L'Occitane Lavender Harvest
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L'Occitane is announcing its new Lavender Harvest line of products. A limited edition line, Lavender Harvest will only be available in September and October 2000.

Nearly 25 years ago, when Olivier Baussan created L'Occitane, he realized the occupation of a Provencal lavender-picker was no longer the noble, highly profitable profession it once was. Perfumiers began using synthetics and mass-produced, machine-harvested essential oil -- lavandin, a low-quality lavender-like product, was one of them. Deeply concerned, Baussan decided to help rescue the dying tradition by purchasing his own still, and harvesting the fine lavender himself. Today, L'Occitane uses the very same still to create its fine lavender essential oil.

For Olivier, this special harvest is not only a revival of the time-honored methods of harvesting fine lavender, but also a tribute to the men who toil long hours handpicking the best quality lavender to make the freshest products.

Baussan wants the annual lavender harvest celebration to remain a novelty. Thus, these products' availability only in September and October. Ever the philosopher, he equates this aromatic collection to the act of falling in love, proving that absence only makes the heart grow fonder.

The line consists of the following products: Body Mist, Solid Perfume, Shampoo, Liquid Soap, Soap with Seeds, Soap, Linen Water, Wood Cubes (for your drawers and closets), Scented Candle, Incense Sticks and Potpourri. (I must tell you that the scent of the Soap with Seeds and the Wood Cubes, which I've sampled, is divine --Gina).

The Wood Cubes.

The Soap with Seeds

Here, from the pen of L'Occitane founder Olivier Baussan, is a wonderful memory about lavender and Provence:

"The following story was told to me in the late 1970's by my first lavender essence producer, René. I believe his tale perfectly illustrates how highly valued and sought after lavender was, and still is, in Provence.

Working as a young farmer in 1950, René wished to purchase a small house in the Lardiers hills, but did not have enough money.

It was August, and the traditional lavender harvest was in progress. René had already distilled 60 kilos of fine, true Lavender essence. However, the Sault fair, where all the lavender producers met to sell their harvests, was still a month off.

While René's harvest would have brought him much wealth at the fair, his desire to own a house grew more important each day. He couldn’t bear to see someone else buy the home he always wanted.

One evening, he collected two estagnons (large metal cans), which contained his entire harvest. He loaded them onto his tractor and drove straight to the house he had always wanted to buy.

René unloaded his prized lavender harvest in the courtyard, and offered the owner of the house a deal; the house for the lavender essence. After the initial surprise, it didn't take the owner long to decide. He knew the value of what lay before him. The owner put the lavender harvest in his kitchen and they went to see Father Imbert, the public notary. At the time, the price of lavender was soaring, and there were brokers who were making fortunes overnight! However, René was willing to give up his potential gold mine in return for his dream. And the owner, an entrepreneur at heart, planned to take his newfound fortune to the fair.... They both got a good deal that day, proving just how valuable lavender was and still is now."

A selection of L'Occitane products can be purchased in the Global Chic section of Beautyjungle.com. For June only, click here for 30% off all orders over $75 at Beautyjungle.com, plus free shipping.

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