L'Occitane en Provence and commonly known as L'Occitane, is an international retailer of body, face, fragrances and home products based in Manosque, France.
The company was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan with the purpose to create a company that celebrates and preserves the traditions of his native Provence.
In 1976, 23-year-old Olivier Baussan used steam distillation to produce essential oil from wild rosemary and lavender which he sold at open-air markets in his native Provence. L'Occitane was named for the women of Occitania. This area existed during the Middle Ages, spanning southern France, north-eastern Spain and northern Italy. Occitan was the native language and is still spoken as a second language in some areas of this region today.
In 1976, using an old soap factory that was donated to him, Olivier Baussan revives the traditional art of Marseille soap-making in Manosque, another Provençal village. He manufactured vegetable-based soaps. The first L'Occitane factory and...read more