Follow the Honey — Enjoy a Sweeter Shower with the L’Occitane Terre de Lumière Gentle Shower Gel
Before trying out one of the products in the new L’Occitane Terre de Lumière collection, I remembered a line in which A.A. Milne captured Winnie the Pooh’s excitement before enjoying a tasty treat: “Although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better.” Milne was, of course, referring to the feeling of anticipation, when your heart races, your palms get a little sweaty, and your stomach does little flips because you know that you’re about to experience something truly delightful. Well, that’s precisely what I felt as I ventured to try the L’Occitane Terre de Lumière Gentle Shower Gel ($20 at L’Occitane stores and USA.LOccitane.com), which just so happens to feature a lavender honey accord and which, as I predicted, I loved instantly.
The entire Terre de Lumière collection is centered on the idea of lavender honey — not honey infused with lavender but, rather, honey made from the nectar of the gorgeous lavender blossoms seen in vast fields throughout Provence. That distinction is key here — especially for someone like me who isn’t particularly fond of lavender scents. The scent of the Terre de Lumière shower gel, however, doesn’t center around a heady lavender note — in fact, it’s not a distinctly floral fragrance but, rather, a gourmand aroma that references edibles like honey and almonds. As you shower, then, you’ll experience a symphony of scents — the spicy kick of the pink pepper and the zest of the bergamot top notes will awaken your senses and, as you continue to massage the product onto your damp skin, you’ll note the melodic sweetness of the lavender honey. What’s fascinating is that the lavender honey note isn’t too sweet or too floral — in fact, there’s a woodiness and a freshness to the aroma, along with a slightly fruity aspect reminiscent of ripe peaches or apricots. Base notes of musk, bitter almond, tonka bean, and acacia complete the aromatic composition, giving the fragrance a sensual quality.
Now, in its Eau de Parfum form, I imagine the scent is experienced a bit differently, but in the Shower Gel iteration, the notes manifest themselves almost simultaneously, so that there are fewer phases in the aromatic journey, and yet that doesn’t detract from the pleasantness of the experience. Here, the lavender honey note sings almost immediately, and the surrounding notes — particularly the musk and almond nuances — work as an aromatic chorus. There’s a luminosity to the scent, a dreaminess to it, that’s so enchanting, you’ll want to extend your shower — even if only for a few more minutes.
Interestingly, this idea of magical but ephemeral moments inspired the aromatic composition. Created by Calice Becker, Shyamala Maisondieu and Nadège Le Garlantezec for L’Occitane, the Terre de Lumière perfume (which means “land of light” in French) was inspired by a time of day in Provence known as the “Golden Hour.” During this fleeting moment at dusk, when the sun is barely visible on the horizon, the sky fills with golden and purple light. This scent was designed to capture that special moment. The warmth and luminosity of the scent, then, are no coincidence; in fact, they’re the aromatic manifestations of the spellbinding beauty of the Golden Hour.
While I haven’t smelled the Terre de Lumière Eau de Parfum (and am dying to do so!), my experience with the Terre de Lumière Shower Gel was spectacular. The shower gel’s scent isn’t overpowering, as often happens when EDPs are reinvented as bath and body products, and it makes every shower feel indulgent. Moreover, the perfumed product is also further enriched with lavender extract, which calms the skin and prevents inflammation, and honey, one of nature’s most powerful humectants and a known anti-bacterial and antiseptic agent. These ingredients, then, hydrate and calm the skin as you cleanse, so that the shower gel won’t leave skin feeling parched and tight but, instead, will make it feel soft and supple.
Like Winnie the Pooh, I find myself overcome with anticipation before every shower, knowing that the lavender honey scent will make the experience sublime.