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Take Your Senses on a Little Trip To France

Mistral Solana Beach storefront

The French have so many of the finer things in life down to a natural science, from fine art to opulent fashion, exquisite cuisine and picturesque landscape that offers what might be one of the most inspirational backdrops known throughout history — France embodies all that is just lovely in the world.

While we may live in another desirable little corner of this planet (Solana Beach), traveling outside of our backyard allows us to experience different cultures, see new ways of life, and just take in the incredible panorama of the world around us. We take these moments in with our senses; sight, touch, smell, taste. All of which can register a memorable moment in our lives that we somehow never forget.

Focus for a moment on your sense of smell.

Think of a scent that makes you smile, brings you a sense of calm, or perhaps reminds you of a moment or person that fills your heart with nostalgia and happiness. Today we’re inviting you to take your senses on a little trip to France right here on Cedros Avenue to an elegantly charming little store that can do just that, called Mistral.

Whether you’ve had the opportunity to travel to France, the Mistral boutique aims to transport your senses in the most whimsical way with an elegant selection of sensory-driven items. The tiny store is stocked with a fine collection of authentic French soaps, lotions, candles, perfumes, body and beauty care items, teas, confections, books, and other unique gift items, including artfully crafted kitchen towels and table cloths.

The owner and founder of Mistral, Matthew Tilker, [actually] opened his first location in his mother’s home (as she lovingly likes to remind him), then later opened an official storefront here on Cedros Avenue. While their products are carried in various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, including a second Mistral boutique in Del Mar, the original boutique in Solana Beach remains the flagship location for the brand.

The store may be quaint, but what it delivers to your senses is anything but diminutive. Mistral boasts its very own line of ambrosial soaps, lotions, fragrances and a precious host of other sensory items for the body and home — these in and of itself could be reason enough to visit the store. Their line of fragrant soaps offers so many scents it makes it hard to choose which one to take home.

Mistral French soap line

Let this descriptor from their website entice you, “The Mistral Soaps are crafted according to a time-honored French soap tradition. Made with a special mélange of natural and organic ingredients and original perfumes from Grasse, France, these quadruple milled bar soaps are super dense, long-lasting, luxurious, gentle and exquisitely fragrant.” But don’t worry, if you simply can’t make a choice you can join their Soap Club, where buying 10 soaps earns you an 11th soap free!

Mistral Soap Club sign

Another line we simply have to mention is their unique line of fragrant items based off of a well-known sensory trip in which travelers are transported to specific regions of France called, “Sur la Route {Provence Roadtrip}.” They even have a special book to compliment this line of products titled, “Le Road Trip”, by Vivian Swift. The exclusive line includes signature Mistral soaps and candles that resonate with a certain region referenced in the trip.

Sur la route Mistral Soaps

Le Road Trip Book

We could honestly go on and on about Mistral, but we hope you’ll make time to visit this special shop for yourself. If you’re not able to visit the Solana Beach location in the Cedros Ave. Design District, you can find them online or check out their other boutique location in Del Mar.

Below are some photo’s of some signature items carried in the store to allure you.

From their signature line, hand creams, body lotions, foaming bath soaps, and more.

Mistral Almond soap, lotion and shower/bath gel


Mistral even has a line of men’s fragrances and body care items.

Mistral Mens Soaps and Cologne


Looking to give a gift? Let these Les Sentiments soaps deliver a perfectly aromatic message.

Le Sentiments Mistral Soaps


Mistral carries a variety of classic French body sprays and perfumes, including several from the famous Fragonard line.

Fragonard Parfume at Mistral Boutique


This tea shop in France is known to have a line out the door. But you can pick them up right there on Cedros Ave.!

Mariage Freres Tea Casablanca


These beautiful French confection tins of varying French flavors are perfect for a gift, or as a little sweet treat just for you.

Flavigny Confection Tins

 Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Mistral has the perfect array of gifts for friends, family, and that special someone!

Mistral Valentine's Day Gift table

If you enjoyed this post you might also want to read, “Retail Therapy: Time to Do a Little Shopping for You.”

The Cedros Ave. Merchants Association supports all of the vendors and businesses on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. The Avenue covers two and a half enchanting blocks of more than 85 boutiques, shops, cafes, salons, day spas, art galleries and more! Located just 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, Cedros Ave. has been a point of interest for over three decades and is the only shopping district in San Diego solely populated by independent boutiques and businesses.