Violet production was a major employer in the Toulouse area during the 19th century and to keep this heritage alive various products derived from the pale purple flower – from perfume to essential oils – have been put to good use by the Jardin d’Elen workshop since since 1993.
Boss Hélène Vié works with 40 local artisans and oversees violets being grown in greenhouses in order to protect the heritage of the species.
Such is the popularity of its soft-scented goods that the flower has grown to become a symbol of the city, also known for its pink brick buildings.
As well as goodies tasting of violet, from sweets to liqueurs and even mustard, you can also buy pampering treats for the bathroom, from fabric softener to bubble bath, body lotions to soaps, as well as nicely embroidered towels.
Explore the online boutique to discover the full range of violet-related items.
Digital leash keeps pets close
Keeping a close eye on your wandering dog or cat, especially in rural France, is not always easy. So this new Invoxia ‘digital leash’ – a discreet GPS tracker attached to the animal’s collar that sends updates on your pet’s whereabouts to your phone (up to every three minutes depending on your data network) – is a brilliant French idea.
You can set up “virtual fence” areas in your application and receive notifications when your pet enters or leaves them. The battery, chargeable via a USB cable, lasts for up to six months and it informs the user when power is getting low. Price €99.
Juiced in time
Founded in 1856, Elixia is an independent family business and is the oldest artisanal limonaderie in France.
Its lemonades are handmade from a recipe unchanged since 1856, with water from the Jura massif.
The classic range is created using pure cane sugar while the organic range is made with agave syrup. All drinks are made without artificial colourings, flavours or preservative.
New flavours for 2018 include ginger, elderflower and peppermint. Price: €1.90 for 33cl or €3.50 for 75cl, available online and in supermarkets and épiceries.
A passion for male grooming
Armed with years of experience in the worlds of beauty, make-up and healthcare for women, sisters Karine and Stéphanie Coccellato decided to turn their attention to pampering men. ‘After all, who loves men more than women,’ says Karine with smile.
They have just launched the Archiman range of 100% Made in France cleansers, hydrating creams and gels, each of which is painstakingly created without blacklisted harmful ingredients (none of them are tested on animals but only on their friends, they tell us!).
Moisturising face gel (50cl) costs €39. Free delivery to mainland France on orders over €60.