Wednesday, July 13, 2011

French Week 2011 Day 4 - L'Occitane Verbena

The South of France doesn't just contain the sophisticated crowd at Monaco and the lovely regions of Nice.  One of the somewhat lesser know areas of this region is Provence, the major farming and agricultural area of France.  Provence is a region in the South of France adjacent to Italy, making it a perfect region for year-round farming.  The climate is the typical Meditterranean climate, hot and dry in the summertime with a mild winter and little to no rain or snow.  Verbena is a herb that is grown in this region.  It is used in beauty and medical compounds.  This plant oil has a citrus scent with slight floral accents and L'Occitane creates the line of body products that it is most associated with.  L'Occitane is a South of France-based company that uses essential oils and plants from this region of France.  Their products contain the natural essential oils and the company limits the amount of chemicals in their formulations. 

Verbena is one of the best-selling lines from L'Occitance and has been covered in many magazines over the years.  "L'Occitane Verbena is formulated from a premium quality Verbena extract from Corsica, which is particularly fine and pure.  The lemon fragrance energizes and revives the senses, thereby helping to banish tiredness and stress.  Products include fragrances, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, and soaps.", states the L'Occitane website when describing the usage of the ingredient and the line of products that it inspired. 

L'Occitane goes further in their description of verbena to examine all the benefits that come from use of this plant.  "Harvested twice a year, the certified organic Verbena extract used in our L'Occitane bath, body, and home products offers refreshing scents of lemon and citrus found in the Verbena plant to help revitalize the body and the mind.  Verbena leaf extract is used for its toning, refreshing attributes, and its invigorating citrus fragrance.  Our L'Occitane Verbena bath and body care products can also be very soothing, helping to evoke an atmosphere of calm and peacefulness.  Originally indigenous to Chile, verbena (Verbena Officinalis) has been cultivated for centuries in Provence and throughout the Mediterranean.  The fresh scent of Verbena actually comes from its leaves, and crushing a few leaves in the hand is all it takes to release a wonderful, clean fragrance.  Verbena is cherished for its naturally soothing properties as well as it's zesty citrus scent.  It is a paradox of the senses: while cool and refreshing, it is also found to be warm, soothing, and inviting.  Its paradoxical nature makes it wonderful as a fragrance, and well-suited to skincare and haircare uses."
The shower gel in this fragrance is one of the best-sellers and is the best known product from this line.  This is known in the beauty industry as one of the freshest products to use in the warm weather.  "Fresh, clean body shampoo loved equally by men and women.  Each squeeze of the non-breakable plastic bottle releases the crisp, citrus scent of L'Occitance Verbena.  Essential oils of verbena, orange, geranium, and lemon tree smooth and nuture even the most sensitive skin, and permeate the room with a winning aroma."  To match this shower gel, the company released a lightweight body lotion that can be used in even the most humid conditions.  "Prized for its fresh, citrus aroma by women and men.  A lightweight lotion that easily absorbs to comfort skin.  Will eliminate the "tight" or itchy feeling skin often has after showering.  Organic extract of verbena helps to calm skin; orange, geranium, and lemon tree oils contribute to uplifting aroma."

To match the wash and lotion, this fragrance is also available in a salt scrub, an excellent product to help skin that has been exposed to the sun and the ocean waters.  "Salts from the Mediterranean Sea combine with the refreshing fragrance of pure extracts of verbena, orange, geranium, and lemon tree in a luxurious exfoliating body scrub.  Essential oils of grapeseed, aprict, and sweet almond nourish and moisturize.  Anti-oxidizing Vitamin A helps to tone and maintain healthy appearance.  Skin turns sliky smooth as dead skin cells are massaged away.  Body and mood feel revived."  This fragrance is also available in a hand and body soap and a hand cream to finish out the rest of the Verbean experience. 

For those of you that would want to take this fragrance to the highest degree, an Eau de Toilette is offered.  This fragrance is very strong on the citrus so this is confined only to those who really love citrus, sadly I am not included in this category.  "A perennial favorite.  Extroverted notes of Mediterranean verbena mingle with a rosy base of geraniumand lemon tree.  Elegantly presented in a small glass spray bottle engraved with a verbena leaf."  This fragrance is much too citrusy for me to pull off but would smell lovely on someone else in the heat of the summer.

It is easy to see why these products are among the top-sellers from L'Occitance; they can be used by either gender, make you feel great, and are light enough to use all summer long.  Sometimes a light fragrance just hits the perfect note in the summertime and this is a great choice from the Provence region...

photo courtesy of L'Occitane

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