L'Occitane Event at Highcross, Leicester

10 August 2016

L'Occitane Event Leicester

A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to have been invited to the Leicester branch of L'Occitane's first blogger event. After a quick G&T and burger stop, we headed to the store, which is located in the Highcross shopping centre. The team were immediately extremely welcoming, and they greeted us with rosé and Hotel Chocolat chocolates (my kind of people!). They also handed each of us a sheet of Bloggers Bingo, with each square a different task, encouraging us all to explore the store, ask questions and take part in the activities.

L'Occitane Event Leicester

We also got to find out about the history of L'Occitane, something I didn't previously know about the brand. The brand was created by Olivier Bausan in Provence and it encompasses everything about its horticulture and natural beauty. The name L'Occitane came about due to the fact that the south of France was known as Occitania, and L'Occitane means "woman of Occitania".

In 1976, Baussan bought a distillation still and extracted the oil from wild rosemary, which he then used to create shampoos which he sold in local markets. A year later, he started growing his first crop, lavender, which has gone on to become on of the brand's signature ingredients, along with shea butter, verbena and immortelle. The first store opened in 1981 in Provence, and over the years, word spread to Paris and then worldwide, and the brands now boast over 2700 stores! Find out more about the history here

L'Occitane Event Leicester

As a self-confessed fragrance nerd. I made a beeline for their scented activity. They had a series of funnels containing all of the fragrances, which we had to blind sniff in a kind of "would you rather" affair. The fragrance I was most drawn to was Cherry Blossom, with Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc coming a close second. I do enjoy the fizziness of cherry blossom scents, and while I enjoyed the sweet top notes of cherry, freesia and blackcurrant, the base of this one (rosewood, amber and musk) sat a little heavy for me.

I'm not the biggest lover of dry, powdery scents, so I'm convinced this was a fluke. I was a little put off iris after disliking Penhaligon's Iris Prima, but was surprised to find this as fresh and full of contrast. It definitely makes me want to explore L'Occitane fragrances, from both their original range and their La Collection de Grasse, in which there are a couple of scents that I've got my eye on!

L'Occitane Event Leicester

I also had the opportunity to enjoy a hand massage using the Shea Butter products. I'm a long-time lover of the Shea butter Hand Cream, it's definitely one of my winter handbag staples, so I loved discovering some more of the range. I never really think about using a scrub on my hands, but the One Minute Hand Scrub was stunning. It's a ridiculously nourishing oil-based scrub (shea, sweet almond and grapeseed) with organic brown sugar exfoliates. Once dry, Thomas used the Ultra Rich Body Cream, which was beautiful. I definitely want to pick up one of the Shea Butter moisturisers when the weather gets a bit cooler, as with the way my skin is going now, I reckon it will be a lot drier this winter.

On my opposite arm, Thomas used the iconic Almond Shower Oil, one of their best-sellers and it went straight on my wishlist as it felt so hydrating and luxurious. He topped it off with the Almond Milk Concentrate, a lightweight body cream. I've actually used this before and is makes for a very nice moisturiser, and it smells gorgeous. Both arms felt beautifully soft, and I felt very pampered indeed!

L'Occitane Event Leicester
L'Occitane Event Leicester
L'Occitane Event Leicester

We spent the rest of the event browsing the store, chatting to the lovely sales assistants, and I even learnt the art of French Wrapping, an interesting technique using two different colours of tissue paper. It's not difficult at all, although I was terrible at it, and it will prove invaluable when Christmas rolls around, being a simple and stylish solution to traditional wrapping paper (although the more tacky, the better I think!). We were really kindly gifted an amazing goodie bag, and I think it's safe to say we all left the store with huge smiles on our faces, it really was a fab event! I even vlogged the day, so you can watch that below:

The really exciting part was getting the goodie bag home and seeing just how many amazing products were inside. I honestly wasn't expecting so much, so I am seriously grateful to the team at L'Occitane. I was particularly excited to see something from the Cherry Blossom range, the Shower Gel*, as well as the Almond Shower Oil*, which I'd been meaning to try properly for a very long time. I think I squealed when I saw it in the goodie bag!

L'Occitane Event Leicester

If that wasn't enough shower gel to last me, they'd also thrown in the Verbena scent, as well as the Hand Cream* and Body Lotion* to match. There's also one of their rose soaps, some men's shaving products which went straight to my Dad, and the Neroli & Orchidé Body Milk, which smells stunning, even if it's not 100% a "me" scent.

It's so lovely to be able to try so many products from the brand. I'm particularly impressed with the Almond Shower Oil and the Verbena Gel Hand Cream, and I'm sure they'll become firm favourites as the Shea Butter Hand Cream has. I wanted to thank the team at L'Occitane for such a brilliant event. They were welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable, a real credit to the brand. I really hope they put on events in future as, like I've said many a time before, Leicester is hardly a hotspot for beauty events, and it was really nice to attend something within my niche for once!

What's your favourite L'Occitane product?
Don't forget to show some love to my August Eau de Parfum advertiser Confetti Layers(Click here to be featured in September!)


*Thanks to the team at L'Occitane, Leicester for inviting me to their event and for gifting such a generous amount of products! 

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