March 12th, 2020 / posted by paularath

Frederic Fekkai, around the time I knew him.

Back in the day, around 20 years ago, I was the fashion writer for The Honolulu Advertiser. (Until, sigh, the newspaper closed.) It was the perfect job for me, as I was both a writer and a fashion designer.

I also had a weekly segment called “Island Style” on the Channel 2 Morning News with Leslie Wilcox and Ron Mizutani. That was a great gig also.

Having both a fashion print column and a fashion TV segment meant that I got first dibs on all the major Hawaii fashion stories, as well as interviews with the big name beauty experts and celebrities who came to Honolulu. The PR people would call me first because they wanted to get print and TV coverage for their clients.

It was great to interview and spend time with people such as Isabella Rossellini, Paloma Picasso, Anna Sui, Laura Mercier and Frederic Fekkai.

Island Life, The Honolulu Advertiser, June 13, 2000. Sorry about the distortion from the crease in the newsprint!
Photos by Jerry Mayfield

I wrote several stories about Frederic, as he visited Neiman Marcus Ala Moana often in the early aughts to introduce his eponymous hair care line to Hawaii. He is one of the most charming, elegant, tasteful and creative people I have ever met.

On one of his visits, I even got to have him cut my hair on live TV while he taught some of his styling secrets to the cosmetology students at Honolulu Community College. It was my best haircut ever, full of bounce and shine.

When Jerry listened to my interview with Isabella Rossellini, he said “That’s a giggle fest!” And so it was. She was in Honolulu for DFS to promote her fragrance, Manifesto.

You may remember Frederic’s life became very public when he dated an A-list heiress for awhile. Then he disappeared to a more private existence, and I lost touch with him.

So it was a pleasure to see him recently in a magazine story with his gorgeous wife, model Shirin von Wulffen. They are living in Aix-en-Provence, where Frederic has roots , and they have started a new line of fragrance. It’s called Bastide, and it’s made in Grasse, France. Find it at

Fragrance has been an important part of my life since I was 16, when Huddy, my maternal grandmother, gave me my first bottle of perfume. It was White Shoulders. Now I never leave the house without fragrance, and my home is usually filled with fragrance as well.

The Bastide fragrance sampler set

Since I love Fekkai’s sense of style, as well as his hair products, I had to try Bastide. They offer a set of samples called  “Les Sept Merveilles” with seven very different fragrances in it.

The set is $30, and is good toward a $30 savings on your first purchase. It does, however, cost $10 for shipping.

I liked a couple of the fragrances, but my favorite is Neroli Lumiere. It’s simply delicious and my husband and son love it on me. I have to have it, and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival in my mailbox!

Paula Rath

Laura Mercier is a bit shy, but she overcomes her shyness to talk about skin care and makeup.


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duncan graham
March 13th, 2020 at 4:11 am

glad you decided to get that fragrance! seriously, the best perfume i’ve ever smelled.

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