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  1. #1

    Default L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    We have a L'Occitane store at our local mall. Westfield Kotara, in Newcastle, for my fellow Australian basenoters! I've walked past it many times, sometimes stopping to have a look at something that caught my eye, only to put it down and keep on going. I always thought L'Occitane was one of those "Peace, Love and Brown Rice" chains that specialise in "organic" and "natural", two terms I hold in deep suspicion, likewise with The Body Shop. I thought it was where you could buy such essentials as cheap scented candles, incense sticks, soothing balms for ingrown toenails and spells to ward off evil vapours.

    But something happened. O dear.

    I found something called "Amber Room Fragrance". Sniffed it and loved it. I've been looking for an amber frag and have Ambre Précieux and Ambre Sultan on my wish list. Knowing L'Occitane makes EDT's, which admittedly I'd never bothered trying for reasons I listed above, I asked the SA if there was such a thing as an EDT version of this room fragrance. She said there used to be, but it's been discontinued. Damn.

    So, naturally, I came here and searched the reviews. Found it and liked what I read. This lead me to reviews of other L'Occitane EDT's, Eau des Quatre Voleurs and Eau des Baux in particular grabbing my intention. I also realised that L'Occitane had quite some respect in the fragrance community and wasn't at all the shabby hippy thing I'd thought.

    Went back to the store yesterday and sampled Voleurs and Baux. The former blew me away! I absolutely loved it. Baux impressed me at first with its incense and woods but it suffered a mid-life crisis and descended into pure vanilla. If only it had an amber base, then it would be a beautiful fragrance. Voleurs is the perfect 'go anywhere' fragrance that you could easily wear to work or places where you have to consort with the general public and not be afraid of offending anyone. I think it was Odysseusm who described its smokey dry lavender. A beautiful thing. I await the Christmas sales!

    Back to the Ambre problem. Being told something has been 'discontinued', disappointing though it initially is, never causes me to fold under pressure! I searched the UK and US L'Occitane sites and found Ambre EDT is very much alive and well over there. But they don't deliver to Australia. So I've got my US contacts onto it!

    What are your thoughts on L'Occitane generally and their products?
    Last edited by Trufflehunter; 15th November 2008 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    L'Occitane makes some great fragrances at great prices ($44/100ml Edt, $65/100ml EdP). My experience with Eau des Baux is different than yours, and on my skin the drydown is a mix of amber, vanilla, and incense. This base persists for about 12 hours on me. During my last visit the SA allowed me to decant my own samples of their EdP series (Cedar, Iris, Neroli, Jasmine and one other...not remembering), all of which were very good (though the Iris was very violet heavy). I also bought a the spicy amber-based fragrance, Eau d'iParis. Their Vetyver is very good (I have the shower gel), and I'd buy it if I didn't already have plenty of vetivers, and I'm still on the fence as to whether Eau de Badian is FBW.

    Also, their men's skin-care stuff is great, too. I use their shaving cream, which comes in an old-old-school metal tube.

  3. #3

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    Eau Des Baux is awesome. Don't own it yet, but I plan to add it sometime in the future. Great frag

  4. #4
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    Tried Ambré a year ago, the strongest Ambré I ever tried! And quite femenine for my taste.

    So I bought Vetiver, excellent one, however, short longevity, but much more refined than Zara's or Adolfo Dominguez.

    I am a frequent buyer of their shaving foams and soaps. Excellent products.

  5. #5

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I have Ambre EdT and I love it Is it no longer for sale there? I thought it was just the special version that isn't for sale but the EdT is?
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  6. #6

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    And here I am, with my 2 cents worth! I love L'Occitane. I think they have excellent products.
    4 Voleurs and L'Occitan are very good. Watch out though, 4 Voleurs is being discontinued in some markets. If you like it, get it! I think they do a great job with lavender.
    I also like the Cedre in the soliflore line, and in the summer they had a Feu d'Orange which was a nice summery splash.
    And I agree totally about the Baux vanilla problem. It has such potential as a scent, in the opening. Then the vanilla kicks in and I lose interest.
    Cheers!
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  7. #7

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I like Vetyver, similar to Envy but not as weak as the now-watered-down Envy. Havent given the others a proper try, although their Neroli is similar to the top notes of Fleur du Male.
    My partner also has a few of their products (moisturiser, massage oil, lip-gloss etc) and they are great. She has super-sensitive skin but has never had a problem with them.
    Looking for: Andy Tauer - L'air du Desert Morocain & Incense Extreme

    Check out my NEW Aussie sale / trade thread here -
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...76#post1801576

  8. #8

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I have tried to get thru a bottle of L'Occitan but it is one of those frags that I like less everytime I wear it. It has gotten to the point that all I seem to smell of it is gasoline.
    However, Eau de Baux is heavenly. As is their old Neroli. I haven't tried the new version. Their Vetiver is nice but doesn't seem to last at all on me.
    By the way I was just doing some (alot) of shopping there as their Friends & Family sale is in full swing (thru 11/16). 25% off everything. Use code FNF25.
    Last edited by loungeboy; 16th November 2008 at 01:42 AM. Reason: added code

  9. #9

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I lovE Eau de Baux, I also use the shower gel.
    I have a small bottle of the Ambre and it is very potent.
    Eau d'Iparie is a nice myrrh fragrance too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    As much as I like their stuff, they all last 10 minutes on me

  11. #11

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    L'Occitane make brilliant juice. I have all their men's fragrances plus the discontinued Neroli. The Neroli & Eau de Baux are my favorites with L'Occitan & Vetyver following closely behind. Badian & 4 Voleurs are great scents too. Don't get the longevity issues many harp about. And yes, they are priced really well considering they are a niche company.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

    Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait


    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

    http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/2976

  12. #12

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I also own the L'Occitane Amber Room Fragrance. Found it on eBay and bought it immediately. Gorgeous amber fragrance! Don't hesitate and spray your hair or clothes with it, I do so myself and therefor it's one of my best amber finds ever.

    I also bought the L'Occitane Lavender-Amber Room Fragrance. Also very nice and if you can track it down, it's definitely worth a try.
    decant sales:
    Crystal Flacon

  13. #13

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I tried the ambre one in Europe last year and thought it was good, but a tad feminine.

    I tossed up between Eau de Baux and Eau de L'Occitan for a long time before buying both.

    Eau de Baux I found immediately fascinating, but not as much so after several hours. On the other hand, Eau de L'Occitan isn't the most immediately impressive when first sprayed on, but it comes to the fore after two or three hours.
    Renato

  14. #14

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    My favorite is Veyver, but their other older perfumes are all well-made in an unpretentious manner. The recent ones (Iris, Cedre, new Neroli...) are pretty bad, I think. The Provencal imagery may suggest organic or natural cosmetics, but L'Occitan is neither (i.e. their products use ingredients not permitted acording to ,e.g., the German natural cosmetics code). I don't consider anything you can buy at an airport duty free niche, really.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I don't think anyone is trying to claim L'Occitane is niche, are they? I'd put them more in the same category as other cosmetic companies that offer fragrances, like Lauder or Lancome. They certainly don't claim to be all natural, either.

  16. #16

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    I don't think anyone is trying to claim L'Occitane is niche, are they? I'd put them more in the same category as other cosmetic companies that offer fragrances, like Lauder or Lancome. They certainly don't claim to be all natural, either.
    I was refering to Trufflehunter's original perception of L'Occitane as an "organic" and "natural" outfit and Morrissey's, err, manicboy's niche comment. They tend not to sell at convetional mass market perfume outlets, which perhaps gives them a niche appearance, but they have 600 employees and $179 million revenue.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  17. #17
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    ... but they have 600 employees and $179 million revenue.
    The last time I bought some soaps from them a SA gave me a brochure written along the lines of "a small co. of Provence producing organic body care products". Good Life, yours was a revealing comment!

  18. #18

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    Thanks for all the info and opinions everyone. It's piqued my curiosity... so now I have to go and purchase 4 Voleurs and the amber room spray and try a few others while I'm there! Hopefully I can get a US friend to find me a bottle of the Ambre EDT and send it over. Still waiting for them to reply to my email!
    This has confirmed that L'Occitane is indeed a respected company and not what I initially thought!
    Anyone tried Feu d'Orange? I can't find it in Australia, but it sounds interesting.

  19. #19

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    feu do' orange is horrible

    At first it's nice a very fresh blood orange but after a while you really miss depth and complexity. It's not a perfume really it smells more like a toner and it feels like a refreshing bodysplash.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  20. #20

    Default Re: L'Occitane: a pleasant surprise

    I ordered large bottles of Eau des Baux and L'Occitan today. I had some cash in my paypal so I took the plunge. These sound like they will be nice for the cool months ahead.

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