Photo by Loic Legros
*All outfits linked at the bottom of the post!*
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you will know that my love fest with L’Occitane (pronounced Locks-ee-tawn, in case you’ve always wondered!) began a long, long time ago. When I was prego with Jack, I religiously rubbed L’Occitane’s Almond Supple Skin Oil all over my bod, literally every single night. I loved how soft and yummy it made my skin feel, especially while it was being stretched over an ever-growing (hashtag enormous) belly. And even before that, I had been introduced to L’Occitane’s ridiculously epic hand creams by my mama, who is kind of obsessed with putting lotion on her hands and always carries some with her.
Point being: when we were invited to go to Provence with the L’Occitane team, it was a true ‘pinch me’ moment. I don’t think I’ve ever said yes faster in my entire life! Oh, beeeeeesides when Chase proposed, of course. 😉
BUT – something happened to me in Provence. Something happened to my heart. I started this trip as fan of L’Occitane and their products. By the end though, my ‘fan girl’ status had morphed into something far more significant. My heart was touched – converted, if you will – by learning about what this company stands for and who they aim to serve.
It was really important to me to share those things with you. When a company not only has great products but also incredible mission and values, I believe that needs to be shared! Those are the brands that are most deserving of success and a loyal customer base, in my opinion. I learned on this trip that L’Occitane is so much more than just a brand with great products…
Three Reasons Why L’Occitane is Truly Something Special:
- They donate extensively to social causes and have a commitment to social responsibility. You guys, I’ll be honest – while hearing about social causes has always touched my heart, my sensitivity to it has been heightened exponentially since having our angel baby Charlie-girl (our daughter who has an incredibly rare genetic disease with significant developmental impact). I learned on this trip that L’Occitane donates to two primary causes – support of visually impaired people worldwide and to the economic emancipation of women in Burkina Faso. L’Occitane also has a huge focus on employing and integrating people with disabilities. During dinner one night (see Day 3 below), they told us of an annual trip L’Occitane hosts, where they invite blind or visually impaired children to Provence for a sensory tour. The children get to touch and smell the natural ingredients in L’Occitane’s products and experience the beauties of Provence in a unique and tailored way. Don’t worry that I literally WEPT as I heard them talk about this. Picturing those sweet children having those tender experiences – it literally made me bawl my eyes out. Something about being a mama to an angel with special needs and then hearing of a company who has shown such compassion to this community… it slayed my heart. The founder of the company, Mr. Olivier Baussan was the person sharing all of this with us, and he spoke of it with such passion and love. I was truly blown away by it. So much so that I couldn’t even help being turned from a fan to a genuine loyalist. In total, L’Occitane contributes over 1 million euros annually to social causes and has set up their own foundation in order to better carry out these initiatives. All of that is something super special as far as I’m concerned. You can read more about their social giving HERE.
- There is a serious commitment to high-quality ingredients, responsible purchasing, and to being environmentally conscious. This was another thing that really impressed me – the absolute intention and commitment L’Occitane has to producing authentic, high-quality products in an environmentally conscious way. In the interest of rigorously maintaining the traceability of their ingredients and the sustainability of their supply chain, they have a team dedicated specifically to their relationships with producers. We learned that their formulas avoid any form of biopiracy and have the utmost respect for the environment. They also shared that their employees and boutiques reduce L’Occitane’s environmental footprint by following instructions developed to promote sustainable development.
- The undercurrent driving this company is LOVE. Truly you guys. By the end of this trip, that was the thing that stood out to me the most. As I mentioned in bullet 1 above, on day 3 of our trip we had the opportunity to dine with L’Occitane’s founder, Olivier Baussan. Olivier shared how the company started, why their mission and values are what they are, and why they contribute to their social causes of choice. The common denominator in all of it was LOVE. This company was started out of a compassionate act of love and love is what has fueled all of the major decisions since. It literally radiated from Mr. Baussan as he spoke with us, and it was so genuine and authentic I couldn’t help but be touched by it.
Conclusion: L’Occitane is the kind of company that I want to give my business and loyalty to. The kind that not only produces incredible, effective, high-quality products, but then goes beyond that and actively aspires to create change and better the lives of those in their reach. I was genuinely impacted by how beautiful this company is, from the inside out.
p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win a trip for 2 to the South of France! Winners will not only receive flights and accommodations, but also a 1-hour spa treatment and tours of the L’Occitane factory and brand museum. ENTER HERE.
Provence, France Trip Recap
Day 1: The loveliest hotel in all the land.
Chase and I flew in from Paris to the Marseille/Provence area and got picked up by the L’Occitane team to head to our hotel. We pulled up to a hotel that looked like it was straight out of an old, classic French film. And somehow, the inside was even more incredible than the outside. You guys – will you just feast your eyes on the decor below? The lobby literally blew my mind. And our room was just everything. We walked in to find a smattering of some of my favorite L’Occitane goodies (the Verbena hand cream and Almond Shower Oil are both so good). Heaven I tell you!
We spent some time exploring what would be our home for the next few days, had a delicious dinner with the others on the trip, and went to bed early for a 5:30 am wake up call the next morning.
Day 2: Hot Air Balloon Ride, Lavender Fields… and so much more.
Day two of our trip began before the sun had even awoken. We met bright and early with the others in our group and drove to expansive, open fields of fragrant, purple lavender. We then embarked on a hot air balloon ride! I’ve had a solid handful of true ‘pinch-me’ moments in my lifetime, but I’ll tell ya what – watching a sunrise from a hot air balloon over stretching fields of lavender in the south of France – mmmmmmyeah… that most definitely climbed to the top of the list.
We returned from our incredible journey in the sky so that we could change our clothes and go take a closer look at the lavender fields. We learned about how key a component lavender is in so many of L’Occitane’s products. Lavender is amazing stuff you guys! I totally die over L’Occitane’s Lavender Foaming Bath and their Lavender hand cream. And we couldn’t visit the lavender fields without frolicking through them, obvi (despite the fact that there were literally thousands of bees swarming directly around us. Worth the risk.).
Lunch took place at a restored french villa that overlooked the rolling hills of Provence. Everything, and I mean everything about this place was absolutely breath taking – from the location, to the gorgeous table setting, to the food… oh the food you guys… it was all so perfect.
We then had the opportunity to take a tour of the L’Occitane laboratories where all product development and testing takes place. It was so interesting to catch a glimpse of this process. I was genuinely SO impressed with the investment that goes into each and every L’Occitane product. No wonder they’re all amazing!
The final activity of day two was probably my favorite of the entire trip. It was undoubtedly the most touching. We had the opportunity to dine al fresco at another beautiful, quintessential French home overlooking the country side. The dinner was in part to celebrate the launch of L’Occitane’s new fragrance Terre de Lumiere – which I have been wearing nonstop since being back home, by the way (it’s so yummy). We also got to hear from the founder of L’Occitane, Mr. Olivier Baussan. Olivier spoke to us about how L’Occitane got started, what inspired him, what the ultimate mission of the company is, and about the causes they support. I spoke to this in the first section of this post, but again – I was just so inspired by the things Olivier shared. I learned of the women of Burkina Faso who L’Occitane purchases their Shea Butter from to make their most popular hand cream. Additionally they provide these women with literacy programs, access to microcredit and trainings, and the promotion of entrepreneurial projects. More than 15,000 Burkinabe women have gained autonomy thanks to these programs. Truly amazing. It’s nice when you love a company’s products. It’s even nicer when you also love their philosophy and values.
Day 3: Skin Diagnostic session, Spa Day, and Sunflower fields
Day 3 was spa day! We were treated to 90 minute massages and facials in L’Occitane’s signature spa, located inside the hotel. You guys – It… Was… AWESOME. I was in desperate need of a massage and the spa’s masseuse did not disappoint.
Prior to our spa treatment though, we met with one of L’Occitane’s skin specialists for a customized skin diagnostic session. This was another favorite activity of mine. We received full skin regimens based on our skin types and our primary concerns (i.e. mine was aging, haha). We also learned a slew of tips about how to keep your skin looking youthful and beautiful, how to properly apply product, what products we should be using and why, etc. It was so insightful! I’ll be writing a dedicated beauty post where I’ll share all of these tips with you, but here’s a sneak peek of what I was prescribed:
Shop My L’Occitane Skin Care Regimen
- Immortelle Oil Makeup Remover
- Immortelle Precious Mist Toner
- Divine Eyes eye cream
- Harmonie Divine Serum (serious anti-aging power)
- Divine Youth Oil
- Divine Cream Moisturizer
Our skin session and spa treatments were followed by a drive to nearby sunflower fields in the cutest little L’Occitane branded Volkswagon Bugs. These sunflower fields were another pinch me moment. Can you blame me? They were even more radiant and beautiful in real life.
We wrapped up our final day in Provence with a lovely terrace dinner at the hotel.
Overall, this trip will go down in my personal history books as one of the most memorable and incredible of my life. Seriously. Huge, enormous THANK YOU to L’Occitane for having Chase and I along, and for inspiring us in a life-impacting way. We genuinely love this brand from the bottom of our hearts.
All Outfit Details:
Shop Red Floral Dress
Shop Black/White Striped Skirt
Shop Bow Front Top
Shop Cream Sweater/Olive Jacket
Shop Ruffle Sleeve Dress
Shop Floral Dress & White Blazer
Shop Peplum Floral Dress