Perfume Reviews

Reviews of L'Occitan by L'Occitane

Total Reviews: 45
I was gifted the shower gel version of this and bought the fragrance off the back of it. The fragrance is a little sharper but is still clean and inoffensive, and is now a staple in the collection. The burnt woods gives it a depth that makes it more than just a generic lavender, without it becoming too dirty. I find it works well in Spring and Autumn when heavy winter fragrances are too much and summer scents lack depth. All in all it’s one of those clean office-safe scents that’s versatile enough to use without too much thought, but not quite a mass-market hype-train scent that everyone wears.
27th January, 2019 (last edited: 26th January, 2019)
Less is more sometimes, and L'Occitan Eau de Toilette by L'Occitane en Provence (2005) is a perfect example of this. Anyone who has ever walked past their shops found in upscale shopping malls and high streets will tell of the botanical allure wafting from the front door, which pulls you right in to have a peek. Part of that huge bouquet of "welcome" is this scent: a simple lavender, pepper, and spice fougère which smells very 19th century considering it's release date, and does little else to dress up these three key points besides render them onto an appropriate fougère base. The lavender is relaxing while the pepper is a piquant eye-opener, making the wearer do some mental gymnastics between calm and alert, creating a stillness and poise that epitomizes the gentlemanly demeanor this scent seeks to create. The overall vibe of L'Occitane itself is an old-world hand-crafted simplicity, as the company itself was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan as a distiller of lavender and eventually soapmaker. The name for L'Occitane refers to the women of Occitania, an region during the Middle Ages spanning southern France, north-eastern Spain and northern Italy; the Occitan dialect is still spoken as a second language in some areas of this region in modern times, and Baussan sought to tap into this historical allure. Modern L'Occitane operates much like an apothecary-themed cosmetic shop, giving competition to the likes of Aveda, The Body Shop, Bath and Body Works, Lush, Kiehl's, The Art of Shaving, and others.

L'Occitan Eau de Toilette directly links back to the house's early days as a lavender peddler in France, and opens with a very clean round French lavender like found in Pour Un Homme de Caron (1934) or Canoe by Dana (1936), just without any of the vanilla to pillow it out. Instead, the aforementioned black pepper takes L'Occitan Eau de Toilette in a direction much like a traditional men's toilet water, of the ilk that someone like ED Pinaud, or Houbigant would produce, adding in some nutmeg and cinnamon in the middle phase. The spices in the middle are subtle, and meant to give an earthy anchor to the lavender/pepper top instead of rounding it, so they play very quietly under the top notes, "browining" everything into a clearly masculine train of thought without being cloying or heavy as spice can often be. The base of tonka, musk, cedar, sandalwood, and oakmoss follows last, and makes for a "fern-like" fougère accord through-and-through, simple, efficient, and enjoyable. L'Occitan Eau de Toilette will not appeal to people who dislike prominent lavender, and the black pepper is pretty dry, giving this some similarity to Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet (1902) but with a one-for-one note swap between the pine of Blenheim and the lavender of L'Occitane, plus a heavier woods edge that makes L'Occitan sit closer to something like Diptyque Tam Dao (2003) at times. I'd say this is a great morning eye-opener and should be used with the accompanying body wash, but what you do with it is up to you in the end. Longevity is in the eight hour range, and sillage is respectable thanks to that assertive pepper note, so no performance issues here.

L'Occitane en Provence makes some great reasonable products for a guy looking for something a little more homespun than a major designer label, but not wanting the full obscure artisinal perfumer experience, without the awkward kitsch of niche boutiques like Lush, the uppity condescension of ultra-luxe brands like Creed or even the "steampunk chic" wet shaving establishments like The Art of Shaving, with their gilded handles that cleverly hide the fact that they use some permutation of a standard Gillette blade. There's no such thing as an "honest brand" really, but the purity of purpose and plain-spoken chemist-style presentation of L'Occitan Eau de Toilette in it's amber glass pill bottle just seems right. The smell is plain, simple, elegant lavender fougère that won't cost you a kidney to buy, and performs leagues beyond what the designers offer in the same category, giving it a niche quality without the niche price. A few other ones like Eau des Bavx (2006), and Eau de Cade (2014) also strike of this niche quality, staying fairly within the classic masculine perfumery realm, with better-than-usual ingredients, but L'Occitane Eau de Toilette just stands as the best, most versatile, and classic flagship/entrypoint for the house to my nose, and worth a sniff to anyone that really loves these old lavender beasts still roaming the wilds. All historical backdrops aside, the house did a really nice job here, and made this super easy to wear. L'Occitan Eau de Toilette is the signature scent for the guy that finds beauty in a good plain cheese pizza, simple folk tune, or cup of black coffee.
17th September, 2018 (last edited: 10th November, 2018)
Really nice, basic fragrance from L'Occitane. With Eau de L'Occitan pour Homme, you will get a straightforward spicy bright scent, thanks to the healthy dose of black pepper in the head and nutmeg in the heart, mixed with cinnamon. Lavender acts as a deft "background" against which the spicy onslaught stands, adding its own spicy qualities to the melange.

The overall effect is a classy scent that feels natural and polished. Lasts for an impressively long time, staying linear and predictable. Highly recommended!
04th May, 2018
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A very straightforward masculine smelling lavender mixed with pepper, and a little woods and then very light smooth dry-down.

Continues to be one of my favorites in my collection and stands up to the Creed's as far as quality of natural ingredients and the lack of any artificial or headache inducing aroma-chemicals....

Has a very nice, "almost" Creed like dry-down that is very smooth and maybe more tonka bean/vanilla than ambergris but a similar soft and clean smell.

Don't go near it if you don't like lavender...and if you don't know, as always try before you buy, as people have all kinds of different associations with lavendar.

By far the most wearable of the L'occitane line for me.

25th February, 2018
A peppery fragrance that feels fresh. I actually enjoy the shower gel more than the EDT, but If I don't over spray on the EDT, it is also highly enjoyable. As mentioned by others, I get pepper, not burnt woods. Eau des Baux and 4 Voleurs are my favorite in the L'Occitane men's line, but L'Occitane is also a nice daytime fragrance.
05th June, 2017
A beautiful, masculine lavender, paired with soft woods and shaped by black pepper. Straight forward, beginning to end, this fragrance is gorgeous. Most people will think "old school" or "barbershop" when it comes to lavender. L'Occitan IMO, is a more modern interpretation of lavender, layering it over a soft woods and shaping it's lilting softness with a touch of sharper black pepper. The lavender is very authentic and natural smelling, and there's very little of the sweetened barbershop element. With the deft use of woods and pepper, L'Occitan also avoids the avant-garde lavender direction of a JPG LeMale formulation. One could say it's a perfectly executed twist on an identifiable theme. Clean, light, masculine and appealing to most people. Excellent performance and great value for a fragrance of this quality. An easy Thumbs Up.
27th May, 2017 (last edited: 06th September, 2017)
Superb shower fresh scent mixed with lavender and pepper. Great daytime fragrance. I usually wear this one to the office.
02nd May, 2017
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Incredible fragrance of crisp black pepper with lavender and cedar woods. "It just smells great". That comfort fragrance for me. Longevity, for me is all day, with moderate projection.
19th March, 2017
One of the few scents that I always go back to. It just smells so fabulously fresh, natural and actually makes me feel alive. One of the best buys I've ever made, nature in a bottle, and another bonus is that its not expensive either.

13th October, 2016
Background: Though I joined Basenotes circa 2002, I didn't use my account in recent years and had to re-register now. So, though no history is shown for me at Basenotes now, in fact I am a perfume aficionado of some 15 years.

Buying a bottle of L'Occitan is why I re-registered at Basenotes: after wearing it the first time, I felt compelled to post a simple review of it.

Mine is a classic case of buying before trying; so that's my fault. But my impressions of wearing L'Occitan would be the same either way.

On my skin, after noting some similarity to Molinard II only on application, L'Occitan quickly evolved into something much more austere. At first it was very nice, probably having some of the notes mentioned by other reviewers here.

But in the final drydown, which arrived quickly and lasted until the next day, the dominant note was a rancid synthetic molecule smell. Once I caught it, everything else about this perfume was eclipsed, and I could not un-smell it.

I am not strictly opposed to aromachem in creative perfumery. In my opinion, however, like all factors, it must be used artfully and most of all not draw attention to itself.

Like new pop music made for people who never heard any precedent, L'Occitan is an example of a perfume marketed by a company that knows they can get away with it. Sell 'em and tell 'em anything... they won't know the difference.

Pragmatically, if people are happy with the result, then great. But I happen to know the difference. The south of France, Provence, Grasse... L'Occitan ain't it.

I will be tossing the bottle I bought. Hey, I got it at a deep discount. Live and learn!
29th May, 2016
One of their best creations since Eau du Contadour and Eau des Bavx
15th December, 2015
This fragrance is a simple peppery lavender with woody notes. The lavender used is of a high quality and smells good but the scent overall I found boring.

The longevity and projection are average, I get about five hours.

To sum up a simple good quality fragrance that could do with more notes just to make it more interesting.
05th September, 2015
Excellent combination of bergamot/cedar, aromatic lavender, piquant/mild spices, musk and vetiver. The opening is lemony, aromatic and peppery before the aroma starts sliding towards an irresistible sort of muskiness. Absolutely to die for, impeccable, a simple and immensely distinguished fragrance that is easily affordable and versatile. The L'Occitan's dry down is woody/boise, vetiver veined, balmy-lemony and musky. Is not necessary to spend a lot of money to smell always distinguished and clean. Fantastic also the bath/shower lotion that I've tryed on skin. Recommended.
04th February, 2015 (last edited: 05th February, 2015)
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This. fragrance. is. incredible. The lavender is crisp and and refreshing and the wood note is the perfect combination. The combination on a man's skin is not to be believed. The lavender isn't perfumey or feminine, but more of a true outdoors scent, and the wood note is much like what you'd think a driftwood fire on the beach at night would smell like. Together, it's perfect. The sillage is exactly what it needs to be -- if you're about a foot or so away, you smell it, but it doesn't leave a lingering trail.

I bought this for my husband two years ago, and no kidding, I could follow him around all day smelling this and wanting to growl. It's that kind of understated sexy. It's also unmistakable once you've smelled it; I've only smelled it twice otherwise, and both men seemed startled I pegged it so quickly. Let's just say: these weren't men who were my type at all, but they certainly smelled it.

It's a far cry from the horrible, horrible synthetics and gag-awful Axe smellalikes that are being marketed today. My nose is very good, yet so much of what's put out now -- even high end fragrances -- are not at all unique. This is. It's a little on the retro side, I'd think, which is fine by me. Very classy, very masculine, classic and most of all, quality and real.

I'd heard rumors that L'Occitane is discontinuing this, and I can't tell you how much I hope that's not true.
20th December, 2014
Nj guy Show all reviews
United States
Started the hobby six months ago. Have bought many fragrances both niche and otherwise. This is my first review. Best buy by far. Strong black pepper opening followed by a very masculine lavender drydown. Great bang for the buck. Period.
26th November, 2014
Good lavender scent but it's marred by the pepper.
23rd November, 2014
Seldom does it happen that a fragrance will sweep my mind away to somewhere calmer and more beautiful but that's what happens with this. A totally accidental find for me and my first Lavender dominated scent.

I've always steered clear of Lavender. I associated it with old ladies for some reason (nothing wrong with old ladies of course but I'm not in the market to smell like my, as it turns out, wrongful association of one).

Some words already mentioned in previous reviews here are spot on: airy, fresh, romantic, natural, classy, addictive, soothing.

Never one to follow the crowd, far from sweeping me away to Provence, this has a watery quality too it that reminds me of clear blue water and clean air with a beautiful white sandy beach thrown into the bargain. In a peculiar way, I'm also reminded of the Chlorine from municipal swimming pools and, as if that weren't odd enough, in this bottle it's actually a good thing! Probably just my odd associations but this is gorgeous.

It makes we want to lie down, close my eyes and get lost in stunning places. What a find for me. I was in the market for something vaguely different from Cartier or perhaps finally give Boucheron a try but I'm glad I went for this.

Spray it on and get swept away in the calm, soothing tranquillity that it will enfold you with....and perhaps others too ;-)

With each breath out comes the delight of another breath in.
01st July, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Lavender and pepper hit me from the start, a soft pepper that is not too spicy. Soon a very decent cinnamon appear, and later a medium-dark musk with a rich dose of tonka is added. Comforting, a dense and rich scent that is not very transparent on my skin but never cloying. Good-quality ingredients, good silage and projection, and a longevity of five hours. A good winter-warmer.
15th February, 2014
Eau de L'Occitan is a spicy yet smooth fougere fragrance that is reflective of the L'Occitane brand. Quality ingredients and deft blending of notes set this scent apart from other lavender fragrances, certainly at this price point. Eau de L'Occitan starts with a stingray strike of pepper, lush lavender and cedar. I'm not typically a huge fan of pepper openers, but this one works. The spicy notes mesh very well with the cedar and lavender, with the lavender holding back just enough to make it worthwhile. As Eau de L'Occitan settles into its base, lavender, light musk and a hint of cedar meld to create a delicious, slightly sweet and emphatically soothing finale. Longevity is at least 6 hours. Projection is strong for the first hour then calms, but is noticeable. Recommended.
26th December, 2013 (last edited: 27th December, 2013)
A beautiful comforting scent for the winter,lasts a long time worth buying.
08th May, 2013
I find EDL sufficiently askew from my normal winter applications to warrant ever more frequent use during the cooler months. The combination of ingredients is not especially innovative, but there is something about the roughly-hewn character of this fragrance that makes it so appealing. The pepper and lavender combination gives it a menthol/herbal effect that I find simultaneously bracing and soothing.
11th February, 2013
I am a big fan of pepper notes (Have two bottles of Bang!) This one balances it nicely with the lavender and some herbs and citrus. In all the holiday shopping I would stop in and try this on when passing the L'Occitane store and I enjoyed it each time. The only thing that stopped me from buying a bottle was the dry down seems to be mostly a very light lavender but mainly vanilla scent. I'm not a huge fan of vanilla, but if the top and mid notes lasted longer, I'd buy this in a heartbeat. I still will probably end up getting it because the price is very reasonable.
27th December, 2012
Wood, pepper and nutmeg - that what i smell. This is a comforting and relaxing scent, that smells very good and has a great price. Good projection, lasting power and sillage. Definetely worth a bottle!
12th December, 2012
Decent Lavender with splash of black pepper and cinnamon. The base has a nice kick of tonka and musk. Kind of spicey and slightly sweet. Nicely done. The presentation of the bottle and box is corny, but it's all about the frag!

Natural smelling ingredients is a plus with these L' Occitane products.
21st November, 2012 (last edited: 17th July, 2018)
Good - but a little like a 2-dimensional Azzaro?

1 All taste is personal.
2. Smell is probably the most subjective of all five senses.
3. Try before you buy. (On paper first, then skin.)
10th October, 2012
A very well done lavender scent. The opening is all about lavender, but sort of in a muted way. It doesn’t come off too sharp. There is enough black pepper in there to add to the lavender, but certainly never distracts from it. The lavender persists for a couple hours and quietly fades where the heart and base of somewhat spicy cedar comes into play. I don’t get much vanilla in the base though listed in the notes. Overall, a very well done scent obviously done with high quality ingredients at a bargain basement price.
01st December, 2011
One of my all time favourites. No trendy cool packaging - looks like an old-fashioned bottle of medicine, and comes in a cheap feeling course cardboard box. But who cares - pretty bottles are for her dressing table. Tired of 101 designer fragrances that are minor variations on a theme and met at every turn, office, bar, club? Eau des Baux is strongly distinctive, unusual, with oriental spiciness in spades. It will doubtless be a bit too sweet for some - Mrs Panther quite likes it on me, but opines that it takes a few hours before the wood masculinity subsumes the feminine vanilla enough for her nostrils. And its power and longevity is immense: apply with caution.
13th September, 2011
Smells very high quality and natural. Longevity is superb. In the dry down I get salty-sweet herbal scents, almost like detergent. Not unpleasant but not extraordinary.
27th April, 2011
Simple and good quality with great marriage of notes for my taste.
Just an updated fougere with barely any sweetness, with the addition of spices.

The opening is somewhat odd, with a wet feel that projects wide. Lavender is very nice and natural smelling with a bit of green and sweetness in it. The whole scent dries out quickly and in two hours lavender barely lingers and it becomes a spicy mellow skin scent. It doesn't become arid, and somehow the spices come off refreshing. It goes sweeter as it dries down, but it's just a faint balsamic wood and tonka, thank god.

It's masculine all right, but definitely usable by the ladies.
I approve.
20th April, 2011
L'Occitane seems to have the knack at developing high-quality fragrances at reasonable prices. L'Occitan EDT Pour Homme is no exception. I really like this fragrance. It's a totally pleasant, non-offensive and masculine fragrance that stays close to the skin, but with above-average longevity. Quiet, understated and, well, just nice. I like unique colognes (the ones that you will seldom smell on anyone else) and this also fits neatly into that category. Good opening, nice transition through the middle, then settling into a soft, cedar-ish drydown with a hint of tonka. Cedar isn't listed among the notes on the L'Occitane website, but I'd swear it's in there - or maybe some close relative. A few earlier reviewers were kind enough to post the notes, but here they are once more:

Top Note: Lavender, Black pepper
Middle Note: Nutmeg, Cinnamon
Base Note: Tonka Bean, Musk

The review by manicboy is great and captures my perceptions to a "T". Read that particular review about 3 times and you will capture the essence of L'Occitan. (Really good job, manicboy!)

Just one footnote, as a few others have mentioned: the photo here on basenotes is incorrect and is a different L'Occitane product. L'Occitan EDT PH is in a purple box and the bottle has a purple label. Wouldn't want anyone to pick up the wrong parfum if they were to visit one of the L'Occitane en Provence shops.
13th January, 2011