L’Occitane‘s “after shampoo” repair conditioner smells SO GOOD! I couldn’t get over the fragrance at all. Earthy, lovely. My hair felt limp and non-shiny after using this though. And the texture and fragrance ( again ) of the Amande “shower oil”. Delicious ( obviously don’t eat it ). The other two products I didn’t mind using on my face are the “Divine Cream” and the “Serum Harmonie Divine”. I do a bunch of chemical peels at home and need some awesome and strong moisturisers so I’m always experimenting with new stuff.
I’m no skincare expert, so I will not be commenting on the ingredients and the quality of the product – that will need some research and I recommend visiting “Beautypedia” for expert reviews.
I was at an event recently where these products were in the “goodie” bags that the guests got to take away. I have two of each because Vasudha left hers and I asked her if I could pick it up. It was a lovely afternoon and there were two well-decorated lunch tables and the tables had vases with L’Occitane’s signature flowers – the Immortelle ( the beautiful yellow Helichrysum angustifolium ).
It was an “all girls” brunch and some of us – in the same industry – were meeting after a long time and with all the red wine and loud conversation, things got fun. As part of some of that “fun”, I picked out a bunch of flowers from one of the vases and stuck them in my bag – it’s a camera bag and the flowers were 75% outside the bag and only 25% of the stems were in the side pocket – so they were visible and I wasn’t trying to hide them. We’d been talking about how gorgeous the flowers were and how we’d all like to take a bunch home etc. – you know, girls like pretty flowers and these don’t ever fade away! – and someone at the table had also mentioned that the brand was particular about not letting anyone take the flowers. So it was more of a “jest” gesture than anything else. Within a couple of minutes, the brand had sent over someone to my chair at the table and pointedly asked me to remove the flowers from my bag as I was not allowed to take them with me.
Well. Ooops! That was embarrassing – not for me though. In general, trust between brands and the “media” they would like to “woo” has always been low. But it is especially tragic when it’s amongst “all women” teams. It is not a nice feeling to find out – publicly – that the brand doesn’t trust the very guest it has invited for a meal.
At this point, I’d also like to talk about testing products on animals, which most of L’Occitane’s products are. To be honest, I’m not opposed to animal testing – I know, sounds cruel – but hear me out. Most of the life-saving medicines that we have in the current day are available to save human lives because they were tested on animals before they were approved for clinical trials on human volunteers. I am open to having a conversation about the ethical dilemma of testing anything on animals. Especially when beauty products don’t really save lives but serve our vanity. I don’t have the answer and I’m not ready to take sides without first learning what animal testing really involves ( and I’m aware – uncomfortably so – that it involves pain, suffering and death for animals that are unable to give consent ). At the same time, I am also immensely grateful to be alive at a time when so many life-saving drugs are available to me and my family and friends.
Overall, I’m most grateful to be alive at a time when information is readily available to all of us and we are, more than ever, able to make informed decisions, instead of simply being swayed by opinion and advertising.
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