It’s difficult to ignore the wonders of the peninsula of Cap Ferret, but for Marina Berger, founder of Océopin, it was more a revolution. The discovery of the extraordinary and little-known health properties of maritime pine seed oil, which has earned it a worldwide notability since 2012. It’s thanks to Professor Wolff, a researcher at the Institute des Corps Gras in Bordeaux, that it all began. On his advice, Marina and her father decided to take it further than their pine forests. The machine was set into motion. After a decade of invaluable discoveries, acclaimed by international publications, the family filed a patent on the extraction and applications of this liquid gold. Marina then became involved with the Océopin adventure. It established its shape and philosophy: one of virtue, naturalness and rigour. An ambassador of the times, her life is segmented between Bordeaux, Paris and Le Cap, where she decided to put down her own roots. Surrounded by the vegetation that she loves so much, Marina’s business happily evolves. There’s a true art of living in La Ferret, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Her house, a fisherman’s cottage rethought by David, her architect husband, follows the movement of the sun. Inspired by the California Case Study Houses of the 50s, it encapsulates all the elements: the air, the earth, the water. And quite simply, there is no need for anything more.
Marina, can you introduce yourself?
I’m 33, I live in Cap Ferret with my husband, who is an architect, and my 20-month-old little boy. After 5 years spent in publishing as a literary translator, I gave birth to a family project and created Océopin, a brand of organic and highly natural cosmetics, fully designed and made in France.
What’s your typical day?
To combine my family life and a very time-consuming job, I start early, at 6 a.m., when my son Vadim is still asleep so I can spend a long moment with him after he wakes up, before taking him to the kindergarten. Then, every day is different since I move a lot – sometimes in forests to check our pine cones harvests, sometimes in Bordeaux or Paris to talk with our graphic design and communication agencies, to talk with our salespeople, to organise press presentations and think about new packaging. At night, I try not to work too late to live valued family moments.
For how long have you been living in this house? Can you tell us its story and development?
We bought it in 2007 after having fallen in love with it. This small fisherman’s house with an outbuilding was in a really bad state, very divided, not really open on the garden. But my husband saw its potential straightaway. David renovated what existed and totally reconfigured the plan and inside volumes. The goal was to bring as much light as possible inside so we could enjoy the sunshine and to mix the inside and outside. We also created a guest room and an office in the outbuilding. A swimming pool “links” both buildings.
Where do you like spending time in your house?
I love reading in the living room, more specifically in my favourite armchair, while my son is playing near the coffee table – his favourite place to play. When I look up, I see our garden and the pond which reflects on the framework. I love enjoying the sun, which fully fills the house.
How would you define your style in terms of decoration?
Cool, happy and contemporary. We like fine materials and timeless, well-designed, simple and effective furniture.
What’s your favourite period?
We love the Californian architecture from the ‘50s-‘60s and especially the Cases Study Houses, an inspiration for our house.
The designer you like the most?
The Australian designer Marc Newson.
What’s the colour of the moment?
Océopin green (close to celadon).
How do you combine family life and nice decoration?
Very simply: we explained to our son that he should be careful with the furniture and objects. Luckily he listens to us!
When was Océopin, your brand, born? How did you get the idea?
Océopin was born in 2012, in the pine forests of Cap Ferret, after ten years studying the key ingredient of the brand, the oil of maritime pine seeds, a unique liquid gold we are the only ones to produce and which has a lot of benefits for the skin: anti-aging, anti-spots, incredibly soothing and with a plumping effect. The brand has its origin in a decisive meeting: Pr. Wolff, a researcher in the Institut des Corps Gras de Bordeaux (experts in fats and oils), who revealed to my father, who was a maritime pine seeds producer at that time, that they contained a fabulous oil full of properties. In order to disclose it, we lovingly started up a brand of organic cosmetics which gives the pride of place to this oil for face and to the plants of Cap Ferret in all our cares.
How would you like to see it evolving?
We’d like to carry on with the researches of the cosmetic properties of our oil, which still has secrets to tell, and keep being demanding about the production of each of our products. Effectiveness, naturality and rigour are the brand’s DNA. Developing our eshop and points of sale abroad are also priorities.
A great restaurant to recommend in Cap Ferret?
We often go dinner at Chez Magne, in l’Herbe. A lot of charm in one the most beautiful villages in the peninsula.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily