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!
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
Next on the Discovery Walk tour were the Verbena, Shea Butter, and Immortelle sections.
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.
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!
After our mini yoga workout and walk, it was time for a massage! Ahhhh!
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.
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.
After that, I ordered some room service and sorted through all the beauty loot…
And then it was off to do one of my favorite things in the world…
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.
I soaked for about 30 minutes, got ready, and headed out for the next activity on our sensorial journey—the Food Preparation Workshop.
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!
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?
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
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.
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! ♥