France has shared her elegant wines, avant-garde fashions and sensual fragrances with us -- and now, you can add organic skincare to the list.
Started in 1977 by a beekeeper from the Ardèche region of south-central France, Melvita is France's number-one selling organic skin care line, and was one of the first brands in the world to receive the stringent EcoCert seal for organic ingredients.
Developed around the idea of bees and the nutrient-rich honey that they harvest, Melvita is strikingly similar in founding concept to the US's Burt's Bees. But unlike founder Burt Shavitz who sold his company in the early 90's so he could live in seclusion in the Maine wilderness, Bernard Chevilliat of Melvita is still personally dedicated and involved in every part of his product line.
At the launch event in midtown New York, the biologist whose father made him read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring when he was just a young boy talked about the inspiration for his entire business.
"The bee is the vector of life and a symbol of the fragility of the world. The name means 'honey and life' in Latin," Chevilliat told StyleList.
The extensive line of products priced $3 to $56 includes everything from haircare and bee-centric supplements to a men's line and "mum" line designed especially for the beauty concerns of women going through such skin-altering experiences as hormonal changes and breast-feeding.
Melvita's first U.S. store in San Francisco launched this spring, with locations in Seattle and Newport Beach following in June. You can now grab the organic goodies online too.
The French line also makes delectable tins of treats, like pure lavender honey and organic flower pollen. Our fingers had trouble staying out of the honey and pine sap sugar drops, which were both comforting and refreshing on the taste bud.
Something else the French do well? Create luxury fragrances.