pleased and not so much happy with the French box, which is a bit expensive for me to purchase. I also miss Sharon’s blog and her insights into her life in France? So far I enjoyed the printed magazine.

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 9:44 am

Hi Sheila, thank you , I’m very happy you are enjoying the magazine. The blog will include more personal blogposts in the coming months, and I hope that you enjoy those too.

best

Sharon

Reply
Colleen August 21, 2019 - 3:17 am

Sharon, I agree with Annette regarding your blog, I would do the same after working a long shift in the hospital I would get lost in France I really enjoyed seeing and feeling France by means of your blog. The places you showed and the interviews with your friends and their beatiful homes, also the brocante trips. You never show picture of your two little fur boys, Gibson and Ghetto. I love the one where Ghetto had mud all on him. I shared that blog with girl at work. Your recipes and garden, I could go on Sorry. But I do miss seeing and reading your life in France it was like I was there too.
I find it disappointing to see your blog is mostly selling things. I have to admit that I often don’t read your email like I use to. I don’t share with my friends either. It’s not personal now.
But all the best

Reply
Doreen August 21, 2019 - 6:29 am

I am very disappointed after receiving the August box. I feel that the items offered were not up to standard and the box
expensive for what was inside. Boxes in the past were packaged with some very beautiful products that were useable not this time. In the last year the boxes have a hit or miss and I have been a customer for over 2 years but wasn’t happy with the contents and have cancelled my subscription. I also agree with some of your other customers that your business has
become too commercial now.

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 9:46 am

Hi Doreen, so sorry you are disappointed with the August box. I can assure you that the value was equivalent or higher than our previous boxes, and certainly of a retail value well above the purchase price. Plus of course we do not charge for shipping.
It is difficult for us to please everyone, but please know that if ever you wish to return and try the boxes again you would be most welcome

best wishes

Sharon

Reply
Kathy August 21, 2019 - 7:42 am

Lovely gifts ❤️

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 9:47 am

Thank you Kathy!

best wishes

Sharon

Reply
Glenda August 21, 2019 - 10:39 am

Dearest Sharon, I must admit I am shocked at some of these comments here!! I too feel like your blog has become less personal, and used to feel more like you were my friend in France, but when a friend starts a business, I also do whatever I can to support that business. Saying that they won’t share your posts or the other parts of your business anymore because you’ve become too “commercial” just says to me that they were only in it for what you were offering them for free, and don’t truly view you as a friend.

My children are about the same age as yours, I think, and both work in the online market and have blogs themselves. Through them I see how the online world is changing and I am so impressed with how you’ve kept up with the times without putting ads on your blog or having brands pay for posts! Keep up the great work- and hope to see more blog posts about your life soon too!!

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 12:51 pm

HI Glenda, Thank you for your kind comment. I actually take these comments as a compliment. If the blog wasn’t important to people they would not feel so strongly about it 🙂
I’ve promised that I will start publishing more ‘blog’ content, and hopefully my readers will understand how hard we are trying to get the right balance

best
Sharon

Reply
Torunn August 21, 2019 - 11:20 am

Hello Sharon, I have only read your blog for about 1 1/2 years. After the first months I felt it was so good I felt bad I did not pay for it. Today just one year later I feel it is so overflowned with commercial offers I am thinking of not reading it any longer because it does not give me the same good feeling it used to. I have thought about it many times how it could be made practical, but for me I would rather pay a price for a not so commercialized blog than the one it has become, but probably that might just be the case for me. And I really understand that you both want and should get paid for this exquisite blog, your pictures and writing in one way or another. Nice to hear that you will have more personal blogposts in the months to come. Thank you for learning me so much about French culture, history and your artisans. Torunn

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 12:52 pm

Hi Torunn, thank you for your kind words about the blog. And yes, we really will do more to bring readers the content they enjoy

best

Sharon

Reply
Hazel Lavelle August 21, 2019 - 11:45 am

Hi Sharon , iam shocked , but not surprised by the majority of loyal followers of your blog , feeling a bit sad it’s changed , seeing the other peoples comments verifed this to me , can’t afford your boxes
But I still liked to see the contents on your blog
Aw well ” hazel

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 6:27 pm

merci Hazel 🙂

Reply
Michelle A from California August 21, 2019 - 5:52 pm

Hi Sharon – Thank you so much for bringing such loveliness into all of our lives. I have been subscribing to your boxes for about a year now and just subscribed to your beautiful magazine. I know that there are many people who “question” the price of the boxes but, to put it into perspective, I look at it as putting aside about $20 per week (easily 3 trips to Starbucks) and in return I get a wonderful gift 4 times a year full of beautiful French items that I would never be able to find in California. Each box is unique and I get different items that I may not have purchased on my own but I do find that I put them to use and it helps get me out of my comfort zone. My personal favorites from this box were the gorgeous Rose et Marius perfume compact and the botanical print from 1791 (I can’t wait to frame this). My favorite items from some of the prior boxes are the definitely the scarfs, coffee cup, bowl and the antique silver tongs, Also, I would have never in my dreams bought a beret on my own but when I received it and tried it on I was pleasantly surprised how cute it looks – also, I went to Paris soon after and saw so many local women wearing them so I was so pleased to actually own one myself. Sorry – went on too long but just wanted to let you know how you and your business have really enhanced my life and I so appreciate what you and your team do!

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 6:28 pm

Dear Michelle, thank you for your kind comment. It is always lovely when clients leave comments in public, or write to us privately to tell us how much they enjoy the boxes.

We will continue to look for beautiful treasure to send to you, and hope you’ll continue to enjoy the boxes for a long while to come.

warm wishes

Sharon

Reply
Linda August 21, 2019 - 6:37 pm

Dear Sharon, This is my second box and am again so very thrilled! What you put in these boxes is just wonderful. My love for the south of France is habit forming. I just have to say, I love my little retreat in the form of the magazine and now the boxes. Am aging and on my Bucket List (very American) I hope to join one of your tours. You have added a lovely travel and food guide right here at home. Thank you so very much. Look forward to my 3rd box!
Linda

Reply
Sharon Santoni August 21, 2019 - 8:51 pm

Thank you so much Linda, you are part of a growing tribe who purchase the box and the magazine, and I am very honoured to think that we bring you a little bit of France, delivered to your door.

warm wishes

Sharon

Reply
Vicky from Athens August 21, 2019 - 10:15 pm

Sharon, Michelle voiced my feelings to a “T”. Comparing the price of the contents of the box to trips to Starbucks was great! She’s right!
My favorite item(s) from the August box have to be the pillow slips. Beautiful. Also, I have loved the scarves from past boxes. And the candles! I am never disappointed and always look forward to each box.
Sometimes I miss your posts from the past that were more about you, your house and garden, your family, pets and your kitchen. But it has also been so interesting to watch and be a part of your evolution…your reinvention process.
Keep up the good work. You’re my “personal shopper” and you have great taste!

Reply
Karen August 21, 2019 - 10:58 pm

I ordered this, for myself, for my August birthday. And guess what; it arrived on the exact day. It was sitting on my dining room table when I got home from work. The time and thought that went into the packaging made the experience of opening the box even more fun. The botanical print was my favorite. Thank you.

Reply
Floranet August 28, 2019 - 10:48 am

What a Fantastic Post!! Love your work.

Reply
Nicole Moore August 28, 2019 - 6:07 pm

Hello, Sharon. I know I am late commenting here, but wanted to check in. This was my first box. Provence has always been a special dream of mine and August is my birthday month, so with that combination…. happy birthday to me! I was very pleased with everything in the box, what I will use the most is the sunglass case, but the lavender, olive oil are in a tie for close second. The notebooks in the flyer looked beautiful and I was a disappointed to see my box didn’t contain that, but understand your special gift for your regular subscribers. It was all lovely! Thank you!

Reply

Leave a Comment