L’Occitane en Provence and the luxury of being in the know

There are so many things you can consider to be “real luxury”. This site doesn’t have any amazing cars or realestate or watches featured. In here, I take a stand by firmly promoting one of the things that gives me That Luxurious Feeling: Being in the know. 

As an academic woman with a naturally curious approach to beauty I want to give you as much as I can about this industry, the scientific part of products, what kind of companies we are shopping with and loving and if there is anything special, philanthropically or ethically that I think is worth highlighting. I’m not an all-green consumer, obviously I do use products that has been animal tested and my purchases often support multi-billion companies. I’m not a saint, but giving you as much information as I can makes it easier for you to take a stand for yourself,  be in the know and make conscious shopping decisions. No judgement, only love in here!

A couple of days ago, I had the huge pleasure of attending a breakfast event organised by L’Occitane en Provence on the occasion of their launch of a new series of products: Néroli & Orchdée – collection de Grasse. The event itself took place at beautiful Madinat Jumeirah (google it and swoon!) and was so extremely well executed. I had so much fun, which rarely happens at 9:00am in the morning as I’m a night owl.

Before I present all the new products, I just quickly want to share with you some facts about this outstanding company and why I choose to return as a customer over and over again.

Now listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with stakeholders as Clarins, this global company was first founded by a 23-year old man, Olivier Baussan back in 1976. Today, Baussan still owns 5% of the shares and is VP for the L’Occitane Foundation, the privately owned charity organisation of the company. L’Occitane have always promoted to cultivate and protect old ways of refining plant oils, all ingredients except from three are sourced around the Grasse area of Provence, France. They do not test on animals and the only bi-product used as an ingredient comes from beehives. All products are produced locally in France and the quality is high.

Baussan has a very special relationship with the co-op of women in Burkina Faso. They produce Shea Butter, also known as “women’s gold” as only women knows how to source it, making it their way of earning money and reaching independency. All Shea Butter used by the company comes from this special co-op, which back in 1976 consisted of 12 employees and now employ over 12.000 women!  I don’t know about you, but I sure like my Shea Butter to be Fair-trade and certified with “Ecocert”. I find this progression simply amazing!

The L’Occitane Foundation also engage in the work to prevent and reduce blindness in this area of our planet. A lot of work has been done and for this particular activity, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013 recognised and awarded the foundation under the “Growing Inclusive Markets” Initiative. All of these facts are easy to find by just googling, but as a customer, when you enter one of the L’Occitane stores, it’s harder to find the background information. I’m afraid shoppers just see a bunch of cute hand creams as the window displays are always very cute and feminine.

As already mentioned, the Néroli & Orchidée lineup is a part of the Collection de Grasse. The theme is femininity and celebration of a much beloved pampering ritual where you start in the bathtub, then take care of your body and mind, add some scent and lip balm to your makeup routine and get dressed while enjoying the luxurious candle. I like the holistic mindset of L’Occitane and, although it hurts me to say this, this line is not about unisex. It is full on super girlie and a real flower explosion.

Even though I can’t show you one of my favourite products of the series, the Milk Bath – which you pour into hot bathwater and soak in, I got one bottle of the lush Shower Gel. The whole line contains of Néroli (in other words, Orange blossom essence) locally sourced and then mixed with Madagascan White Orchid. As many shower gels do, this contain SLS and hydrogenated castor oil but also vanilla planifolia fruit extract which is a pure, natural origin ingredient. The scent is light and comfortable,  it will not be too much to use it in conjunction with the rest of the products. No one want to smell like they’ve just drowned themselves in cologne… I like the design of the bottle well enough and do understand why it’s made of plastic, even though I always will prefer glass bottles. I don’t have anyone entering my bathroom that will risk smashing a bottle on the tiles.

After the bath (or, as some women with kids said: “no time for baths, only showers”) you pat your skin dry and proceed with my favourite product from the range: Néroli & Orchidée Body Oil. 

Oh yes, you say oil, I’m in! This dry oil comes in a glass bottle with a spray applicator and is so very light on the skin. The texture is even smoother than our beloved NUXE oil and makes my skin luminous and well moisturised. At first, it goes on quite sweet but then change to the bitter orange flower oil. It is not girlie, it smells like Woman! At my table during the breakfast, everyone fell in love with this! Jam-packed with sunflower seed oil and vanilla planifolia fruit extract it is a luxurious product with a reasonable prize tag. Lovely.

The next two products will, in my routine at least, belong to my makeup and vanity collection. The Lip Gloss is just divine! I don’t like gloss but this is much more like a balm. No stickiness or weird texture, a pleasant taste (yes, we all taste our lip products, don’t we?!) and built up with that amazing shea butter we talked about. It is smooth with a rose-nude hue. I will pop into the store as soon as it hit the window display to purchase some back up tubes. This will most probably be in my handbags and car!

Then, a spritz or three with the cute Eau de Toilette 30ml. Again, the same pure and luxurious ingredients. It comes in a sleek glass bottle with a slightly pinkish tint to it.

On Madagascar, you’ll find more than 1200 varieties of orchids growing. L’Occitane have found a Fair-Trade community of 500 local producers to source the white orchid used in the full range.

The family of the Edt is described as Fruity – Floral and I tend to agree: it is quite sweet and warm. On my skin, it almost smells like red berries, even though nothing of that kind is present. Maybe it is just my un-trained nose LOL.

Last, but not least the range holds a beautiful Scented Candle, which, when I posted it on Instagram became a huge success! I understand you all. In this community, we eat candles for breakfast (and apparently got served the same at the breakfast event). I really wanted to just sneak one of the glass jars into my bag, it was simply gorgeous.

After having a fabulous breakfast and listened to the full presentation of the launch, we all got an extra treat in form of a workshop where we got to create our own flower arrangement! Such a special and active twist to the morning. It was really fun although it hurt me to cut of those looong stemmed roses that were provided. The pink bowl of roses in the pictures is my result from the morning. I think I need to practice some more!

The Néroli & Orchidée series is said to hit store in the Middle East in March, 2016. However, some of the items is actually available online!

Thank you L’Occitane en Provence for having me and letting me walk home with such wonderful products and fresh, pink roses. What a treat! ♥

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