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The Timeless Beauty of L’Occitane Scents

What scents bring back happy memories for you? When I was growing up, my mom and aunt used L’Occitane products, and the verbena and almond aromas still feel transporting. Here’s more about them (and a discount code)…

L’Occitane (pronounced LOX-EE-TAHN) began in the markets of Provence, where a 23-year-old plant enthusiast named Olivier sold his own rosemary oil from a small truck. Eventually, he expanded his offerings to include soaps and creams — drawing inspiration from the scents, ingredients and beauty of the South of France.

Forty years later, L’Occitane offers bath, skin and body care, plus beautiful gift sets. I especially love the Verbena Trio, featuring the Verbena Shower Gel, Verbena Body Lotion and the Verbena Cooling Hand Cream Gel.

Wouldn’t L’Occitane make a great Mothers’ Day gift? (The shea butter and almond smell sooooo good.)

What are your favorite scents and products? See everything here, if you’d like.

Bonus for all readers: L’Occitane is offering 10% off any order with code COJ10, good until Wednesday. (I’m the biggest fan of this little guy.)

(Photography and styling by Veronica Olson for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by L’Occitane, a brand we use and love. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. I love the shea range. That smell is amazing! However, they changed the smell of the solid shea soap… But everything else from that range is great.

  2. Molly says...

    I always purchase their Eau des Baux for my husband. It is really sensual and manly smelling!

    • Alice says...

      I’m a woman and I wear it too. I agree it smells like a sexy man, maybe that’s why I like it. Ha.. Try layering with their vetiver, that’s next level.

  3. Anne says...

    I use the verbene hand soap for at least ten years. Even during my PhD living on the financial edge this was my one luxury product I always bought….
    So addicted to the smell. Also my guests love it too. Who have thought to get complimented for your had soap 🙈

    Unfortunately they changed the formula a bit and it isn’t that good anymore and my hands are getting dry from it. But couldn’t get the nuts to replace it as I love the scent so much.
    What shall I do 🤗

  4. Mary Ellen says...

    Greetings from sunny and hot Miami! I’m 71 and retired ,and am mostly quite frugal. But some of the L’Occitaine products are my splurges. I just stocked up when they had a nice gift box offer last month. The Verbena shampoo and conditioner . It smells heavenly ,and my hair was falling out quite a bit so much that I could see the top of my scalp. And now I have more and thicker hair than when I was younger. It doesn’t make any claims ,but thats what its done for me . Also the Micellar Water. If you think your face is clean -use this after you wash your face. Amazing! I buy the refill and share with my daughter by pouring it in metal sprayers from Dollar Tree. Then it’s portion controlled. If you live in the area or are visiting ,ask for Tabitha at the Aventura Mall store. If you contact her she will pack the order herself with free shipping and priceless service . They have a system where you can even order and pay via text.

  5. jdp says...

    our office stocks l’occitane lavender hand soap and lotion, and i swear it makes washing my hands one of the high points of my day.

  6. Bethany A says...

    I have used the Shea butter and almond oil religiously through two pregnancies. The smell reminds me of all the best parts of carrying and preparing for a sweet new babe.

  7. jen says...

    The almond line is so divine. Opium perfume will forever remind me of my mom growing up. I love when a scent hits you and instantly transports you back in time. Great post!

  8. L says...

    I’m not much of a scent person and hadn’t wore any in a really long time but I was gifted some lovely L’Occitane products a while ago including a tiny thing of the Verbena scent and I love it so much! Gotten a lot of compliments on it too!

  9. Sophia C says...

    I had Covid in November and lost my sense of smell for a couple weeks. It was more unsettling than I’d expected. When my sense of smell finally came back, I celebrated by ordering a whole bunch of L’Occitane products and reveling in all the beautiful scents.

  10. Claire says...

    Beautifully styled photos, Veronica! Love your work! (and love L’Occitane).

  11. Jen says...

    I too have long loved Occitane. They are my go-to place for gifts for friends, parents, mother and sisters-in-law… My kids say they must never, ever stop making the almond line because that is the smell of Mom. Very sweet! Also, the pure shea butter in the metal pot seems to have magic healing powers for all manner of skin issues.

  12. Eleanor says...

    My older cousin gave me a L’Occitane cherry blossom hand lotion when I graduated college and said “grown women need real lotion.” It was gorgeous and I now have the orchid and neroli scent which I find so glamorous.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love that :)

  13. Sarah says...

    L’Occitane hand cremes and face moisturizers FTW. I request these every year as a stocking stuff from my husband, because they’re just decadent enough to feel like a special treat (but practical enough to be worth it!)

  14. Carly says...

    Read the title of the post and instantly reached, like a Pavlovian dog, into the drawer for my tube of Cherry Blossom hand cream. To be fair, my hands *were* dry…

  15. Delia says...

    I love this post – the pictures, the brand. It offers great refill options as well! Love the scents, especially verbena reminds me of holidays, summer…

  16. Alice says...

    Hahaha I’d literally just put on a whoel load of the Verbena hand cream before starting to read this. LOVE L’Occitane!

  17. CS says...

    I love their shower gel and lotions. Just ordered my Mother’s Day gift!

  18. M says...

    PSA: the shower oil is fantastic for removing make-up. I have been using it for ages and never travel without it.

  19. Cait G says...

    I love L’Occitane. I brought the Lemon Verbena travel set on our honeymoon to Croatia. And I brought the almond shower oil to the hospital for both my babies’ births. Simply smelling either scent transports me to either a warm June night in Hvar or the heavenly memory of cozy cuddles with my newborns. Lovely scents and I love the quality of the products overall. Yay for supporting my favorite blog!!

  20. Shawna says...

    The verbena products are my signature scent while on vacation. Whenever wanderlust takes hold but a vacation isn’t in sight, I dig into my trusted travel scent and take an olfactory vacay.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such a great idea!

  21. Laura says...

    These photos are so dreamy.

  22. E says...

    Thank you for telling us how it’s pronounced! I pass a L’Occitane store regularly and always wonder…

  23. Mané says...

    The Almond Shower Oil is the best product!! It feels so luxurious and the scent is really lovely.. I highly recommend it!! (I even got it for my mom as a Mother’s Day present a few years ago and she loved it:) )

    • Teresa says...

      Agreed, I was gifted this once and was like, ‘what the heck is oil soap!?’ Then I fell in love!

    • Alice says...

      You can get big refill bags now that work out cheaper per ml :)

  24. Colleen S says...

    The only childhood scent I remember quite strongly is my grandma’s house, which is a mix of my aunt’s Wind Song perfume and a mixture of scents that are uniquely my grandma’s house that I on rare occasions smell in stores. I love L’Occitane’s Peony scent.

  25. Kate says...

    My Nana’s cucumber-scented Pond’s cold cream. She wore Elizabeth Arden perfume and was kind of brand loyal to them. I remember being 13 or 14 and her taking me to the Red Door Spa – it was so exciting and special. <3 thinking of you, Nana!

  26. AN says...

    Before I clicked to read more, I thought, “OK, but HOW do you pronounce it?!?”, so THANK YOU, I’ve not known for literally years!

    • Jacqueline says...

      L’ocksi-ten

  27. Lucy says...

    The L’Occitane shower oil is the BEST shaving “cream” ever!!

  28. Annie says...

    I really don’t care for strong scents at all, and perfumes always give me a headache, but I love L’Occitane’s shea butter hand cream and alternate it with Barr and Co’s original scene hand cream, which is somehow powdery? and coconutty? Just heaven to put some on at the end of a long day and curl up with a good book.

    • Annie says...

      Original scent, not scene. My kingdom for an edit option!

  29. S says...

    love, love, love the styling for this post.

  30. Eloise says...

    Ok, so I knew I wasn’t pronouncing it right, but I had no idea just how off I was….oops! I am a longtime shea butter hand cream fan.

  31. Maryn says...

    Drooling over these photos! So gorgeous.

  32. Kate says...

    My mother always wore Cinnabar by Estee Lauder when she and my dad would go out on a (rare) date night. The scent always reminds me of her cool, soft hands on my probably teary-eyed face as she said goodbye.

    I switch my perfumes between warm and cold weather so when I switch to Black Orchid by Tom Ford it always brings back memories of the summer before. Likewise when I switch to the Kiehl’s musk in autumn it’s reminiscent of the warmth and coziness of the season, as well as the dreamy vacation to Seville where my friend and I discovered the perfume one lovely afternoon

  33. Caroline L says...

    I love l’Occitane! I use the Shea butter hand cream for dry skin all winter long.

  34. Em says...

    My grandmother wore Chanel 5, so I’m fond of the scent. When I first met my partner, he wore Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme and so I just adore it… I always ask him to wear it on special occasions. I don’t know what my parents wore, but every now and then and think, “Wow, they smell like my childhood!”