Filed In: L’Occitane

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

L’Occitane en Provence – Cade Shaving Products, Male Beauty Edition

L'Occitane Cade opener

 

When I was invited to a recent L’Occitane en Provence event, I dragged brought my husband along, and even though he has accompanied me to several events before this, none have ever been as personal for him as this particular one turned out to be. We were able to chat at length with Nicolas Veto, CEO of L’Occitane en Provence, Canada, and when the discussion turned to male skincare (and my husband’s lack of, I might add), Mr. Veto graciously gifted my man with the three luxurious shaving products shown here. If you’ve been wanting to buy the man in your life something not only unique but beneficial as well, then look no further – believe me, you’ll both be happy to have invested in this range.

Male skin pampering, as discussed from one guy to another. It was a beautiful sight, I tell you, and made my beauty-lover’s heart proud …


L'Occitane event Cade products

Nicolas Veto, CEO L’Occitane en Provence, Canada (left), dishes about the Cade range with my husband


L'Occitane Cade Rich Shaving Cream

L’Occitane – Cade Rich Shaving Cream


L'Occitane Cade Rich Shaving Cream ingredients

L’Occitane – Cade Rich Shaving Cream, ingredients & info


L'Occitane Cade Rich Shaving Cream seal

L’Occitane – Cade Rich Shaving Cream, protective inner foil seal


L'Occitane Cade Rich Shaving Cream product

Rich Shaving Cream (US $34.00 7 oz/200 ml) – an ultra rich shaving cream in a wide mouth jar, made especially for (but not limited to) use with a shaving brush. Enriched with Cade (wild juniper) organic essential oil grown in the dry Provençal hillsides, a plant with known antiseptic and strengthening properties, this decadent and dense shaving cream provides a super smooth base for razors to almost glide over, without any pulling or tugging, and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated. The scent is a combination of herbal/woodsy, but in a natural and not overpowering way – dissipating soon after the product is rinsed off.

Shaving becomes an entirely new sensorial experience when using a cream such as this, a truly masculine “beauty” ritual, and one that can’t – and shouldn’t – be rushed. My husband experienced absolutely no irritation or sensitivity after using this cream, and I absolutely loved the way his skin felt.


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream box

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream with box

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream

Shaving Cream (CAD $29.00/150 ml – US $28.00/5.2 oz) – while not as dense as the ‘Rich Shaving Cream’, this product nevertheless has a thick and luxurious feel to it, in a conveniently sized and portable tube. Once applied to the skin, it transforms into a rich & creamy lather, and along with organic Cade, it is also enriched with protective shea butter and vegetable-based glycerin – enabling your man to get his closest shave possible. Again, no sensitivity or irritation to the skin was experienced.


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream & Balm

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream (left), After-Shave Balm (right)


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream info

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream, product info


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream info 2

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream, directions


L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream ingredients

L’Occitane – Cade Shaving Cream, ingredients


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm box

L’Occitane – Cade After-Shave Balm


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm with box

L’Occitane – Cade After-Shave Balm


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm macro

After-Shave Balm (CAD $36.00/75 ml – US $30.00/2.5 fl. oz) – Along with Cade, this balm is also enriched with protective shea butter and birchwood sap to further aid in resisting any razor burn or skin tightness, as well as essential oils of rosemary, sandalwood and immortelle to help soothe and purify the skin. The texture is light and fluid, easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving no tacky residue behind – perfect for men who may be resistant to using traditional moisturizers (such as my husband). This balm may also be applied at night, helping to prepare super-sensitive skin types for an even gentler shave the next morning.


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm label

L’Occitane – Cade After-Shave Balm, product info


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm info 2

L’Occitane – Cade After-Shave Balm, product info & directions


L'Occitane Cade After-Shave Balm ingredients

L’Occitane – Cade After-Shave Balm, ingredients

 

Thank you, Nicolas, for introducing me to my husband’s super-smooth and well-hydrated skin … he hadn’t realized how much moisture he was missing out on, until he began using this range. I love how these products include ingredients specifically geared towards the male skin, all without sacrificing the beneficial properties associated with traditional creams, and while your guy may think he’s getting a manly shave, he’s also being secretly pampered. Definitely works for me.

Find more information on the CADE range of products via L’Occitane’s website, twitter or facebook.


L'Occitane Cade closer

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

L’Occitane en Provence – Sublime Beauty Cream

L'Occitane Beauty Cream opener

 

French brand L’Occitane en Provence, renown for creating amazing skincare, body care and scented products with ingredients primarily sourced from the bountiful region of Provence, has entered the BB cream market with the their ‘Sublime Beauty Cream’. What sets this apart from the already flooded marketplace, is the addition of organic Iris and Angelica essential oils – two ingredients that provide long-lasting skin care benefits and hydration, while leaving behind a perfectly flawless finish.  According to the company:

- Gives the complexion a fresh, natural and even look
- Visibly reduces the look of pores, redness and blemishes and pores 
- Hydrates and smoothes the skin 
- Provides SPF 30 sun protection

I confess to having been somewhat hesitant to test this out, as my experience with BB creams thus far has been less than successful, but just one application later, I was converted to a loyal fan — read on to find out why!

 

L'Occitane Beauty Cream

Sublime Beauty Cream (CAD $42.00 40 ml/1.3 fl.oz) – available in 2 shades, light and medium and with a broad spectrum SPF 30 rating, this combination foundation and moisturizer is best applied using your fingertips. With its delicate ‘green/floral’ scent that dissipates quickly once the product touches your skin and bearing a unique texture – looks and feels like a liquid, yet comes to a soft matte powder finish, you need to work quickly in your application, before it begins to set. The oil absorbing properties of this cream make it ideal for anyone with oily skin as well as those with combination skin, although the latter types may need to add extra moisture to any dry-ish areas of the face.

My experience: I have combination skin that tends to run oily in the T-zone (down the nose & chin, along the forehead) and if I apply any type of foundation without primer first, by the end of the day I begin to sport the dreaded “oil-slick” effect on my face. Once applied all over and blended down my neck as well, this Sublime Beauty Cream came to a matte/powder finish and the first thing I noticed was an incredible evenness of tone to my skin. My pores seemed to disappear, and while I can’t say I looked luminous, my face did appear somewhat brighter overall. The Medium shade I was sent to try works perfectly on my skin now that I have a light tan (I couldn’t wear it before this), although I do detect a slight pink-ish hue to the colour which I felt clashed a bit with my more yellowish undertones. I solved the problem by adding a light dusting of bronzer on top and it worked beautifully. Ready for the best part? Lasting power went on all day – over 12 hours and counting, with nary a speck of oiliness to be seen and if anything, seemed to look even better by the time I was ready to remove my makeup. Blew. Me. Away. One caveat: I suspect anyone with dry skin might find this cream to emphasize any flakiness or dry patches, so you should certainly swatch this before purchasing. My only complaint is with the fact that it comes in only 2 shades — I don’t feel that this limited colour selection is enough to cover most skin tones along the spectrum.


L'Occitane Beauty Cream 2

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream


L'Occitane Beauty Cream info

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream (info)


L'Occitane Beauty Cream info & directions

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream (directions)


L'Occitane Beauty Cream ingredients

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream (ingredients)


L'Occitane Beauty Cream seal

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream (protective foil seal)


L'Occitane Beauty Cream open

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream


L'Occitane Beauty Cream swatch

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream swatch


L'Occitane Beauty Cream swatch blended

L’Occitane – Sublime Beauty Cream swatch (blended)

 

Last word: The benefits of a product such as this are many; when you’re rushed, this combination SPF-moisturizer-foundation is a Godsend. The beneficial skincare properties this cream boasts are another huge plus and for those with oily/combination skins, L’Occitane’s Sublime Beauty Cream is a bonafide miracle worker. The downside is the meagre colour selection, something I sincerely hope the brand will address soon, as they are definitely on to something here. All in all, I will venture so far as to say that this is my new favourite of multi-tasking foundation-type products, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Available through all L’Occitane Boutiques and online, find more information via their website, twitter or facebook.


L'Occitane Beauty Cream closer

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

L’Occitane en Provence – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora opener

 

Like sunbeams captured in a bottle, ‘Pivoine Flora’ by L’Occitane en Provence brings the scent and glow of a summer day within hand. The latest addition to the brand’s successful Pivoine Flora range of products, this versatile oil aims to not only nourish your skin, but to also scent it with the light yet heady scent of peonies (a flower that has always heralded the start of Summer to me) while leaving a soft luminosity in its wake – definitely enough to get noticed, in all the right ways.

 

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora cap

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora flash

Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil (CAD $36.00/75 ml) – a light body oil infused with the delicate scent of the fully ripened peony flower and embedded with golden micro shimmer, the addition of rosemary adds an overall fresh tone for a perfect melding of floral and green notes. The metal cap is embossed with the L’Occitane name and there’s an inner foil seal to protect the contents, while the rounded chubby body fits comfortable in your hand. According to the company:

“…designed to highlight the look and to create a luminous immediate beautifying effect to the face, body and hair. Peony (Pivoine) from the Drôme region in Provence is also known as the flower of a thousand petals”

Left unstirred, the heavier shimmer sinks to the bottom, although a quick shake binds the two together easily, while the narrow opening of the bottle ensures that not more than you desire, will pour forth. A little goes a long way here; a few drops are all that are needed to cover larger areas of the skin (chest, shins, arms) with the shimmer particles small enough to apply unobtrusively, yet still managing to leave a gorgeous sun-kissed glow along the skin. I’ve mentioned several times that floral scents do not agree with my body’s chemistry, but the herbal touch of the rosemary in ‘Pivoine Flora’ gives this a light, clean & crisp touch. The oil itself is quite nourishing and leaves your skin feeling supple and while the shimmer is quite apparent at first, once it becomes fully absorbed it comes off as a gentle glow. As I’m not overly fond of adding too many products to my hair and since I don’t wish to add any shimmer to it either, I left out applying it there – along the skin is more than enough for me. Once the oil dries down, you are left with this absolutely heavenly scent which makes it perfect for those swelteringly hot summer days when adding perfume can feel a bit too heavy.

 

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora unshaken

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil, unshaken

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora seal

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil, protective inner seal

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora 2

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora ingredients

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil, ingredients list

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora open bottle

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora swatch

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil, applied

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora swatch absorbed

L’Occitane – Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil, absorbed

 

Last word: If you’ve shied away from body shimmers for fear of looking rather unnatural, and if you’re like me and don’t usually lean toward anything floral, might I suggest you at least give this Pivoine Flora Shimmering Body Oil a look — I am certain you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was. I’ve always been a huge proponent of moisturizing, and with the plethora of beauty oils available today, it can be hard to narrow one’s choices down. L’Occitane makes it quite easy with this little beauty: scent, glow and hydration all rolled into one. Doesn’t get easier than that, I tell you.

Find more information on L’Occitane products through their website, twitter or facebook.

 

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora closer

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

L’Occitane en Provence – La Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane Grasse opener

 

Grasse, France – a region renown for producing some of the finest and most complex fragrances in the market today, is the inspiration behind L’Occitane en Provence’s latest launch, ‘La Collection de Grasse’, comprised of 4 distinct scent pairings – Jasmin & Bergamote, Magnolia & Mûre, Vanille & Narcisse, and Thé Vert & Bigarade.

A true homage to the perfume schools of Grasse, each pairing has been carefully selected by Karine Dubreuil, perfumer for L’Occitane who has trained with the Roure school of perfumery at Grasse and who is the “nose” behind many famous fragrances. Sourcing precious extracts from near and distant lands such as magnolia from the Far East, blackberry from the South of France, green tea from Japan, bitter orange from Tunisia, jasmine from Grasse and Egypt, bergamot from Italy, vanilla from Madagascar, and narcissus from France, the entire list behind each duo is like taking a worldwide journey.

“Two by two, the ingredients have been brought together with supreme skill from Karine Dubreuil. Sometimes they seem destined for each other. At other times, it’s like a wonderful chance encounter. And then there are the ingredients that echo and enrich each other. Nothing is forbidden – boldness is embraced”

Designed by Olivier Baussan, founder of L’Occitane, the fragrance bottles were created in an almost-perfect square, in a simple style of thick and clear glass, inspired by the traditional perfume bottles of Grasse. The black caps and the face of the matt white card packaging, are decorated by the ampersand (&) symbol in relief (and in the colours of a key accord) – which represent not only the union of scents, but gives a nod to an age-old heritage: in Occitan, the “&” (ampersand) sign was read like other letters and considered the “27th” letter of the alphabet until the  19th century. The ampersand is a ligature of the letters in “et” – the Latin word for “and”.

For the Collection de Grasse, the ampersand becomes the unifying symbol declaring a marriage of contrasting or complimentary elements.

Of the four scent pairings, 3 of them have been specifically designed for women – Jasmin & Bergamote, Magnolia & Mûre, and Vanille & Narcisse, while Thé Vert & Bigarade can be worn by both men and women. Each composition is available in (all in Canadian prices):

  • Eau de Toilette, 75 ml – $75.00
  • Body Milk, 175 ml – $24.00
  • Shower Gel, 175 ml – $20.00
  • Perfumed Soap, 125 g – #10.00

 

L'Occitane Grasse packaging

L’Occitane en Provence – La Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane Grasse

L’Occitane en Provence – La Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane Vanille & Narcisse

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille 2

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille ingredients

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse (ingredients list)

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille braille

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse (braille on packaging)

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille packaging 2

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille 4

L’Occitane en Provence – Vanille & Narcisse

L'Occitane Narcisse & Vanille bottle

Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette (CAD $75.00/75 ml) “Brazen Happiness”

Evocative of – an exuberant and expressive burst of laughter, the mellow warmth of the East

The Spirit – Vanilla lightly enveloped in white flowers

The Fragrance – Discreet at first, the scent of narcissus swells to reveal a bouquet of white flowers ad spicy heart accords. Finally, the rich and radiant vanilla borrows the wilder, untamed notes of narcissus that give it its spirit

Key Raw Materials – Vanilla absolute from Madagascar and narcissus absolute from France

Family – vanilla oriental

  • Head notes: blackcurrant, bergamot
  • Heart notes: NARCISSUS, gardenia
  • Base notes: VANILLA, tonka bean

My experience: I usually avoid florals, as I have found that they do not agree with my body’s unique chemistry. Orientals, however, are something I absolutely love and with that in mind, I looked forward to seeing how this floral-oriental combination would work on me. Upon initial application, I sensed the barest whisper of the vanilla – a sly hint of what was to come later, overlapped by the early exuberance of white flowers. The blackcurrant & bergamot notes add a unique tangy touch, helping to offset what might otherwise become too floral for me, and when the scent finally settled into its final stages some 3 hours later, I was left with the warmer & mellower notes of the vanilla. Surprisingly, this turned out to actually be a floral I can wear, although my personal preference is that the muskier/vanilla tones were more dominant … but that’s just me. Still, this scent feels like the embodiment of modern femininity, without coming off as either too cloyingly girly or ambiguously asexual – very original, and fresh.

 

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote

Jasmin & Bergamote Body Milk (CAD $24.00/175 ml) – “Day and Night”

Evocative of – A light, graceful, sensual dance

The Spirit – The olfactory variations of a delicate flower observed in the light of dawn

The Fragrance – Bergamot discreetly lights up the scent and continues to retain a lingering presence. Contrasts blend with ambivalence, while jamine reveals all its facets. To convey this ambiguity, at least two types of jasmine would be needed: a jasmine from Grasse and a jasmine from Egypt. The balance fluctuates between petals and leaves, freshness and sensuality, day and night.

Key Raw Materials – Jasmine absolutes from Grasse and Egypt, bergamot essential oil from Italy

Family – jasmine floral

  • Head notes: mandarin orange, BERGAMOT
  • Heart notes: JASMINE, lemon leaves
  • Base notes: sandalwood, cedar

My experience: With a formula that runs more on the thin than thick side, this body milk applied like a veil along my skin, was easily absorbed and left behind a well-hydrated feeling. The shape of the bottle fits comfortably in the hand, and I really like the convenience of the pop up dispenser – keeps any mess to a minimum and can be worked one handed. The scent is crisp & herbal/green, with a slight amber-like undertone and while it was a definite presence upon initial application, it then faded to a softer version of itself – but no less bright – some 3 hours later. As a bodycare product, it has a remarkable emollient quality and my skin felt quite nourished – the addition of fragrance helps it to serve double duty, providing an olfactory appeal as well.

 

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote cap

L’Occitane en Provence – Jasmin & Bergamote Body Milk

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote soap

L’Occitane en Provence – Jasmin & Bergamote Perfumed Soap

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote soap ingredients

L’Occitane en Provence – Jasmin & Bergamote Perfumed Soap (ingredients list)

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote soap braille

L’Occitane en Provence – Jasmin & Bergamote Perfumed Soap (braille on packaging)

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote soap 3

L’Occitane en Provence – Jasmin & Bergamote Perfumed Soap

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote soap 2

Jasmin & Bergamote Perfumed Soap (CAD $10.00/125 g) – see above for a complete breakdown of the scent.

My experience: This oversized bar, literally made my showering ritual an almost sensual experience; redolent with the sultry tones of jasmine & offset by the brighter notes of bergamot, the steam only amplified the fragrance – love it! Once you begin working this soap, it lathers up extremely well, but not to the point that it’s overdone, and after rinsing, my skin felt clean as well as supple – none of that usual tight feeling you get with some other bars of soap.

 

Last word: With Mother’s Day around the corner, any (or all!) of the four scent pairings from L’Occitane’s Grasse Collection will make the perfect gift. While I haven’t tried every single product available, the 3 I’m showing here were each impressive in their own right; the Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette not only went the distance in terms of lasting power, but even suited a die-hard floral hater like myself. The Jasmine & Narcisse Body Milk felt wonderful going on, and the scent stayed on way past when I thought it should have faded – a good alternative for anyone who prefers a more subtle version of a fragrance, while the soap not only cleans amazingly well, but also imparts its own soft fragrant touch.

The ‘Collection de Grasse’ will be available as of May, at all L’Occitane boutiques, as well as online.

 

L'Occitane Grasse closer

 

 

 

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

L’Occitane en Provence – Almond Milk Veil & Almond Milk Concentrate

L'Occitane Milk Veil & Concentrate (opener)

 

You’d think that summertime heat would be harshest on one’s skin, but I believe that winter weather wreaks the most damage. Being bombarded by icy blowing wind & snow outside, combined with moisture-sapping indoor heating and the next thing I know, I’m feeling very much like a papery husk of my former self. My solution is to moisturize like a fiend both before & after exposure to the elements and that’s where L’Occitane’s Almond Milk Bodycare line of products comes to my skin’s rescue. Then there’s that heavenly scent …


bowlofalmonds

still life: bowl of raw almonds (source)


L'Occitane Milk Veil

 

Almond Milk Veil – (US $36.00 8.4 fl.oz/CAD $42.00 250 ml) An ultra-light and fast absorbing body lotion, which combines almond oil, milk, and proteins with sillicium (an organic mineral with known regenerative properties) to help nourish, soften and firm the skin. This lotion also contains delicate micro-pearls which help illuminate and visually soften your skin. The generously sized bottle also ensures that you won’t run out any time soon, while a little most definitely goes a long way with this lotion.

From the very first pump and application of this lotion, you can feel how easily it glides over the skin and literally see how quickly it becomes absorbed, without leaving any greasy residue behind. The scent is delicate and incredibly fresh-smelling that lingers gently for a couple of hours after application, while the included micro-pearls impart a subdued glow to the skin, making you look vibrantly healthy. I also love the convenience of the pump dispenser – makes for simple one-handed use. For longer-lasting moisture, I’ve found that it’s best to apply my bodycare products when I’m fresh from the shower – I was surprised that a lotion this light-feeling would hydrate as long as this one did; more than 12 hours later, I could still feel a nice suppleness to my skin.


L'Occitane Milk Veil 2

L’Occitane – Milk Veil


L'Occitane Milk Veil dispenser

L’Occitane Milk Veil – pump dispenser


L'Occitane Milk Veil directions

L’Occitane Milk Veil – info


L'Occitane Milk Veil ingredients

L’Occitane Milk Veil – ingredients


L'Occitane Milk Concentrate

 

Almond Milk Concentrate – (US $44.00 7 oz/CAD $59.00 200 ml) According to the company:

“L’OCCITANE blends both tradition (the use of almond proteins to firm the epidermis) and science (soft silicium to help support collagen synthesis) into a silky, concentrated milk that nourishes and smooths the skin. The Almond Milk Concentrate, which helps to firm and tone, is suitable for the whole body. The light, creamy and silky texture absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue. Skin is left feeling satiny-smooth and is enveloped in the fresh and delicate fragrance of Almond blossoms.

Made with Almonds sourced from Haute Provence, the Almond Milk Concentrate also contributes to the cultivation of almond trees in the region, which add to its agricultural industry and to the beauty of the landscape”.

Not as thick as a cream nor as runny as a lotion, this Almond Milk Concentrate bears a fabulous density that you can feel from the first scoop and becomes thoroughly absorbed into the skin once applied, leaving absolutely no filmy residue behind. Available in a wide-mouthed & sturdy glass jar, the scent is a touch more redolent of almond blossoms than the Almond Milk Veil, and stays with you longer as well – without ever seeming overpowering. My skin continued to feel moisturized long after I thought it would – 24 hours later, and the hydration was clearly present.


L'Occitane Milk Concentrate sealed

L’Occitane Milk Concentrate – protective seal


L'Occitane Milk Concentrate cream

L’Occitane Milk Concentrate – product


L'Occitane Milk Concentrate info

L’Occitane Milk Concentrate – info


L'Occitane Milk Concentrate ingredients

L’Occitane Milk Concentrate – ingredients


L'Occitane Milk Veil & Concentrate swatch

L’Occitane Milk Veil & Milk Concentrate swatches

 

Final thoughts: I’ve stated over and over again, about what a huge believer in moisturizing I am and not just for the face & hands, but hair and body as well. It’s no secret that well-hydrated skin not only feels better, but helps you to look your optimum best and if you’re a little *ahem* older, then keeping your skin well-nourished is an absolute MUST for a younger-looking appearance. The Almond Milk Veil with its lighter texture and gentle illumination, makes a stand-out lotion for the warmer months, while the Almond Milk Concentrate is a winter weather essential; I wish it came with some type of dispenser as well, as I’m not a fan of sticking my fingers into jars of product, although I confess to using any excess in this case, to further moisturize my hands/nails/cuticles after application. L’Occitane’s Almond range is spectacular and so totally agrees with my skin … aren’t we all worth this indulgence?

Apart from sourcing the best and mostly organic ingredients that are available, along with their minimal packaging philosophy and fair-trade practices, it should be mentioned that L’Occitane is the first brand of its kind that I’ve seen that also includes braille on their packaging – a very unique, thoughtful and impressive touch, I might add, which speaks volumes about their beliefs and caring for all consumers.

L’Occitane’s Almond Milk bodycare line is part of their permanent range of products and available at all of their free-standing boutiques or online.


L'Occitane Milk Veil & Concentrate (closer)

 

 

 

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