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Discover The French Brand Our Editor’s Obsessed With

collection of L'occitane products perched on stones against a blue and orange background

Born in Provence – the region I haunt on my holidays, gazing through real-estate windows in hope of discovering an old, dilapidated gîte that could become my home-from-home en France (alas, for some very strange reason, dilapidated French gîtes aren’t free?) – L’Occitane, for me, evokes the languor of a summer sipping pastis, gorging croissants and attempting to absorb the intricacies of pétanque from ardent locals… all of this, while carrying a basket (with a baguette and a tube of L’Occitane’s {Almond Delicious Hand Cream}) and pretending I’m Jane Birkin en vacances.

Harnessing the world’s best extracts – think: unparalleled lavender, Provençal almonds, Corsican immortelle, verbena from the island of Réunion and shea from Burkina Faso – L’Occitane go to the ends of the earth to sustainably source the incredible ingredients they’re known for; building bonds with their suppliers to support the growers and their precious crops. And the result of this ethical approach, is that the sunshine of the South of France is found in every bottle of my favourite {Shower Oil a l’huile d’amande} and tube of {Shea Butter Foot Cream} – a holiday hero if ever there was one…

The chic simplicity of the design (très important, non?) brings a coveted, ‘French farmhouse’ feel to my bathroom, and the experiential benefits are heavenly. Opening a bottle will transport you to an almond orchard (complete with a soundtrack of chirruping crickets), whisk you to a field of purple lavender (as Eartha Kitt sings C’est si Bon) or make you feel like Amelie Poulain applying face cream from a tactile jar of {Immortelle Divine Cream}.

A beautiful way to indulge any friend with daylight-dependency issues this winter (every formulation smells like summer in Saint Paul de Vence), L’Occitane are also cultivating change through action – constantly reviewing their development and processes, from sourcing through to distribution, to forge a sustainable future and ensure that their pickers and growers are able to flourish. Committed to supporting agroecology – so farmers have access to better farming practices and training programs – as well as to total transparency, they’re driving for change in the industry, while acting locally to nurture their community.

The definition of a ‘feel good’ range, you really can’t go wrong but, if you’re looking for a place to start I recommend these ‘Holy Grails’:

{Shower Oil – Almond}

A silky shower oil that smells like marzipan, this gorgeous oil cocoons your skin and lifts your spirits. Everything from its glorious ‘golden hour’ colour to its skin-nourishing consistency evokes that post-day-in-the-sun shower sensation, you know? When your skin feels (pleasantly) sunkissed as you wash the sea salt off and look ahead to a leisurely dinner with friends and a gallon of rosè…

 {Shea Butter Foot Cream}

A godsend for midwinter feet, this intensive treatment works to quickly transform the most scaly extremities with rich and replenishing shea. I like to slather it on overnight – simply whack on some bed socks and wake up to feet you’ll be eager to flaunt (no mean… feet).

{Verbena Foaming Bath}

The French do bathing well (in my opinion), and sinking into a steaming hot tub laced with this zing-y soak is about as gallic as it gets. Slightly lemon-y scented with a green, herbal freshness, just close your eyes and you can easily imagine you’re relaxing in a stone-floored bathroom with a linen curtain wafting in the balmy evening breeze. The only ingredient missing is Vincent Cassel… (L’Occitane might want to work on that).

{Almond Discovery Collection}

Know a friend who’s new to L’Occitane? This capsule collection of almond essentials is certain to trigger addiction. Perfect for the Eddie to your Patsy, give this to remind them of that time they drank the vineyard dry and failed to find the steering wheel* (*we obviously don’t condone combining cars and vineyards).

 

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Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…