I attended the opening of a new L’Occitane en Provence store at 180 E 86th street between Lexington and 3rd avenue in Manhattan. This beautiful store is the largest to date. If you are in New York City and happen to be in the neighborhood, a visit to this L’Occitane store is almost as good as a visit to a day spa. In fact, you can get a hand massage with one of L’Occitane’s famous hand creams, men can get a professional shave, and there are other skin pampering activities as well.
The inspiration for L’Occitane’s holiday gifts is Confiserie Florian, once a classic fragrance distillery in a small village in Provence, now a place where local harvests of roses, violets, clementines and lemons are transformed into candied delights. There are also two holiday collections with candy-inspired scents. The first is a feminine collection called L’Occitane Holiday Confiserie Délice des Fleurs – Rose & Violet (reminiscent of sugared rose and violet petals featuring rose and violet leaf absolutes) with items including Eau de Toilette, Solid Perfume, Shower Jelly, Body Milk, Hand Cream and Lip Gloss. ($10 to $42). The sceond is a lovely, lemony and tart blend called L’Occitane Holiday Confiserie Délice des Fruites – Lemon & Clementine. This collection smells tart but also a bit sweet, liked sugared citrus fruit, with lemon and clementine essential oils. The collection includes a Lip Balm, Shower Jelly, Body Cream, Perfumed Soap, Bath Ball, Hand Cream, Sweet Candle and a Home Perfume Diffuser. ($4 to $35)
The packaging for all of the L’Occitane holiday gifts is a stunning candy-centric holiday tree or watercolor abstracts of candy, all on a background of white, fuschia, or orange. The labels on the products also reflect the cheerful candy-centric theme. There is something for everyone, large or small budget. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but one that will “wow” anyone that works with their hands is the Hand Cream Bouquet ($50, a $60 value) featuring a feast of half a dozen 1 oz. tubes of some of L’Occitane’s most-beloved hand creams including a limited-edition Desert Rose and a Hibiscus Flower scent, plus Cocoa Flower, Shea Butter, Shea Vanilla and Pivoine Flora. There’s something for every fragrance personality, plus the original L’Occitane shea butter hand cream. This gift arrives in a fuschia box that needs nothing more than a bow to be a “wow.” For $26 you can get a Hand indulgences set with the two limited edition scents and the original shea butter hand cream.
For the financially-strapped, two little gifts that are still delightful are the solid perfume ($10 for .33 oz.) and the violet lip gloss (.17 oz) that arrive in fuschia candy-centric tins and smell like the new limited edition, candied violet fragrance, Delice de Fleurs. There are so many gifts for men and women that it would be impossible for me to list them all but you can find them (and seriously, a gazillion other drool worthy items) online at usa.loccitane.com or by calling 888-623-2880.