Everything started with a passion.
I created the Toulouse Maison de la Violette in 1993, motivated by my love of Violets.
Since I was a little girl, the Violet has inspired me to dream. Originally from Carcassonne, I chose to settle in Toulouse, a dynamic city and the birthplace of a very particular variety of Violet. Yet few products were made at the time with this flower: perfume, sweets, dolls and liqueur.
I wanted to give a fragrant and colourful identity to the city of Toulouse, which I like very much.
The first Violet fragrances were born in my workshop in Toulouse: to perfume the house and to launch the fashion of violet as a colour. In the 1990s the colour violet partly symbolised mourning and it was hardly present in wardrobes and interior design.
Little by little, depending on my travels and the people I met, in search of innovation to make the Toulouse Violet stand out, I proposed find food creations for chefs and food lovers alike (sugar, mustard, aroma…) » Hélène Vié
Today, 40 French regional craftsmen with a unique know-how help to create (sweet and savoury) fine products such as perfume, interior fragrances, and cosmetics using the Violet flower.
La Maison de la Violette range now includes a hundred original products.
In 1998, the idea of an unusual public space was born, to highlight the world of the Toulouse Violet and present our products.
In July 2020, the Maison de la Violette barge was born, moored on the Canal du Midi (classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), near the centre of Toulouse.
The Maison de la Violette has cultivated the flower and innovated in its greenhouse for nearly 10 years.
The Occitan Region supports this process.
The Violet - a part of Toulouse’s history
The story of the Toulouse Violet started in 1850!
A legend tells that a French soldier, left behind after one of Napoleon’s military campaigns, returned from Italy (region of Parma) with a Violet, to offer it to his beloved as forgiveness for his absence.
The Toulouse market gardeners of the time were interested in this small fragrant double flower, which is unique in that it blooms only with the arrival of the cold in winter (December to March).
This period of bloom was unique in France at the time and flowers are rare in winter...
An important culture developed in northern Toulouse (Lalande – Aucamville – Launaguet – St Jory)
At that time, 600 families cultivated the Violet and other varieties, producing 30 tons of cut flowers per year, mainly to make delicate round bouquets.
A few decades later, the Violet would be exported to the farthest corners of Europe throughout the winter and Toulouse has become famous for this unique know-how.
The Violet is at its peak in the month of February - a good time - as it is the month of lovers.
A symbol of modesty and sincere and discreet love, the Violet is very sought after in small bouquets to offer a lady.
A family history
I am continuing the “Violet adventure” with my daughter Melanie.
Together we conjure up products based on this unique flower with the support of talented local craftsmen.
A new brand of cosmetics made from the plant was born in our Toulouse greenhouse in 2020: Secret Garden (Jardin Confidentiel), beauty products.
For the first time, the virtues of the Toulouse Violet have been honoured in the world of beauty products. Valuable molecules have been identified for the first time, after 8 years of research to reveal the secrets of the Violet. Collaborative scientific work has developed the active ingredient Symbiolette® (patent FR 3085 270), produced using a gentle and natural process (symbiosis).
This unique active ingredient boosts the production of collagen naturally present in the skin.
We are continuing this research work in the regions to innovate and preserve this local heritage.
It is with ever more passion, in collaboration with local craftsmen, that we continue the history of the Violet, preserving this regional tradition by modernising its image - always surprising and evocative of Toulouse!
La Maison de la Violette has been involved in regional tourism for over 25 years.
With our partners, we participate in promoting the traditions of Toulouse.
Hélène Vié is thus an ambassador for Toulouse.
The Occitan Region and the Tourist Office support our approach through various projects.