You have no idea how much I wanted to title this, "Flowers of Lurrrrrve" - because I'm mature like that.
Immaturities aside, this collection is EXCITING. As with many L'Occitane collections, the products have a new design - this collection in particular is designed by founder Olivier Baussan, and inspired by beads that are gifted as thank you's and signs of affection in Burkina Faso. Why Burkina Faso? Because that's where L'Occitane sources all their shea butter, and they have developed a really long relationship with the communities there since Olivier visited them in the 80's. So much so that L'Occitane is recognised by the UN for its fairtrade work there. So as you can imagine, it's quite a personal collection this! But on to the contents!
The collection consists of the following:
- Hand cream (£8.50)
- Full size hand cream (£19)
- Body cream (£16)
- Lip balm (£8)
- Solidarity Soap (£3.50) - 100% of profits goes to finance eye-health projects run by NGOs with the support of L'Occitane's charity, the L'Occitane Foundation.
The hand cream, body cream and lip balm comes in three fragrances: Rose Tenderness (pink), Subtle Violet (purple) and Passionate Jasmine (orange). As you can see I have one of each scent, and I have to say my favourite is definitely Passionate Jasmine! The full size hand cream is in their original shea formula which I've tried before and loved, and the Solidarity Soap is in the Rose Tenderness scent.
So far I've tried everything but the soap so I can give you an idea of how I feel about the products.
Firstly the Subtle Violent Hand Cream, and the most important point clearly is the fact that the lid is flower-shaped - I mean, come on, that's pretty cool. In terms of formula, it's lighter than the original shea formula but just as effective. It sinks in quickly, and doesn't leave a residue - just very smooth and soft hands! I find it quite interesting because I've tried 4 L'Occitane hand creams now, and they all have very different formulas - this one is in the middle and I imagine will sit well with most people. If you think the original shea is too heavy, do give this one a go! My only issue with this particular one is the scent - I find the violet a little bit too overpoweringly sweet and floral for my personal taste, but that's just me, you have loads to choose from! (I was amused by the hand cream bar in their Covent Garden shop downstairs!)
The full size hand cream - this thing is 150ml and I imagine will last me yonks (perhaps not though, my boyfriend seems to appreciate its goodness too!). The original shea butter formula in the regular size is L'Occitane's second best-selling product, and one sells every 3 seconds. I don't question that at all - I love this stuff! It'll be perfect for the winter, because this formula is a little bit thicker, and leaves a bit more of a nourishing residue. But as I sometimes get intense dryness that actually makes my knuckles hurt and turn a bit red, this is and was a godsend last winter! I even used it on my face in Australia when the sun was drying my nose out like mad! I love that unlike the smaller size, the packaging is aluminium - it just feels more genuine and luxurious, and this collection's pattern is very pretty to have around the house. I love the blue packaging and I love the soft, shea scent.
L-R: Ultra Rich Body Cream, Lip Balm, Hand Cream, Full Size Shea Hand Cream
The Rose Tenderness Lip Balm - I am a fan of this formula! I like how it's gel, but it's not the shiny, gooey kind of gel. I don't know how to describe it, but I feel like when I was a kid, the school nurses used to give me ointments like this! So it's quite light on the lips, but super smooth and the finish is matte! So it's really nice for people who usually don't like much on their lips, or want to wear it under lipstick. I hardly wear lip balms under lipstick because they're either too thick (like Carmex) or too slippery and shiny (like Maybelline Baby Lips or other liquid lip balms). This is the perfect middle ground. The scent? I'm SO picky with rose smells, and this doesn't smell like genuine roses to me. However, when it's on the lips it doesn't bother me as much - it doesn't really even smell like roses, more like.. apples? I'm not sure. It's still a wee bit overpowering for my liking, and wouldn't pick it personally. But pick your favourite scent anyway - the formula is great.
Unfortunately, the Solidarity Soap is similar in scent to the lip balm so I'm personally a little put off. It's slightly diluted by the traditional 'soap' scent. Either way, I haven't tried it yet so that's all from me about that for now! :)
And one of my favourites of the lot (I couldn't choose between this and the full size hand cream!) - the Passionate Jasmine Ultra Rich Body Cream. I am SO SO picky about my body creams, but this ticks all the boxes - easy to smooth, lovely smell, effectively moisturises and nourishes, and doesn't leave a slimey residue that wont let me cross my legs. It's one of those perfect for any season, middle ground formulas which is lighter than body butters but not as wet as lotions, so I wouldn't necessarily regard it as 'ultra rich'. The smell is the subtlest hint of jasmine, so it's not overpowering like the other two scents in my opinion - it's just perfect! The packaging I find quite odd - it has a plastic container inside where the cream actually is, so it makes it look a little bit cheap when you open the tin. But whatever - the formula and smell is good, so I'm in!
The collection will launch on the 10th October 2013 and is limited edition.