Perhaps the best part of taking a vacation is that you get to explore new places, have exciting adventures, and discover a world of things you never even knew existed. On a recent trip to Toulouse we found a fountain of youth secret that we want to share. We were introduced to Pastel by our local tour guide in the charming town of Toulouse. Our guide told us about this popular Pastel cream that is unique to the area. This amazing cream works miracles for your skin and is known to smooth your skin, get rid of blemishes, and work wonders on dry skin and wrinkles! The cream is amazing and the history of the plant is truly fascinating.
Graine de Pastel is made from Pastel extracts including Isatis tinctoria Oil and Bleu de Lectoure Natural Dye. These pastel extracts from Southern France and all of their formulas have proven dermatological benefits and are wildly popular among women everywhere.
The history and roots of Pastel runs deep in this French region and until the mid16thCentury, Toulouse was the center of the Pastel trade. The demand for this beautiful Pastel blue dye spread rapidly and merchants of this region prospered. From beautiful fabric, brilliant watercolors, and even age defying lotions and creams, the Pastel products in their magnificent shade of blue were exported all around the world.
Unfortunately, the decline of the Pastel era would soon take its toll on France around 1560. There were many reasons this popular trade would disintegrate, including lack of motivation to cultivate their craft. It seems that the greed of the merchants also played a big role in the downfall of their trade. Their drive for money and wealth compromised the quality of the products and and their business practices started to become less than honorable, In addition, there were less than favorable weather and growing conditions that had a major effect on their crops. The excessive rainfall was a detriment to their crops and although the quantity was still there, the quality again suffered. This combined with the new and growing popularity in the Indigo plant for making inks and dyes, was sadly the ultimate downfall of the Pastel era.
There were several attempts to resurrect the once flourishing Pastel trade around the 18thCentury, but none were successful. Even Napoleon tried to revive the trade by opening a school that taught Pastel production, but his attempts were futile. The efforts made could not save the once popular Pastel product trade, and unfortunately by the early 1800s the trade was extinct.
Today the Pastel industry is once again thriving in France. Since 1994, The Graine de Pastel has been cultivating and processing the Pastel using modern methods of manufacturing to create a variety of Pastel blue products. They are experts in the extraction and production of pure pigment for use in the textile industry including dyes, watercolors, textile accessories, perfumes, soaps and the fountain of youth cream we love so much!
No trip to Toulouse is complete without a visit Graine de Pastel where you can take home bag full of these wonderful blue Pastel offerings!
A wonderful addition to your visit to Toulouse is a cruise through the countryside by barge. At the Barge Connection we specialize in these exciting vacations, which provide accommodations that are similar to a villa, boutique hotel, or floating B&B. Your attentive crew will pamper you as they prepare gourmet meals and tend to your every need.
This blog was brought to you by Barge Connection, experts in luxury barge travel since 1998.