La Place d’Albertas : témoignage des secrets de beauté de la Provence

It is in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, adjoining one of the most emblematic places of the city that the Bastide boutique opened its doors.

The Place d'Albertas , with its warm, sunny colors, characterizes the Slow-life of Provence. This is a place where we like to hang out, take a few shots to capture the moment and sit for a few moments on the steps of the old mansions that surround its fountain.

Bastide Shop 14 Rue Esparait, Aix-en-Provence

The Albertas square was commissioned in 1724 by Henry-Reynaud Albertas descendant of one of the largest families of Aix-en-Provence in the eighteenth century, from Alba, Italy. His arrangement imagined by the architect Laurent Vallon is composed of mansions copying the royal squares of Paris. Once completed, the square became the unmissable place in the city where people came to see and be seen.

At this time, the canons of beauty have a major importance in the high society of Aix. Many writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have attempted to record the criteria of feminine beauty. Courtesans and elegant women of Aix-en-Provence, including Madame d'Albertas, or the Duchess of Mazarin, compete ingenuously to respect the codes and canons of beauty of the time.

Albertas Bastide Square

Aix beauty treatments

In order to achieve the beauty depicted by poets and to seduce men, women of the eighteenth century resort to certain artifices. In the same way, the whole body is structured, padlocked. The busts are tight to the extreme, the collar is maintained. We hide, we protect ourselves. Even if one resorts to artifice, the natural beauty rituals dominate however.

The rich seem to satisfy their thirst for beauty, and the elegant ones can spend a lot of time taking care of their bodies in order to respect the codes of beauty of the time. Thus a woman must have the skin as white and immaculate as possible. Women from all walks of life know innumerable beauty recipes and natural benefits to beautify their appearance.

Recipes known at the time, such as those of " The ornament of the Ladies " written in the thirteenth century, consist of all kinds of ointments, creams based on olive oil , honey, but also lotions. macerated or boiled herbs such as sage flower, Neroli , or orange blossom.

Special attention is paid to aromatic ointments, so in Provencal rituals we find the salt scrub  and  the relaxing body wrap with honey and lavender flowers. The relaxation of the back with warm pouches with Provencal scents.

Some parts of the body have more consideration. Like all that is discovered and in plain view, the hands must be white, and they will be the object of attentive care. To soften them, use sweet almond oil or honey. That's why our Lavender Honey Nourishing Body Milk is enriched with Provence honey and olive oil to perfume, soften and smooth the skin.

Salt Marsh - Bath Salts Bastide - Albertas Square

The cosmetics of the time are handcrafted at home, following natural recipes handed down from generation to generation. To embellish these rituals, scents with the scents of rose , orange blossom , and amber are used.

We feel a strong link with the history of this place and the beauty regimes of the time because our Beautisians are  inspired every day by these ancient recipes. The next time you come to our shop Rue Espariat; take a stroll to Albertas Square and admire the rich heritage that has so marked the history of Aix-en-Provence.