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Petal Palace — L’Occitane Introduces its “Shea Flowers of Love” Limited Edition Shea Butter Collection

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Every October, L’Occitane reveals a new limited edition collection of shea butter products with distinctive packaging meant to conjure up excitement for the holiday season, lure in long-time fans of the brand’s shea range (like yours truly, who has been known to carry a 100ml tin of shea butter in her always bulging handbag), and attract new and hopefully soon-to-be-undyingly-loyal customers. It’s also a way in which to celebrate the company’s commitment to the community of women in Burkina Faso that first introduced L’Occitane founder Oliver Baussam  to shea butter back in the early 1980s and with whom L’Occitane has partnered ever since, nurturing a working relationship built on solidarity and joint development. This year, L’Occitane opted for a floral inspiration, choosing three ultra feminine scents — Rose Tenderness, Passionate Jasmine and Subtle Violet.  The packaging, meanwhile, will take you on a journey through a flower child’s artistic playground, with ’60s-flavored designs that incorporate slightly distorted petals for a psychedelic, slightly surreal effect that’s oh-so-groovy.

The L’Occitane Shea Flowers of Love collection, then, contains the brand’s most beloved shea products — its L’Occitane Hand Cream ($12 at USA.LOccitane.com), the L’Occitane Lip Balm ($12 at USA.LOccitane.com),  and the L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream ($22 at USA.Loccitane.com)— in these three delicate, sensual aromas. Each product’s packaging bears a distinct color: a vibrant, blue-toned purple for the Subtle Violet shea products, a magenta pink tone for the Rose Tenderness items, and a burnt orange shade for the Passionate Jasmine items.

I had the privilege of trying out the L’Occitane Shea Butter Subtle Violet Organic Lip Balm ($12 at USA.LOccitane.com), the L’Occitane Shea Butter Subtle Violet Ultra Rich Body Cream ($22 at USA.LOccitane.com), and the L’Occitane Shea Butter Passionate Jasmine Hand Cream ($12 at USA.LOccitane.com), and they helped to reaffirm and strengthen my love for L’Occitane’s shea butter collection.

The Subtle Violet scent is simply exquisite. There’s something innately mysterious and alluring about violets — mainly because their aroma is so delicate and so ephemeral  — but there’s an innocence to this scent, a tenderness and softness. Oftentimes, perfumes tend to overwhelm this delicate scent and so it’s a true triumph that L’Occitane managed to allow this often powdery and timid floral note. I’m particularly fond of the L’Occitane Shea Butter Subtle Violet Ultra Rich Body Cream — so much so that I feel like stocking up on them before they take their bow and exit stage left.  This intensely hydrating body cream, which boasts a 25% concentration of fatty acid-rich shea butter, has an incredibly concentrated formula but it’s surprisingly light and non-greasy, quickly seeping into the skin and leaving it feeling smooth and soft. The violet aroma, meanwhile, seems to dance atop your skin, titillating the senses without overpowering them,

The L’Occitane Shea Butter Subtle Violet Lip Balm, meanwhile, doesn’t have the aromatic quality that the body cream possesses, but it’s deliciously emollient thanks to its moisturizing, all-natural formula which incorporates 10% shea butter, sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, and violet leaf extract. Packaged inside a squeezable tube, this lip balm ranks among my all-time favorites and the darling packaging only reinforces its preferred standing.

Last but not least, we have the L’Occitane Shea Butter Passionate Jasmine Hand Cream. This is the only product I tried in a scent other than the violet one discussed and, while I favored the violet above the jasmine scent, I also found the latter lovely. The aroma is decidedly more robust but it’s also very coquettish and feminine. Given how common a fragrance note this is, jasmine has developed a reputation for being a sweetly intoxicating scent — and it’s a well deserved recognition. After all, the very name “jasmine” is derived from the Persian “yasmin,” which means “gift from God.”

After the hand cream is absorbed by the skin, the jasmine aroma softens quite a bit but doesn’t lose its staying power, so that it lingers on the skin, serving to calm the senses, clear the mind, and create a sense of comfort (recent studies found the blossom can cure anxiety and stress as effectively as Valium!).

And, of course, the hand cream will leave your hands and cuticles feeling nice and soft thanks to its  20% concentration of shea butter alongside other nourishing botanical extracts like coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and rosemary leaf extract.

Visit a L’Occitane boutique near you or log onto USA.Loccitane.com to learn more about the Shea Flowers of Love collection and make your own skincare bouquet!

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