Happy 40th Birthday, L’Occitane!

A few weeks ago, I got to take a sensorial journey with L’Occitane (pronounced lox-ee-tan). The reason? We’re celebrating the French brand’s 40th year!

I was greeted with a cute lunchbox with matching leaves at our meeting spot in Forbes Makati.

The L’Occitane and Rustan’s team greeted me with a cute lunchbox (matching leaves totally coincidental) at our meeting spot in Forbes, Makati.

After that, we hopped on the bus and made our way to The Farm at San Benito. I was super excited, because the last time I visited The Farm, my body felt so relaxed because of all the healthy (and raw!) food we ate.

Beauty editors inside! The venue is about 2-3 hours from the city, depending on the traffic.

Beauty editors inside! The venue is about 2 to 3 hours from the city, depending on the traffic.

We left Manila at around noon and arrived at The Farm around 2:30 p.m. I stayed up late packing the night before, so I was in dire need of freshening up before we hit all the activities.

Look at this place! It's such a beautiful resort—really perfect for detoxing and RnR.

Look at this place! It’s such a beautiful resort—really perfect for detoxing and RnR.

Walking + hunting down my villa. The paths here are so pretty—kinda reminds me of The Shire from The Lord of The Rings movies.

Walking + hunting down my villa. The paths here are so pretty—kinda reminds me of The Shire from The Lord of The Rings movies.

Here's my home for the night! So excited to take a look inside!

Found my home for tonight! Who’s excited to take a look inside?

Oooohh!! I love it already. It's literally a glass villa—everyone can see inside and out!

Oooohh!! I love it already. It’s literally glass all around—everyone can see inside and out!

View from the other side! Can you see me? There's a whole jungle behind me, guys!

View from the other side! Can you see me? There’s a whole jungle behind me, guys!

Such a spacious room! There are lots of little nooks where you can lounge and read a book.

Such a spacious room! There are lots of little nooks where you can lounge and read a book. Can you see all the L’Occitane loot on my bed? Woo-hoo!

OMG, this bathroom! It's huge! There's a shower area on the other side, an outdoor bathtub which I'll show you later, and look at that cute L'Occitane robe!

OMG, this bathroom is huge! There’s a shower area on the other side, an outdoor bathtub which I’ll show you later, and look at that cute L’Occitane robe!

We had about 30 minutes to freshen up, but I spent most of it taking photos of the villa. So after unpacking and making a quick change, it was time for our first activity: yoga!

So restorative! This was a great way to officially start our sensorial journey.

So restorative! This was a great way to officially start our sensorial journey.

Look at Alyanna! She's so in the zone! Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep my balance :p

Look at Alyanna! She’s so in the zone! Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep my balance and forget about the fact that I didn’t get to remove my makeup :p

So after one of the best Savasanas of my life, we went on a Discovery Walk to see how L’Occitane grew over the years under the guidance of its founder, Olivier Baussan. He’s a native of Provence and started the brand in 1976 (he was just 23 years old then). Now the brand has over 3,000 stores all over the world! Cool, huh?

We went through all the best L'Occitane collections: Lavender, Verbena, Shea, Immortelle, and Almond.

Walking and learning as we went through the various L’Occitane collections.

1977 marked the first Lavender harvest for L'Occitane. This is one of my favorite and most precious scents, because it helps me relax.

The Lavender line is one of my favorite and most precious scents because it always calms me.

Provence’s lavender crop was hit by a certain type of bacteria, which affected the volume of their harvest. More companies began turning to other countries for their supply, but because L’Occitane built such a close relationship with local farmers, Monsieur Baussan started an endowment fund to help finance research programs to find long-term ecological solutions.

You guys have to get this Lavender home spray! I like to use their pillow mist, since it's smaller and I can just limit the scent to my bed.

Part of what makes the lavender from Provence smell so distinct is the soil quality and conditions under which it grows. Take a whiff when you’re at the store and see if you can tell the difference.

Next on the Discovery Walk tour were the Verbena, Shea Butter, and Immortelle sections.

Walking through the Verbena and Immortelle stops! It was such a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Beauty addicts coming through!

I think the story behind the Shea butter touched me the most because I didn’t realize how much work goes into producing it. Forward to the 1:47 mark to see how it’s harvested! What a ritual!

 
Did you realize that much work goes into making your lotions and creams? When I asked why they continue doing something so labor intensive and costly, the simple answer was this: to help give the women and community work. I really had to admire the brand for that.

Let's just say that I'm never taking Shea for granted ever again! Will be slathering this on with more care and gratitude from now on.

Let’s just say that I’m never taking Shea for granted ever again! Will be slathering this on with more care and gratitude from now on.

I think this was the surprising favorite of the group: L'Occitane's Almond line

Here’s L’Occitane’s Almond Body line. I think this was the surprising favorite of the group.

It melts on your skin like butter, it smells delicately sweet, and it softens your skin like crazy. More importantly, it’s absorbed easily so you won’t feel sticky or heavy. It’s a must-have lotion this summer!

If you have to choose just one product from this line, get this! It's the L'Occitane Velvet Body Serum and it's anti-aging, too!

If you have to choose just one product from this line, get this! It’s the L’Occitane Velvet Body Serum and it’s anti-aging, too.

After our mini yoga workout and walk, it was time for a massage! Ahhhh!

They used L'Occitane's Aromachologie line for our massage. All I remember were long, soothing strokes and a head-cradling technique—and then falling asleep!

They used L’Occitane’s Aromachologie line for our massage. All I remember were long, soothing strokes and a head-cradling technique—and then falling asleep!

Dinner was scheduled soon after, so I was curious to see what we’d be eating! The Farm only serves raw, vegan food, so it was definitely going to be an interesting meal.

A toast to L'Occitane's 40th year by Sevrine Miailhe of Rustan's.

A toast to L’Occitane’s 40th year by Sevrine Miailhe of Rustan’s.

This was the dinner menu. Told you it was gonna be interesting!

This was the dinner menu. Told you it was gonna be interesting!

This was one of my favorite mains—the mushroom quiche.

This was one of my favorite mains—the mushroom quiche.

At dinner with some of the top beauty editors in the country!

At dinner with some of the top beauty girls in the country!

Surprisingly, I was pretty full even though I didn’t have any meat (or junk!) the whole day. It was around 9 p.m. at this point, and after the full day we had, I was ready for bed.

I was so happy to wake up to this lovely lavender bouquet and note! It was a great way to start the morning.

The next morning, I woke up to this lovely lavender bouquet and handwritten note! What a great way to start the day!

After that, I ordered some room service and sorted through all the beauty loot…

So many goodies on display! Love this pic by Alyanna <3

So many goodies on display! Love this pic by Alyanna <3

And then it was off to do one of my favorite things in the world…

Take a bubble bath! I don't have one at home, so this was such a treat!

Take a bubble bath! I don’t have one at home, so this was such a treat!

I super took it seriously. I set up my iPhone to play nice music, I brought a table out so I could place my brekkie beside me, and then I filled the tub with L’Occitane’s Lavande Foaming Bath.

It was such perfection! *sigh* Someday, I hope all my mornings can start like this :)

It was such perfection! *sigh* Someday, I hope all my mornings can start like this :)

I soaked for about 30 minutes, got ready, and headed out for the next activity on our sensorial journey—the Food Preparation Workshop.

We made pretty salads and a salad dressing from scratch! I'll try to look for the recipe, so I can post it.

We made pretty salads and a salad dressing from scratch! I’ll try to look for the recipe, so I can post it.

I was very relieved to get to brunch without getting pecked! Look how pretty the set-up is underneath the huge tree.

Check out the pretty brunch set-up underneath the huge tree.

Say hi to Mia and Anika! I loved their outfits <3

Say hi to Mia and Anika! I loved their outfits <3

I was seated next to Mia and I had to excuse myself for taking a selfie at the table (see the photo here). I said that some girls were lucky because they had a “boy-tographer” to take their photos—or something like that. And she nonchalantly said, “It’s okay. You have yourself.” And it was such a huge a-ha moment for me! She’s sooo right!

Yum, yum! I was excited to eat the salad we made!

Yum, yum! I was excited to eat the salad we made!

Brunch was actually pretty quick. We had to go back to our rooms to checkout, but before that, I had one last mission to accomplish: I wanted to take a cool photo with a peacock. The Farm has a lot of them loitering around the grounds, so basically, all I had to do was (wo)man up. I should be brave enough to walk up to a peacock and take a selfie, right?

WRONG! Haha, The fear was real guys!

WRONG! Haha, the fear was real guys!

I got pretty close to it, and then when I turned around for the pic and couldn’t see it, I freaked out and ran when I heard it moving. I felt like it was going to fly and land on my back, which as you can see in the photo, was not the situation at all. Meanwhile, crazy me was running for my life. So silly :p

So I settled for a pretty pic with a bicycle instead! Haha! I've always wanted to take one of these—hopefully I'll really be riding one in the south of France next time.

So I settled for a nice pic with a bicycle instead! Haha! I’ve always wanted to take one of these—hopefully I’ll really be riding one in the south of France next time.

One last group photo before we left!

One last group photo before we left!

And one last photo with my fave event buddy before we hopped on the bus back to Manila!

And one last photo with my fave event buddy before we hopped on the bus back to Manila!

It was such a wonderful getaway and I really enjoyed getting to know the L’Occitane brand even more. I first fell in love with it when I tried their travel set nearly a decade ago, and I’m happy to see that the brand continues to reinvent the beauty and magic of nature in its products.

Don't forget to check out L'Occitane's "40 Years of Love" Shea Butter Hand Cream Set! The limited edition tin is so adorbs!

Don’t forget to check out L’Occitane’s “40 Years of Love” Shea Butter Hand Cream Set! The limited edition tin is so adorbs!

Thank you so much to the L’Occitane team and Rustan’s group for letting me be a part of this 40th year celebration! It’s definitely one I won’t forget! ♥

  • That’s fantastic to hear! I also love it when beauty and philantropic missions come together <3