Filed In: L’Occitane

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Cream

img_1655

 

Harmony. The very word brings about a feeling of peace, doesn’t it? L’Occitane agrees and after consulting hundreds of participants, they created a new holistic approach to skincare, one that aims to fuse the body & mind in perfect harmony. It stands to reason; if your skin shows a better texture and tone, then that gives way to a feel-good frame of mind. Harmony.

L’Occitane recently introduced Divine Harmony (Serum and Cream), their newest skincare products in the brand’s lineup that include ingredients powered by the earth and sea. The two stars of the show are Immortelle Millésimée — the flower that never fades, and Jania Rubens — a red algae that continuously regenerates, the pair coming together, well … in harmony, to offer up all their incredible restorative benefits to your skin.

Found on the island of Corsica, Immortelle Millésimée grow freely and abundantly in two special locations, privately owned farms where the sustainably grown flowers are harvested by hand using the traditional sickle method, thus allowing the flowers to slowly fall once they’ve reached full maturity. The is important to note, because this precious flower will only release its potent anti-ageing powers when it’s ready – and not before. Taking anywhere from several weeks — and even longer — to gather, this slower growth means that it may take anywhere from 700 kg to one ton of flowers to produce two litres of this precious essential oil. But then again, immortality has no timetable.

Growing in the clear mineral-rich waters of Revellata Bay in Corsica, Jania Rubens thrives in this sheltered sun drenched marine environment that’s free of any pollutants, finding everything it needs to grow and perpetually regenerate. Upon studying this plant, L’Occitane, in partnership with STARESO (a research centre), then set up a sustainable cultivation program using controlled conditions. Starting by taking a single fragment of the algae and then cultivating that in vitro in an aquarium that replicates the exceptional conditions of its natural habitat, this then made it possible to ‘trigger’ the regeneration process to produce new algae, and in turn obtain its rare 100% natural active extract.

Bound together for the first time, Immortelle Millésimée and Jania Rubens are found in unprecedented concentrations in both the Divine Harmony Serum and Divine Harmony Cream which also happen to come in refillable bottles, thus limiting their environmental impact and furthering the entire concept of harmony.

 

loccitane-immortelle-flowers

The flower that never fades, Immortelle Millésimée from Corsica

loccitane-divine-harmonie-packaging

 

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Divine Harmony Cream

img_1652

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Divine Harmony Cream

img_1665

Divine Harmony Serum (CAN $225.00/30 ml, $210.00 refill) | Each refillable bottle of this Serum contains 5,000 micro-drops of Immortelle Millésimée that is suspended within a water-based gel enriched with Jania Rubens. Both of these potent ingredients are thus encapsulated in each tiny drop, protected by a super-fine membrane that waits for the right moment to act upon the skin. Other ingredients include essential oils of:

  • myrtle
  • camelina
  • evening primrose
  • borage

Once dispense via the pump delivery system, each micro-drop delicately bursts upon the skin, spreading effortlessly and vanishing without any greasy residue whatsoever. Its fresh green-floral fragrance makes me immediately think of a sun-drenched field, a scent that dissipates fairly quickly after application. To be used after cleansing, morning and night.

loccitane-divine-harmony-serum-2

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

loccitane-divine-harmony-serum-3

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

loccitane-divine-harmony-serum-macro

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

img_1445

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

 

loccitane-divine-harmony-cream-1

Divine Harmony Cream (CAN $200.00/50 ml, $185.00 refill) | Made with the same super-fusion of Immortelle Millésimée and Jania Rubens, along with essential oils of myrtle, camelina, evening primrose, borage & musk, it’s the texture that stands out: once applied to the skin, it evolves from a lightweight cream into a soft oil, thereby allowing the ‘lipophilic active ingredients’ to effectively penetrate into the skin. Scented with the same fragrance as the Serum, it continues the whole sensorial experience — in the least offensive way possible — and gives your skin an immediate softness you can both see and feel. To be used after the Divine Harmony Serum, both morning and night.

loccitane-divine-harmony-cream-2

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

loccitane-divine-harmony-cream-3

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

loccitane-divine-harmony-cream-4

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

 

I am deeply passionate about skincare, especially as I’ve gotten older and understood the importance of protecting my skin, a concept I’m not ashamed to say was quite foreign to me back when I was younger (and totally invincible). It also goes without saying that the better your skin looks and feels, the better you will feel and the better your makeup will apply as well. I’m also quite selective in what products make it as part of my full-time routine and being in this industry, I’m fortunate to have access to so, so many items –although not all are made equal. After having tested both the Divine Harmony Serum and Divine Harmony Cream for over a month now, I can happily say that they have each earned their place in my arsenal, as I’ve seen my skin respond in the best way possible; the tone looks even, the texture feels baby soft, and I feel that some of my fine lines are not as apparent. I’d definitely call that a harmonious result.

Available at all L’Occitane Boutiques and online

loccitane-divine-harmony-duo-closer

 

Many thanks to L’Occitane en Provence for sponsoring this post/As always, all opinions are my own

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