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Inspired by Provencal traditions, these authentic formulas harness the countryside's finest essential oils, shea butter and other lush regional ingredients. L'Occitane was the first to use essential oils as active ingredients, the first to not use animal ingredients and animal testing, the first to use Shea butter and above all, the first to make the major breakthrough of incorporating Shea butter into its soaps.
L'Occitane tells of all the traditions attached to the region of Provence, as well as its diversity of cultures and its brotherhood. The aim of the company is to share the colours, the scents and the traditions of Provence with others. To this day, L'Occitane continues to express the same beliefs through its products and the respectful relationships it develops with nature and other people. A vision which has materialized over the years in a variety of different areas such as providing humanitarian aid to distressed populations, developing partnerships with craftsmen as well as villages in developing countries or protecting wildlife and cultural heritage.
The L'Occitane retail adventure started in 1980 with the opening of the first L'Occitane boutique in Volx, a small Provençal village. For a couple of years retail development remained mainly in the south of France, until 1992 when L'Occitane opened a boutique in Paris. In 1994 Reinold Geiger (company President) acquired part of the company and started developing L'Occitane outside of France. In 1995, the first boutique opened in Hong Kong and in 1996, the first American boutique opened in New York, on Madison Avenue. The first boutique opened in Canada, in South Granville, Vancouver in 1999. In 2001 the first boutique opened in China and their first spa opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Paris and Hong Kong followed in 2008.