Mademoiselle Saint Germain: from the dreamy girl…
A dreamy young girl, Mademoiselle Saint Germain readily imagined herself as a great lady of the late 18th century. At a time when the palace gardens were of unparalleled splendour, under the impetus of a young queen with a passion for botany. At a time when beauty recipes had abandoned minerals, suspected of causing undesirable effects, in favor of plants.
Delighting, who knows, in the exquisite sweetness of a kiss stolen between two aisles. Getting drunk on the delicate scent of the roses present in abundance in these gardens with their exceptionally rich flora. Perhaps even surprising a conversation between Marie-Antoinette and the naturalist Pierre Joseph Buch'oz, making her the holder of secrets of beauty reserved for the Court alone or almost. Oh, how she would have liked, if only for a moment, to become the confidante of this young queen, in love like her by nature...
A love for a time when plants occupied a special place in beauty recipes. A passion for botany and its secrets so essential to anyone wishing to enhance their natural beauty. And a fascination for beauty, this aesthetic ideal which, if it has evolved over the ages, if it differs according to the place, animates men and women in one way or another.
Portrait of Mademoiselle Saint Germain, imagined and produced by our illustrator Lucile Chapsal
… To the accomplished young woman
This flame continues to grow in Mademoiselle Saint Germain, so much so that she chooses to study pharmacopoeia. Thus, she learns about the therapeutic virtues of plants and minerals, ancestrally known, but also animal and chemical substances, increasingly used by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
From these studies, Mademoiselle Saint Germain retains what these different substances can bring us… Just like the undesirable effects to which some expose us, whether in terms of health or the environment. Indeed, each year, more and more chemical substances are indeed singled out for their deleterious consequences: endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, exploitation of resources doomed to disappear...
This is how, from a young girl with a passion for history and botany, Mademoiselle Saint Germain became a young woman with a solid knowledge of pharmacopoeia. Knowledge that leads him, gently, to point out certain inconsistencies in the design of the cosmetics that we are offered today. If we cannot deny the considerable knowledge acquired in this area since the 18th century, Mademoiselle Saint Germain wonders... Why use potentially harmful substances? Have we therefore wrongly neglected plants, and what is more local plants when our flora has so much to offer us?
Mademoiselle Saint Germain: what if past and present
So many questions that awaken in her the memories of those delicious moments when she dreamed of being at the Court of the King, at a time when plants were honored in beauty recipes. And if finally, it was possible for him to restore these beauty secrets from another age to their former glory by taking advantage of current knowledge in pharmacopoeia?
Search results: House of Mademoiselle Saint Germain designed by the architect Ledoux 1786
As time passed, this idea never left Mademoiselle Saint Germain's mind, leading her to go wherever she thought she would find specific works and collections: pharmacopoeia, beauty, perfumery, cosmetics... She left nothing to chance, pushing the door of one, then of several libraries, from the Faculty of Medicine to the Faculty of Pharmacy of Paris Descartes, via the National Library of France. In each, she reads, analyzes, compares, compares again... Allowing herself from time to time a break on the quays of Ile Saint Louis, which, if she was forgotten in the time of Marie-Antoinette, has seen many historical figures such as Voltaire, to name but one.
Mademoiselle Saint Germain & the King's Vegetable Garden:
a decisive meeting
From research to walks, from walks to research, the first idea of Mademoiselle Saint Germain imposed itself on her as obvious: she who dreamed of being Marie-Antoinette's confidante intends to bring back to life the beauty secrets of the Court - of 18th century, but not only! - long since fallen into disuse.
What better way to do this than to push the door of the King's vegetable garden, built by Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie during the reign of Louis XIV and since then exceptionally preserved?
From this meeting, will be born a first range historical cosmetics, inspired by the Queen of Hungary's water recipe, destined to be followed by other beauty secrets. With, always, this concern to enhance the best our vegetable gardens have to offer us… Secrets of beauty that Mademoiselle Saint Germain is so fond of that she would find it a shame to keep them jealously to herself.
This is how from time to time, she will take up her pen to reveal to you, a little, these recipes which have capsized his heart for so long… And constitute the very essence of historic Mademoiselle Saint Germain cosmetics.