Mainstream Monday: L’ Occitane lovelies

L'OccitaneI ducked into a big mall a few days before Thanksgiving, hoping to beat the holiday craziness as I picked up a little gift item or two and made some returns. As I left Nordstrom and turned the corner, I spied a L’Occitane store. Not sure why I never noticed it before, but there it was. I couldn’t recall the scents of theirs that have been praised in the perfume blog world, but I did poke around a bit.

So much good stuff, but my eye was drawn to the wall display holding their Collection de Grasse, and so I gave two of those a whirl.

Being the bergamot freak that I am, L’Occitane’s Jasmin and Bergamote went on one wrist. And then, after a little trepidation, their Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc on the other. I was a little skeered of the iris, as that note can be either heavenly or horrible on me, depending on how it’s treated. But to my surprise, both were equally nice and I finished my errands wrapped in a fragrant cloud of loveliness. Although I got a tiny whisper of something oudlike in the very late finish of the jasmine and bergamot scent; not enough to bug me, but it was a little odd.

I wish I’d had more time to play and browse the collection, as I also would have liked to try the Fleur d’Or & Acacia, Néroli & Orchidée, and The Vert & Bigarade. I’d love it if they had offered a sampler of mini vials or sprays of all the scents. If you’re listening, L’Occitane, perhaps for the next holiday season, pretty please?

Also, I saw some other interesting fragrances, some body products, candles, skin care, and the like, plus some very cool gift ideas as well. And those little tubes of hand cream are cute as buttons, aren’t they? So one of these days, I will pop into L’Occitane and stay much, much longer.

What about you? What are your fave L’Occitane products or fragrances? Are their candles good? What should I investigate on my next visit?

P.S. Squeee! Scouting around, I just noticed that Surrender to Chance has samples of the Fleur d’Or & Acacia, and also carries the jasmine one and another in the collection called Amber & Santal. So even if you don’t have a L’Occitane anywhere near you, you can at least get a little taste.

  • odonata9 says:

    Eau de Baux is a winner for sure – glad you are getting a sample of it. I just went in the other day myself and liked the new Pamplemousse & Rhubarb very much, and would have bought some if they had something smaller than 100ml. I did wonder why they would introduce such a light citrusy fragrance in winter though. I tend to avoid going there as the salespeople are generally a bit overbearing and pushy – constantly asking if you’ve tried this or that and suggesting things. I have heard this from a few other people as well.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, dear, and glad to see you like Eau de Baux too. And another vote for the Pamplemousse & Rhubarb. That is a lot of fragrance, especially for perfumistas like us who really like (and need) smaller bottles. Maybe they rolled that scent out now because the holidays are their biggest sales time and they need to strike while the iron is hot? Not sure. I was lucky, I guess, in that the SA chatted me up for a sec and then left me on my own.

  • maggiecat says:

    The Verbena and Milk soaps are wonderful and staples in my house. All of their Verbena products are lovely, and their hand creams are perfection. The Jasmin et Bergamote scent is a favorite of mine, and I have a mini of Arlesienne, If you ask, they often have mini bottles for sale but they don’t put them out. 🙂 Why, yes, I do go there as often as I can…

    • Ann says:

      Yay, maggiecat, another verbena lover!! And adiehard L’Occitane fan as well. Thanks for the tip about the mini bottles; it would be so nice to get a few to help you decide which scents you’d want FBs in. Come visit me — I could sure use you to show me the L’Occitane ropes 🙂

  • Neva says:

    I often buy presents in L’Occitane and have some products I always return to for myself: creamy soap bars, the almond concentrated body milk, almond skin oil, hand creams, the complete Verbena line. Their travel sizes are also very practical. From the collection Grasse I too first fell for the Jasmine & Bergamot and meanwhile I also like Magnolia & Mure very much. I have a shower gel and body lotion. I’ve bought their scented candle once (fig, now discontinued) but considering the mid-range price I expected much more scent so I would not recommend their candles.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Neva! You are the second or third person to mention an almond body product of theirs, so they are on my list now. I need to try the Magnolia & Mure, and also poke around to see their travel sizes next time, too. Sorry about the candles; it seems a candle is one item that can really be hit or miss, no matter the price tag. I inherited a Jo Malone candle years ago and had to practically put my nose into it to smell it. I was thankful I hadn’t spent $$$ on it.

  • Katrin says:

    Hi Ann,

    I think men’s scented products by L’Occitane are far more exciting than women’s, also both are lovely. There’s also an aftershave
    cream that my dad said was the best thing he had ever used after shaving. I personally like their shampoos best, the facial creams don’t suit me and deodorants are just OK (smell good, but don’t work as well). Perfumes I enjoy sniffing, but haven’t bought any yet. They haven’t seemed that urgent.

    • Ann says:

      Katrin, that is very good to know about the men’s items. My DH was saying he needed a good after-shave product so I will definitely seek out that L’Occitane. And I didn’t even know they had shampoo … Boy, am I learning a lot today. 🙂

  • Hi Ann,

    I have found out recently that I like quite a few of their products. I love the Vanille & Narcisse perfume but need to try a few more. A friend has the Ambre & Santal and that smells great on her. My mother in law has quite a few of the products in her bathroom – she has a rose hand wash that is super fragrant. And the hand creams are really good. I feel I need to explore it more. I have a stockist on the same street as me so I often pop in and have a nosey around.

    • Ann says:

      Megan, it does seem like they have a little bit of everything, and who knows? There might be some really nice holiday-type items in by now. Do let us know if you find other stuff to love when you are exploring. BTW, must look up that Vanille & Narcisse — it sounds right up my alley. Thanks!

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    LOVE L’Occitane and have quite a bit of it. Favourite scents are Néroli & Orchidée, Vanille & Narcisse, Mer & Mistral and their new gents aimed Cedrat. They have also brought out this year a yummy Pierre Herme line and the Pamplemousse & Rhubarb is gorgeous.
    Currently using Cedrat in the bath as bubble bath and as washing gel.
    The little hand creams are excellent thank you gifts too.
    OMG! and if you haven’t tried the SHEA FABULOUS OIL go now. Drop everything and RUN to the L’Occitane store. The best body oil and fragrance I’ve ever used.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      What a wealth of L’Occitane knowledge you have, Portia! Had I known I was going to stumble upon the shop, I would have been sure to consult you to guide me. Thanks so much for sharing your loves; that shea oil has shot to the top of my must-try list. I really must get back to the store, but now my thought is, do I really want to risk life and limb during the pre-Christmas rush at the mall? Hmmm… maybe I could do it somewhat safely at 10:30 a.m. on a Monday or Tuesday 😉

  • Caroline says:

    Haven’t really given their scents a try, but the Almond Shower Oil is a wintertime staple: non-stripping, and it smells like a French patisserie. Candles are fine, I’ve Winter Forest and Verveine, and though not as luxurious as the Diptyques and Malles, they’re absolute bargains in comparison. And they go on sale after Christmas.

    • Ann says:

      Yum, Caroline — that oil sounds like a winner! And thanks for the sale tip — I will write that on my calendar to get some. Sometimes, if I’m really behind, I do little New Year’s gifts, so these sound like they’d be great for that. Thanks!

  • Shirley Munoz says:

    I’m not such a fan of their fragrances but they have wonderful body products. Cleansing and softening shower oil is to die for and their body is just plain delicious, Concentrate de Lait.

    • Ann says:

      Shirley, that’s where I’ve heard the most praise for them. Must try those two products you mentioned; they sound so nice for winter baths and showers. Thanks!

  • Victoria says:

    Funny that you mentioned L’Occitane, I was just there a week ago! My favorite fragrance by them is Vanille & Narcisse. It reminded me of some other fragrance, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Anyway, lovely post!

    • Ann says:

      Ah, Victoria, great minds shop alike, don’t they? 🙂 I did not see the narcisse fragrance when I was there, but I’m sure I missed a lot on my super-quick visit. That scent sounds lovely and I will surely get a sniff when I get back in there. Thanks!

  • Nemo says:

    I love Eau des Baux, and I also thought the Verbena soap was quite nice (nicely balanced citrus-y scent with nice lather, and didn’t get crumbly or squishy with use). My friend fell hard for the Jasmine-Immortelle Neroli recently, and I have also heard good things about Arlesienne, a rose-violet scent. I generally only see L’Occitane stores in airports, however, so I maybe need to travel more to sniff htem all.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks for all the info, Nemo! I’m getting my hands on a sample of the Baux as we speak, and I’m eyeing the verbena soap, too, as I tend to love all things verbena. I think traveling more is a great idea! 🙂