In 1993, Matthew Tilker, Mistral’s founder and president was studying alternative cancer therapies in Europe on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During a stay in Provence, France, Matthew met a seventy year old master soap maker who, in a family factory, still crafted soaps according to a three hundred year old traditional triple milling process, always using the finest natural ingredients. The soap maker’s artistry, love of his craft, and extraordinary knowledge and experience in soap making, left a lasting impression on Matthew. After completing his studies and returning home to California, Matthew imported soaps directly from Provence and sold them at his mother’s home during the 1994 holiday season. It was the beginning of Mistral; and his mother loves to remind him that the first Mistral store was actually located in “mom’s” house!

The soaps were so popular, that within months, Matthew opened the first Mistral boutique on a quaint street in his hometown of Solana Beach, California. Over the next several years he returned often to the South of France experimenting with different fragrances and unique formulas as he worked with the best perfumers in Grasse. Matthew’s talent and passion for fragrance, as well as his background in natural healing, encouraged him to create and develop an extraordinary line of soap scents, which continues to be embraced wholeheartedly by Mistral customers. In 2001, a second Mistral boutique opened in Los Angeles.

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