This brand name is so widely known now from all four corners of the globe. L’Occitane was named for the women of Occitania, a historical region in Southern Europe where Occitan was the native language. It is still spoken as a second language in some areas of this region today.
The company was created in 1976 by Olivier Baussan as he first produced wild rosemary and lavender essential oil and was selling them in the open market. The first boutique opened in 1978, selling locally produced soaps using traditional methods.
From its base in Manosque in the region of Alpes-de-Haut-Provence, l’Occitane en Provence develops and produces high quality beauty products with essential oils and natural perfumes for phytotherapy and aromatherapy purposes. Most of the raw materials are sourced in Provence except the immortelle plants, which are from Corsica and shea butter, which is purchased directly from women’s groups in Burkina Faso.
Inspired by simple values such as authenticity, respect and sensoriality and continuous improvement, l’Occitane develops most of its products and ingredients in line with the organic cosmetics specifications of Ecocert Fair Trade. Ecocert is an organic certification organisation founded in France in 1991, The label warrants the good working conditions of the farmers. It also includes a set of environmental criteria that has to be respected, avoiding any form of biopiracy.
L’Occitane contributes to preserving traditional cultivation methods by supporting different programs for example :
cultivating almond trees in the Alps of Haute-Provence
encourage traditional cultivation particularly the Lavender
We can now visit the factory on a guided tour in English or French. Special discount rates are given for all purchases in the factory boutique.