October 08, 2013

L'Occitane en Provence Re-Opens Bloor Street Store in Toronto

My mom was born in France, and much of our family still lives there so I've been fortunate to have many wonderful visits over the years and experience the best of French culture, food, and of course beauty products! Although we don't always agree on everything, one brand all the women in my family love is L'Occitane en Provence, so I was thrilled to be invited for a private tour of their newly renovated store on Bloor Street this weekend.
For those not yet familiar with the company, L'Occitane has been around for over 30 years, and takes pride in using natural ingredients cultivated with traditional methods to create beauty products of the highest quality. L'Occitane is also committed to philanthropy and social responsibility: they support the women in Burkina Faso, Africa (their source for shea butter) by creating literacy programs, and donating proceeds from sales of special products once a year for Women's Day - so you can feel good about shopping here.
When you walk into L'Occitane en Provence on Bloor Street in Toronto, you will feel like you're in the South of France. I had been to the old store on many occasions and the space has been beautifully redone: vintage and custom-made pieces adorn the walls, along with gorgeous displays showcasing the trademark scents of lavender, almond and verbena - to name a few - which evoke so many memories from my childhood and create the sense of beauty and luxury at every turn. There is a fantastic men's section featuring a classic barber chair, a "greenhouse" treatment area where one can sample products and enjoy mini facials, and a special hand massage bar at the center of the store where I was pampered beyond belief.
After trying out tons of products during my tour, I fell in love with the famous shea butter hand cream. It can be a huge challenge to find a hand cream that moisturizes enough without leaving a greasy feeling behind, but this one really does the trick! The cream contains 20% shea butter and left my hands feeling smooth and nourished for days - I'm not surprised they sell one every three seconds around the world! If you are sensitive to scents, the shea line is a great place to start and also features some wonderful products for moms and babies to use together. 

If like me you're looking to prevent aging, the luxurious Divine Cream and complementary products are a must. I was fascinated to learn about the incredible Imortelle flower which L'Occitane grows in Corsica and is the key ingredient in these anti-aging potions. This flower can withstand harsh environments and in fact, the bright yellow flowers on display in the store still looked freshly picked despite being several years old - just imagine what they could do for your skin! 
Finally, check out the classics that will never go out of style like lavender and rose bubble baths, or the new decadent almond shower oil which magically transforms into a moisture-rich lather when it comes into contact with water. There is something for everyone on your holiday gift list at L'Occitane en Provence - it would be easy to spend hours here in this modern French apothecary - and a visit to L'Occitane's new store will turn shopping into a mini-vacation.

Sidonie Wybourn is an actress and freelance writer based in Toronto. She is a self-professed Sephora 
addict, and has previously been published online at Explore Music and The Circumference

1 comment

  1. Certainly worth a visit! I could doxwith some pampering.


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