A few weeks ago I was lucky to be invited to L’Occitane’s Spring/Summer beauty launch held at the National Art School Cellblock Theatre in Darlinghurst. What was incredible about this launch is that they had created a Provencal Market Day inside the theatre going back to their roots where the brand began in 1976, selling their products at the markets. We were given “L’Occitane Franc” notes to spend at the market stalls and it was so much fun and I thought I’d share some of their history here with you and the story behind their hero product “shea butter.”
The story of L’OCCITANE begins in 1976 with the birth of Olivier Baussan, the founder of L’OCCITANE,Â in the hills of Haute-Provence, a region of southern France. For over thirty years, the fields of Provence, the traditions and techniques of this unspoilt land have been the secret and inspiration behind his beauty products. Even today, all of their products are developed and produced in the small Provencal town of Manosque.
There is a story behind all of the products, most often related to the land of Provence: an ancient technique (essential oils), anÂ AOC controlled-origin labelÂ (lavender, olive), a forgotten traditional cultivation (almond) or, as in Burkina Faso, Africa, a sustainable development program with Shea butter.
L\’Occitane\’s hero ingredient Shea Butter is both amazing, as it is inspiring.
“Men and women from different cultures, working on the same product with the same devotion, bringing people together through a special bond – the very basis of a lasting relationship. This is the essence of the wonderful story that has united L\’OCCITANE with the women of Burkina Faso for so many years.” â€“ Olivier Baussan
L\’Occitane goes further than a simple trade business with it ensuring that the women of Burkina Faso reap the full benefits of their work by purchasing the butter directly from them in situ. They help the women\’s groups with production, export and finding new outlets and have established the L\’OCCITANE Foundation, which has encouraged women to learn how to read and write and train for an economic activity that will make them increasingly autonomous and improve daily living.
L\’OCCITANE purchases on average 50% of the Shea Butter produced and exported by Burkina Faso, with its orders of conventional and organic Shea Butter. Â Shea butter is the perfect beauty balm for dry or dehydrated skin. It accelerates cell renewal and repairs the hydrolipidic film, for softer, more supple, more comfortable skin. It acts as a real barrier for the skin, helping to prevent moisture loss. Plus, it smells amazing!
So there you have it, are you a fan of L’Occitane products? I have been for a very long time. There are some new products being released, we will have our news on those soon.Â In the meantime you can visit their website for more.
Photos by Helen Coetzee
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