Filed In: L’Occitane

L’Occitane | Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc, Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc opener

This May, L’Occitane en Provence launches their latest in the La Collection de Grasse series of fragrance products: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc – a beautiful union between the heady & intense blue iris from Grasse, and the more evanescent white iris from the Mediterranean. Once overflowing with fields of fragrant flowers, the region of Grasse (France), has been feeling the growing pressure of real estate; the amount of cultivated land has dropped from 1,300 hectares in the 70’s to approximately 60 hectares today, but with the support of L’Occitane en Provence founder Olivier Baussan, this region is now experiencing a floral, cultural, & economic revival.

In a nutshell, every product from L’Occitane’s Collection de Grasse series, helps to maintain this time-honoured vocation, and brings flowers back where they belong – I can’t think of a better way to honour our planet for Earth Day.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc trio

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc trio 2

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Shower Gel

Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Shower Gel (CAN $26.00/250 ml) is a transparent silky fluid gel that transforms into an ultra-rich lather when in contact with water and rubbed onto the skin, all in a lightweight plastic bottle with an easy flip-top dispenser for quick one-handed use. A lighter version of this collection’s fragrance, this gel serves as a great layering ‘scent’ foundation before application of the Eau de Toilette. As an added bonus, skin is left feeling soft, supple and nourished.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Shower Gel dispenser

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Shower Gel ingredients

L’Occitane | Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Shower Gel, ingredients list

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT box

L’Occitane | Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT

Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette (CAN $75.00/75 ml) is a warm/cool floral scent, filled with interesting – yet simple – fragrance contradictions. The bottle, created by founder Olivier Baussan, bears a mirror effect via the iris bouquet traced in hot-stamped gold on one side, an image which passes through the two thicknesses of glass tinted by the blue shade of the fragrance within and thus provides this lovely optical illusion. Part of the Iris Floral Family, some of the raw materials are a floral water extract of blue Iris Pallida from Grasse and extract of white Iris Florentina from the Mediterranean which form a singular and velvety blend of intense blue iris and evanescent white iris whose notes are:

  • Top: blackcurrant & citrus
  • Heart: iris, ylang-ylang & peach
  • Base: iris, cedar & white musk

While the flowers are the same (both irises), there manages to be a contrasting encounter between them, beginning with the lighter white iris – the first to greet your senses, followed by hints of fruity blackcurrant and green citrus as the fragrance begins to open up. The sensuality of ylang-ylang combined with the freshness of peaches moves in at this point, only to morph into a white musky delicacy and the powdery accord of the headier blue iris, ultimately leaving a final whisp of dry cedar to remember it all by.

I’ve stated many times that I have a difficult relationship with floral scents; they don’t always want to play nice with my body’s chemistry, but every now and then a fragrance comes along that just seems to ‘fit. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one such fragrance, a scent that seems to embody fields of flowers blossoming under the hot Mediterranean sun, but never one that will overpower the wearer – a bonus that makes me very happy, indeed.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT 2

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT macro

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT ingredients

L’Occitane | Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette, ingredients list

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream

Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream (CAN $12.00/30 ml) is a hand cream in the cult-fave L’Occitane formula, made with 20% shea butter and lightly scented with the twin iris fragrance of this collection. There is a fresh crispness to this scent for a pleasant olfactory sensation, but not so strong as to overcome the senses either. As a long time fan of this brand’s hand creams, this tube has definitely taken its place in my makeup bag, all while providing such a delectable aroma – perfect for those days when I race out of the house without any fragrance on.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream ingredients

L’Occitane | Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream, ingredients list

 

I may not be versed enough in perfume lore to discuss notes or what makes a fragrance stand out (for that, I refer to my Perfume Guru – Jane Daly), but I do happen to know what I like and more importantly, what works for me. Shunning florals has become second nature for me – although the contradiction is that I love being surrounded by flowers – but Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one scent in this family that not only can I wear, but truly enjoy. If you’re anything like me, then I urge you to give this collection a sniff next time you find yourself visiting a L’Occitane boutique – it will pleasantly surprise you … as also makes for a perfect Mother’s Day gift, since this is one bouquet that will last long after fresh flowers have faded away.

Available in May across all L’Occitane boutiques across canada.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc closer 2

Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense

L'Occitane Cerisier Rouger opener

 

Every Spring when the cherry blossom trees of the Luberon region of Provence burst into flower, their redolent and heady scent fills the air,  while their creamy petals carpet the ground (… that cherry blossom scene in Disney’s Mulan …) – nature’s fragrant & showy way of ushering in the season, I’m guessing. This year, L’Occitane en Provence launches Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense to the range, a vibrant fuity/floral bouquet in a beautifully detailed bottle that has me thinking: perfect Valentine’s Day gift. You’re welcome.

 

Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense (CAN $65.00/50 ml) – A contradictory long-lasting yet light scent, the initial citrusy burst of lemon & orange, complimented by fruity blackcurrant and raspberry notes and rounded out with touches of wild lily of the valley, give way to the heart of this fragrance: red cherry tree with actual cherry extract, to bind them all together into a pleasing accord that is at once vivid, delicate, and feminine. Created by L’Occitane’s master perfumer, Karine Dubreuil, her inspiration behind Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense was to “celebrate the beauty of cherry blossoms in the setting sun and the arrival of their glistening red fruits“.

The rhombus-shaped glass bottle (basically a slanted rectangle) with its signature aluminum embossed cap, comes in a gentle colour gradient of red to pink, perfectly capturing the hues found in cherry blossoms, while the surface bears raised & delicately rendered floral details – which also happens to provide a good grip (not sure if that part was intentional or not, but will be appreciated by anyone who’s every dropped a bottle of fragrance *ahem*).

I am ultra-picky when it comes to fragrances, as some can trigger almost instantaneous migraines – in particular certain florals (and anything by Calvin Klein too, for that matter), so I always approach these types of tests with a lot of care (and prayer). What surprised me the most from Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense, is that while the name says “intense” and I found out that it truly is quite long-wearing, it’s not overpowering at all. There’s a rather unisex tone overall and it manages to initially come off as fresh, unique & playful and after about an hour or so, settles into a smooth blend of delicate creaminess. I actually really, really like it – it’s invigorating in the way you know that Spring means Summer is around the corner kind of way.


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


Cherry Blossom watercolour art

Are these blooms not absolutely stunning?


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge box

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge 2

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge 3

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge 4

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge 5

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge detail

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense, detail of raised design


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouger cap

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense, iconic embossed aluminum cap


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge nozzle

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge label

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense, info & ingredients listing


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge 6

L’Occitane en Provence – Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense

 

I love how difficult is it to nail down this scent; one minute it’s feminine and almost dainty, then another whiff reveals a sexier, more coquettish side, while a third sniff makes you think of crisp linens drying in the sun – so original and my new favourite daytime scent (yay for being able to wear a fruity/floral!). With its red ombré bottle, Cerisier Rouge Eau Intense couldn’t BE a more perfect Valentine’s Day gift (to give or to treat yourself) – it even comes with its own flowers!

Available now through all L’Occitane en Provence boutique or online. Find more information via:


L'Occitane Cerisier Rouge closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia (La Collection de Grasse)

L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia opener

 

Continuing the unique scent pairings that perfumer Karine Dubreuil developed for L’Occitane’s Collection de Grasse (see earlier review here), she brings us two new fragrances – ‘Fleur D’Or & Acacia’ for women, reviewed here today, along with ‘Cèdre & Oranger’ for men. Based on olfactory memories of Christmas spent in her childhood town, this accord of mimosa absolute and acacia “evokes that moment when the first Golden Mimosa trees come into blossom, and that orangey glow of the December light”.

Wow….Christmas in Grasse sure is different from what I’m used to: blizzards, bone-chilling cold, and ice everywhere.

Long after most fragrant flowers have bloomed and faded away, the Golden Mimosa tree comes to life, filling the valleys of Provence with its heady aromas. I need to spend Christmas there, I think.

“For Karine Dubreuil, her first memory of Christmas in Grasse is visual, nature takes a back seat, while the sun turns a richer gold. It’s at this time that blooms Golden Mimosa, Provence’s veritable ‘winter sun’. The perfumer remembers the bouquets that she made bit by bit from this flower composed of yellow balls and which filled her grandmother’s house with fragrance. Karine Dubreuil has decided to recreate this combination of odors and light for l’Occitane by creating “Fleur d’Or & Acacia,” a floral, musky and luminous scent, that combines all the delicacy of the Mimosa of Grasse, with lighter and subtly honeyish Acacia notes”.  (text credited to: Angélique Jurquet)

 

Karine Dubreuil

Karine Dubreuil, the ‘Nose’ for L’Occitane en Provence (source)


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Star Collection for Women


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel

Fleur D’Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel (CAD $20.00/175 ml) – Infused with the bright notes of mimosa and the honeyed tones of acacia, this shower gel gently cleans without stripping your skin, and leaves you feeling totally moisturized and hydrated. The signature scent doesn’t last long once you’ve towelled off, but it’s so worth it for the way the fragrance envelops you in the shower. The swirls of golden shimmer seen suspended in the bottle, seem to add the barest hint of luminosity to the skin — but not of the ‘Twilight’ sparkle variety – simply understated and just enough to make your overall skin tone seem a little brighter.


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel 2

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel macro

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel (detail)


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Shimmering Showering Gel ingredients

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Shimmering Shower Gel (ingredients list)


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Hand Cream

Fleur D’Or & Acacia Hand Cream (CAD $12.00/30 ml) – I’m a huge fan of L’Occitane Hand Creams, and in fact, I have anywhere from 1-3 travel sized tubes with me at all times. While I usually prefer to stick to the original formula, I also like to switch things up every now and then with a scented version, and there’s something that’s so unique about this fragrance – the floral/citrus notes that greet you at first, become balanced out with a sweeter undertone, and will have you sniffing at your hands in pleasure, I can guarantee it.


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Hand Cream 2

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Hand Cream


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia Hand Cream ingredients

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Hand Cream (ingredients list)

Fleur D'Or & Acacia Collection

L’Occitane en Provence – Fleur D’Or & Acacia Collection (source)

 

 

I have a love-hate relationship with fragranced body care products; on the one hand, I love the idea of smelling nice without having to commit to a perfume that will linger long after I want it to, but all too often, certain scent combinations can induce an instant migraine with me … happily, the ‘Fleur D’Or & Acacia’ Collection hits all the right notes. If this is what Christmas in Grasse smells like, I can now surround myself with all those visuals until the day I get to actually travel. PS: With the holidays around the corner, this range is definitely worth looking into!

I was informed that the Fleur D’Or & Acacia, as well as the Cèdre & Oranger Collections will be available at all L’Occitane boutiques as of December, but both see to already be showing on the brand’s website. Feel free to follow via twitter or facebook for all updates.


Winter Mimosa

(source)

*Disclosure: Product Samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

L’Occitane en Provence – Shea Flowers of Love

L'Occitane Flowers of Love opener

 

L’Occitane in Provence, is a brand that is not only passionate about beauty, but committed to making a difference in the world. Introducing ‘Shea Flowers of Love’ – L’Occitane’s third Shea Butter limited edition collection (see previous here) in three new irresistible scents (Rose Tenderness, Subtle Violet, and Passionate Jasmine), and available in an Ultra Rich Body Cream, Hand Cream, and Lip Balm. There is also a 50g Rose Tenderness Solidarity Soap (CAD $3.00), of which 100% of profits will finance eye-health problems in developing countries, supported by the L’Occitane Foundation.

“Almost 285 million people across the world are visually impaired, and yet 80% of blindness is avoidable. The L’Occitane Foundation is particularly keen to address this international challenge, and has made a commitment to do so via the creation and sale of their Solidarity Soaps.”

Shea Butter, the star ingredient in so many of this brand’s products, is produced from the nuts of the African Shea Tree, which can grow up to 15 metres high (close to 50 feet) and live to 300 years – while the most productive period for harvesting the nuts is between the 50 – 100 year mark. Since 1980, Olivier Baussan – founder of L’Occitane en Provence, has worked with the women of Burkina Faso, a land rich in African Shea Trees, and has helped to create a fair-trade cooperative where these women are able to learn to read, write, and achieve financial independence.

The harvesting work falls solely to these women as well, since this tree is considered sacred and men may not destroy it, or touch the fruits. From late June to early September and once the fruits have fallen to the ground, the women must then extract the nuts through a difficult process of drying, crushing, and mixing them with water to create shea butter – in 2012, L’Occitane purchased a record amount of 550 tons of shea butter, making them not only the biggest supporter of this product, but also helping to create a significant positive economic impact in Burkina Faso. A well-kept secret amongst African women for thousands of years, we can now all share in the amazing properties of natures beauty cream.

 

L'Occitane Flowers of Love with ad

L’Occitane en Provence – Shea Flowers of Love Collection

L'Occitane Subtle Violet Hand Cream

Subtle Violet Hand Cream (30 ml CAD $12.00) – Made with 20% Shea Butter, L’Occitane’s best-selling Hand Cream is scented with a light violet fragrance – but not like the stuff your grandma might have worn. If you’re already a fan of this cult-fave product (I have a travel-sized tube in every single makeup bag with me at ALL times), then you’re familiar with its amazing power to thoroughly moisturize the skin, with no greasy residue left behind – the bonus here is the fresh & light fragrance that seems to blend so harmoniously with that of the Shea Butter. Also available in a larger 150 ml size for CAD $30.00

 

L'Occitane Subtle Violet Hand Cream 2

L’Occitane – Subtle Violet Hand Cream

L'Occitane Subtle Violet Hand Cream 3

L’Occitane – Subtle Violet Hand Cream

L'Occitane Subtle Violet Hand Cream ingredients

L’Occitane – Subtle Violet Hand Cream (ingredients list)

L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm

Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm (15 ml CAD $18.00) – Infused with a yummy fruity fragrance, but definitely steering far away from teeny-bopper territory, this Lip Balm is made with 10% Shea Butter to leave your lips feeling thoroughly hydrated. I have a love-hate relationships with lip balms in general: with Winter approaching, my lips begin to resemble the Sahara & I slather on lip products religiously, but often wind up with a pucker even drier than when I started out. With l’Occitane Lip Balms, I find that the product wears incredibly well, with no tacky feeling or overly sticky sensation, and once it wears off, my lips continue to feel soft and nourished. Applied overnight, you’ll wake up to baby-smooth lips, with any flakiness totally gone.

 

L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm 2

L’Occitane – Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm

L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm 3

L’Occitane – Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm

L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm ingredients

L’Occitane – Passionate Jasmine Lip Balm (ingredients list)

Beauty with a cause – doesn’t get better than this, unless you factor in all the benefits to be had from using products with nature’s best-kept secret: Shea Butter. I am addicted to L’Occitane Hand Creams and have them in all formats: regular, travel size, and scented, while the Lip Balms have been steadily making their way to the top of my beauty must-haves.

The limited edition Shea Flowers of Love Collection is available now – find more information online or through twitter/facebook.

 

L'Occitane Flowers of Love closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

L’Occitane en Provence – a “Divine” Event

L'Occitane event opener

 

L’Occitane en Provence is a brand that I’ve been passionate about from the time I first discovered their totally amazing Hand Cream (*note to self: must write a full post on that) – a product which has made it to my “Holy Grail” list, and one I always have a travel-sized tube of within reach.  Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to have tried out many other items from this brand, and every single one has not only completely delivered on all it has promised, but impressed me enough for continued use.

As a range that believes in using only the best and most beneficial ingredients – most of them organically grown, locally sourced, and unique in the world of beauty products, L’Occitane further separates itself from the herd by not only supporting charitable causes, but with the inclusion of braille on their packaging – something I’ve not come across with ANY other brand.

The free-standing boutiques are a total sensorial experience; just walk in to one, and you are immediately transported to a rural Provençal landscape, with its bleached wooden signs, earthy-looking terracotta floors, abundant wild flower arrangements, and heady fragrances. For every L’Occitane store I’ve visited, I’ve always been surprised by not only how pleasant the staff was, but by how knowledgeable about the entire range as well. There is even a sink in each boutique available to shoppers, in order that they may actually experience the cleansing products first-hand. Trying before buying … that definitely works for me. Another plus, is the wide assortment of samples available to consumers; none of those piddly little packets, thank you very much – but generously enough sized so that you can really grasp what a specific product is all about.

So when I was recently invited to a launch for L’Occitane’s re-formulation of their ‘Crème Divine’, I didn’t hesitate to say “yes”, and what a wonderful event it turned out to be. To begin with, Nicolas Veto – the CEO of L’Occitane en Provence, Canada, was in attendance and getting the opportunity to talk shop with him at length, was an amazing experience. My husband accompanied me and as he was one of the few males present, he & Mr. Veto hit it off quite well – my man was even gifted with some L’Occitane Shaving products (read all about it here), something unexpected & but so very appreciated!

After a brief presentation on the ‘Crème Divine’ and its incredible properties (full review forthcoming), we were served the yummiest hors d’oeuvres and glasses of juice-infused sparkling wine, where I was also able to experience the ‘Divine’ range myself and “feel” what it was all about – to say that this small trial impressed me, would be an understatement. You’ll understand what I mean when I post my review.

Upon leaving, I was sent away with a gift bag that contained full sizes of both the Crème Divine and the Lotion Divine, making the evening even more memorable … if that’s possible.

I hope that you enjoy this photo recap of a truly special evening!


L'Occitane event sign

There is no detail overlooked in each L’Occitane boutique – totally loving this weather-worn sign


L'Occitane event timeline

A brief timeline of the brand


L'Occitane event timeline 2

The timeline continues …


L'Occitane event table

L’Occitane en Provence – an artful display of some Divine products – plus my glass of bubbly!


L'Occitane event desserts

Citron Macarons in the brand’s signature yellow shade & mango mini-parfaits – I so regret not bringing a larger bag…


L'Occitane event immortelle flowers

One of the star ingredients in the Divine range: the Immortelle or “everlasting” flower – these are not artificial, simply air dried


L'Occitane event Divine Lotion

L’Occitane en Provence – Lotion Divine


L'Occitane event Divine products

L’Occitane en Provence – Crème Divine & Lotion Divine


L'Occitane event product trial

Testing (and sniffing!) the Crème Divine


L'Occitane event with NV

with Nicolas Veto, CEO of L’Occitane en Provence, Canada


L'Occitane event with OP

with Odile Perquia, a key member of the PR team – such a wonderful woman to deal with! 


L'Occitane event wash station

The wash station inside the boutique – wish my bathroom sink looked like this!


L'Occitane event products

An gorgeous array of the Immortelle and Divine range – doesn’t it just make you want to explore?


L'Occitane event gift bags

Gift bag soldiers, all in pretty rows

 

So many things make this a stand-out launch in my books – from the venue (after hours at one of their boutiques), the food (major palate pleasers), the products – in particular, the Divine range, meeting Nicolas Veto and Odile Perquia, a woman I’ve dealt with for quite some time now but never met face to face prior to this. A huge thank you to all who made this event possible! 


L'Occitane event closer