Welcome to VOYAGES, our monthly guide to Julie Elliott's most-loved cities and spa destinations. Learn how she unwinds, indulges, and explores—and discover which In Fiore products she carries with her.
If you've been following our stories, you know that I've been spending a great deal of time in the South of France recently, meeting manufacturers, visiting farms, attending harvest—all part of my job as a Creatrix. (I know, poor me.) I often meet my Japan team in Marseille. We make it our home base as it’s relatively central to all our destinations, from the village of Carnoux, nestled between sea and hill, to the lavender fields of Valensole. It is also easy to access Cassis and Aix-en-Provence from Marseille. Besides Tokyo, the South of France and Paris (which will follow soon) are the two most requested locations for our Voyages series, so I’m excited to share my favorite spots, as well as a guide to navigating the pharmacies and herboristeries. Here we go…
The InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu is hands down the best hotel in Marseille. It’s centrally located just steps from Hotel de Ville and minutes from Musee des Docks Romains. The hotel boasts a beautiful expansive terrace, an indoor swimming pool, and, depending on your room, a private elevator to the very chic spa. While there is not a bad room in the house, I always request one overlooking the Vieux Port—it’s probably my favorite room-with-a-view in the whole world.
The InterContinental has a world-class bouillabaisse and a damn good cheese plate, but you should also venture out to Chez Roger for plateau de fruits de mer and a glass of champagne. Other places to indulge are Sepia which offers cuisine known as “market” (basically fresh and seasonal foods) and the infamous Le Petit Nice.
After a morning exploring the Calanques of Cassis, stop for lunch on the terrace at La Villa Madie for another epic view.
If you venture out to Aix-en-Provence, stay for dinner. Chateau la Coste has two restaurants: Restaurant Francis Mallmann at Chateau la Coste, which fuses Chef Mallmann's unique Argentinian style of cooking with Mediterranean classics, and the Tadao Ando Restaurant, which is a nice choice for design snobs (including, of course, yours truly).
Marseille is a fabulous walking city, so I recommend mapping out the areas you want to explore each day and you’re bound to discover plenty of hidden treasures. There are several museums in Marseille: my go-to's are Mucem — Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée, a fabulous museum with excellent exhibitions, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Check with the Chef Concierge regarding current exhibits and special events as Marseille is a cultural hub for the arts.
If you happen to visit the South of France in June, July, or August, take advantage of the lavender fields in their full glory and spend a day or two in Valensole. There are several exquisite châteaux and estate accommodations.
The seascapes of the Calanques (the coves) of Marseille and Cassis are best described as “heaven on earth.” Here in their secluded depths, nature comes into her own: all is uninhabited and secret, with the twisted Aleppo pines gripping the craggy rocks for dear life. Unadulterated natural luxury in our times! It’s a breathtaking and magical experience and not to be missed.
And now—the moment you’ve all have been waiting for: the herboristeries.
Père Blaize, founded in 1815, is alive and well—and by that, I mean the pharmacy-herboristerie, itself. (Fun fact: its storefront inspired the design of our serpent logo.) People queue out the door waiting for their consultation, as shopping here is a step-up-to-the counter consultation-only experience—not a free-for-all where you peruse product isles on your own. Crafted in the tradition of the French herboristeries, Père Blaize has created hundreds of remedies to address any possible concern. Literally, hundreds.
I usually make a day trip to Aix-en-Provence which is a 15-minute taxi from Marseille. There is much to explore, and the excursion is non-negotiable if you want to get into some real-deal pharmacies with an emphasis on homeopathy and essential oils. The center of Aix has several natural or "bio" beauty stores, and it's such a beautiful area. The best one I’ve found is a chain called La Vie Claire which has the most comprehensive assortment in France.
Shopping Tips: In the homeopathic pharmacies, you’ll want to focus on all of the infused oils—beta-carotene, silica, arnica, etc., and all the mineral-based ampoules such as my favorites zinc, selenium, and sulfur. (You’ll also quickly see how In Fiore is very “French.” The French go crazy for our Botanical Solutions.) There will also be all types of herbal and homeopathic remedies. People are amiable and extremely helpful, so I suggest connecting with a pharmacist and have them tour you through the store. Be sure you have an empty suitcase for your journey home!
Do as the French would do—bring your beta-carotene, your silica, and your sexy summer scents.
Firmante Elevating Leg Tonic helps to stimulate circulation and relieve stagnation after long-haul flights. I recommend having a long bath or scheduling a massage soon after arrival to combat travel-related stress and jetlag.
Fortify your skin with healthy doses of vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta-carotene with Lumière Complexe, Soleil Fleur, and Fleur Vibrante. Calendula Solution Botanique enhances the skin's natural defenses and minimizes damage caused by free radicals. (Be sure to follow with SPF.)
Exploring the Calanques
Bring your Vitale Toning Floral Essence to reinforce your skin’s ability to stay hydrated and protected when exposed to intense heat. Fleur Vibrante and Veloutée soothe and support the skin's tolerance for inflammatory reactions. (Remember to re-apply SPF every two hours. Sunglasses, a hat, and an umbrella are also good ideas.)
Fleur Vibrante Solution Botanique, Régénerant Botanical Water Concentré, and Complexe de Fleur restore the skin's energy, replenish antioxidants, improve cellular metabolism, and provide long-lasting hydration.
Dinner on the Terrace
Our Jasmine Supèrieur Body Balm contains lavender from the fields of Valensole. For sexy skin before a night out, take it to the bath and follow our regimen to hydrate, replenish the skin, and envelop yourself in a cocoon of scent.
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