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I really like L'Occitane products. If I'm honest, I suppose I am swayed by the marketing - good quality French products based on the traditions of Provence - and the feeling of self-indulgence. L'Occitane is not a bargain brand!
The company was founded by Olivier Baussan in the 1970s when he started to sell rosemary based essential oil at local markets. The verbena harvest collection was launched in 1999 and still is going strong. The collection includes fragrances, including scented candles, bath and shower products as well as body and hand lotions and creams. Apparently Verbena is also known as the 'cure-all' herb and is even used to make love potions! Verbena is a commonly found shrub in the south of France and has a refreshing lemon scent.
The company state that they source their ingredients from local and sustainable growers and use natural ingredients as far as possible. L'Occitane seem to take their corporate social responsibility seriously have set up a charitable foundation (with an annual budget of 1m euros).
Anyway, the Verbana shower gel comes in a 250ml plastic bottle. The bottle is clear with an embossed olive leaf on back and front and has a silver flip top. The gel has a slight yellow tint to it and is medium consistency - not too runny but not gloopy either. I love the lemony scent which I find really refreshing - it helps to wake me up in the mornings. I squeeze a small amount (about the size of a 2 penny piece) on to a sponge and this way a bottle will last me a couple of months. It doesn't produce a lot of lather but does leave my skin feeling clean and fresh and the lovely lemony smell lingers.
You can order direct from L'Occitane for £13 - I admit that this does sound expensive (hence only 4 stars) but as I say a little goes a long way. You can also get a 500ml refill pack for £19.50. You get free samples when you order from them and delivery is free when you spend over £59. Sounds rather a lot but worth thinking about as (dare I say it?) Christmas begins to loom on the horizon and any of their collection would make wonderful presents!
There are lots of lovely products in the l'occitane brand, and this is one of them. It has a lovely distinctive bottle which is classy but not old-fashioned and looks great on my bathroom shelf. The shower gel itself is a slightly runny gel, yellowy in colour and transparent. The smell is very strong - it smells of essential oils, and really relaxes and awakens the senses. The smells of lemon and geranium are the strongest, which are lovely and fresh and botanical.
The gel foams up moderately well, it doesn't create a massive amount of foam but spreads reasonable well. I do have to use quite a lot of it, but it feels nice and smooth on the skin, and when I rinse the smell is still strong and my skin feels clean.
Overall, I love this shower gel because the lemony geranium-y scent really appeals to me, and I rate l'occitane as having good ingredients. The smell reminds me strongly of pure essential oils and extracts, which is much nicer that shower gels that smell "fake". It cleans quite well, but I wouldn't say it has any special impact on my skin.
For my birthday a few months back, I was lucky enough to receive a travel bag of sample-sized versions of the L'Occitane Verbena range. I was really pleased to get a chance to try these products out as at full price I would never pay for them myself!
L'Occitane is definitely a highly priced brand of beauty products. A 250ml bottle of this shower gel will set you back £13, and a 500ml bottle costs £18.90. In my opinion this is pretty extortionate for a shower gel! This product contains the essential oils of verbena, orange, geranium and lemon tree to smooth and nurture skin, and it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. The website also says this is suitable for both men and women.
Failing to impress...
I have in the past tried out the odd expensive shower gel (they have always been gifts!) and in all honesty I am always a bit underwhelmed as they never seem to justify their hefty price tags. But I hoped this one may be a bit different!
It comes in a nice plastic bottle - it is nothing that special to be honest but it is quite simple and classic looking. Inside the gel is a pale golden colour, and the main scent is definitely that of lemon. It is a nice sweet scent that isn't too strong or sickly, and I can get a hint of the geranium too - not my favourite of scents but in this gel it isn't too strong to be unpleasant.
This lathers up nicely when you apply it to damp skin, and the fragrance is definitely light and fresh, making it a good choice for first thing in the morning. Washing this off, skin feels nice and soft, although the smell doesn't linger at all.
But although I have no real complaints about this shower gel, it is nothing special really - it smells quite nice and it cleans the skin, but that is the least I expect from a shower gel! Bearing in mind that most shower products I buy are around the £1 mark, I can't see how the price of this is justified, and there are plenty of shower gels out there that are much nicer than this, that cost a fraction of the price.
I also received the body lotion in the verbena range, and I felt the price of this was more justified as it was a really lovely lotion. But £13 for a shower gel that isn't really very remarkable seems crazy to me, so I am going to be mean and give it just 2 stars.
My other half rather wonderfully brought me for my birthday the L'Occitane Summer Essentials gift bag which is full of Verbena fragranced items. So ok, I chose it myself as he didn't have a clue what I'd like when faced in a L'Occitane store so it was an easy choice. I love the fragrance of Verbena and couldn't wait to have a reasonable amount of 'me' time to start trying them all out. And that precise moment was last night, child free and a table booked at a lovely Italian restaurant I was looking forward to having a bit of a pamper.
L'Occitane have quite a large Verbena range and the item I first tried last night was the L'Occitane Citrus Verbena Shower Gel. L'Occitane have a number of matching products which are meant to be used in conjunction with each other. L'Occitane have used three main ingredients, organic verbena has been sourced from Corsica, lemon oil from Sicily together with grapefruit extract from Italy. The combination of these three ingredients are meant to give an invigorating and cleansing result.
The shower gel I have is the smaller size of the large bottle because it is part of the gift set but the bottle doesn't differ. It is square in shape and completely clear so you can easily see the shower gel itself. The colour of the bottle is olive green in colour with images of a lemon leaf at either side. The packaging for the Verbena range at L'Occitane is very similar in terms of colouring and images and this is no different, simple yet effective. On the back of the bottle there is the product information together with list of ingredients and as usual both in French and English!
I had really high hopes for the shower gel and as soon as I got it out the gift bag I flipped open and cap and tried to smell the gel. My first impressions were a little disappointing because I was expecting something really fresh, zingy and almost a bit bitter. Instead I got an incredibly sweet lemon fragrance with an almost synthetic fragrance aroma to it which was a bit disappointing but I persevered anyway and once in the shower I poured a small amount onto my sponge.
The shower gel is a decent consistency which is easily squeezed out of its bottle and it is clear in colour. As soon as it is diluted with water it manages to give off a lovely white foam which isn't as thick or luxurious looking as what I was expecting but was rather thin and a bit on the mean side! However, I had only used a small amount so not to waste it and to be honest I wasn't a fan of the initial smell. However, once diluted with water the fragrance dilutes also. It seems to become a lot fresher and definitely a lot more invigorating but with a definite citrus side to it which adds a bit of sweetness.
The shower gel does give a lovely refreshing shower and I am incredibly pleased that the fragrance does alter once it has been diluted with water. I do step out the shower feeling incredibly refreshed which is nice especially as yesterday I had spent all day mucking out horses and riding so I was in need of being cleansed and invigorated. The one thing it doesn't do however is moisturise the skin and my skin did look a tad dry when I stepped out of the shower which is no big thing but I do wonder whether this shower gel if used constantly would dry out the skin even more. Fortunately for me it is only going to be used once in a while.
So although it doesn't moisturise your skin it does help cleanse it and you do feel incredibly clean and the skin is left with a very subtle sharp citrus fragrance which is actually quite nice. I don't think I would go out of my back to buy this shower gel again which is a shame as I do love the Verbena fragrance as although it did give a lovely shower there was nothing special about it and for the full price of £13.00 I think is a little too steep. Would I recommend? Yes, if you manage to get a freebie but otherwise there are plenty of other L'Occitane shower gels which do a better job. 3 stars from me.
~ Useful Information ~
Availability: L'Occitane stockists and stores
===L'Occitane Verbena Shower Gel===
I'm really lucky in that for Christmas's and Birthdays my family treat me to high end, luxurious bathing products, knowing full well that I couldn't normally afford to treat myself. This Christmas has been no exception. I know it was just over a week ago, but I've been using this daily since; an==L'OCCITANE VERBENA SHOWER GEL==
d my gift of L'Occitane Verbena shower gel is the purpose of my review.
The L'Occitane story begins in 1976, in France. Its aim is to respect man and the environment and with this in mind, it supports three main causes. The first being, literacy and support for women in developing countries. The second is to fight against blindness and assist the visually impaired (braille labelling was introduced in 1997). Finally, supporting the preservation of traditional cultivations and harvesting methods.
With this in mind, L'Occitane uses high quality, traceable ingredients, and have never used animal products, excepting beehive products, honey being the main one. The ingredients are 100% natural and certified organic products. A good thing to know is that 78% of their products are paraben free (they are working on the rest).
I received a large 500ml bottle of this shower gel, which retails at approximately £26.00. I received mine in part of a gift set though, and I see that at the moment the whole set (the winter verbena collection) is on sale on the L'Occitane website for £27.00 rather than the full R.R.P of £52.50; which makes it a huge saving in my eyes, and makes it a much more affordable luxury.
The Bottle is clear, with labels down the sides oddly enough. These labels are printed on a brown paper which, although they could look cheap and nasty, still manage to look quite elegant. An embossed verbena leaf shape, added to the front and reverse of the bottle (which is recyclable plastic by the way) completes the look.
The contents are dispensed via the use of a pump, which when you receive it, is locked into place to avoid spillages. To unlock, you need to twist the pump dispenser anti-clockwise, this feels rather unnatural, but it's easy to do. I would have liked it if the pump was spring loaded like on some manufacturers, as there was no way for me to tell when I had unlocked the pump, and was still twisting a couple of minutes later. Hey ho.
When you activate the pump (finally), you are greeted with a golden gel. This is quite viscous and the perfect consistency for a shower gel, not too jelly like, and neither is it so liquid that it runs through the holes in your sponge or shower puff.
The fragrance is to die for if you love lemon or citrus fragranced products as I do. It's a heady mixture of lemons, a green earthy tone, and sherbet; all mixed in to one. It's light, fresh and citrussy, and totally revitalising and awakening. It will put a spring into your step that's for sure.
Application is easy - just do what you normally do when you have a shower. I always use one of those net shower puffs, as I like to think that not only does it help produce a better lather, it had the dual purpose of exfoliating my skin at the same time.
With all other L'Occitane products foam up beautifully, and are creamy and rich; and utterly luxurious. I've been quite disappointed with this shower gel in this respect. While it lathers up adequately, that's all it is - adequate. It bubbles up nicely, but it isn't effortless, and it's weak, barely there, and nondescript.
My skin is left luxuriously scented, soft and conditioned. I do not suffer with dry skin most of the year, but in the winter months the skin on my knees, elbows, and shins to a slight degree. Sometimes I apply body lotions, and body creams for moisturisation, but mostly for the purpose of layering scents to make them last longer; and I've felt absolutely no need to apply either after my showering experience in the last week. The scent lingers both on my skin, and in my bathroom for hours. Although it's not a strong fragrance it's sweet and delicious. If you are a fan of sweet, and citrussy perfumes or even florals, the scent of this wouldn't be at odds too much with whatever scent you prefer. I might be preferable to let the scent die down for a while before applying your perfume/aftershave if you find them waging a war amongst each other.
I say aftershave because I can't see why a gentleman wouldn't like to use this either. It's clean, fresh, and unisex with woody, earthy tones. It's sweetness 'might' put some men off, but that's the only thing that they could find offensive.
* Amazing fragrance
* Looks luxurious in the bathroom
* Lack of luxurious lather
* There is a better/cheaper alternative when you purchase the Sweet Lemon shower gel from The Body Shop
I love this product. I love all things lemon/citrus. However, there is one small downfall, despite the price, I do think the only thing letting this product down is it's lack of foam and luxurious lather. I do believe I can get a better showering experience at a lower price, buy purchasing the lemon shower gel sold by The Body Shop. The both companies have the same ethos regarding recycling, and caring for people and the environment; it's just that the price per ml, and the better bubbles from The Body Shop shower gel wins hands down every time; therefore I can only award this shower gel three stars.
Thanks for reading my review, which may also be posted on other sites.
This l'Occitane bottle certainly looks the Provencal part, with its olive pattern on the front. Although it comes in a plastic container the shower gel looks quite smart on the bath tub or in the shower. When you open the bottle there is an immediate tangy aroma: very refreshing if it's a hot day or you've been working out or running.
It doesn't produce a huge amount of lather but a small amount in the palm of the hand seems to go quite a long way in the shower. I'd say that it's not as drying as some other shower gels, though not particularly a 'moisturising' shower treatment.
I also use it in the bath tub. It makes a very invigorating cure for a long walk. The bubbles in the bath seem to last a reasonable time. When you come out of the bath the fragrance lingers for a while on your skin, and you have a lovely, but quite subtle, lemony scent.
Even though two, sometimes three, of us use the Lemon Verbena shower gel it seems to last a fairly long time. We only replace a bottle after four or five months. It's equally good for men and women. My husband won't usually touch anything perfumed but loves l'Occitane Lemon Verbena shower gel. In fact, he is probably the greater fan and tends to replace the bottles as soon as they run low.
What do you look forward to most when you go on holiday? The sun? The sea? The time out from the monotony of daily life? Well for me, I most look forward to using my travel-sized toiletries!!! OK, not just that, but I did have fun choosing all my little bottles to take away on holiday with me as I knew the cheapo hotel we'd chosen wouldn't supply us with any!
I'm a huge fan of L'Occitane, and although I can't afford to use it all the time, when I do, I feel that their products bring a little bit of luxury to my day! I had already used the Shea butter shower cream which I had been very pleased with, and I chose to take my travel sized bottle of Verbena shower gel away with me, hoping that it would be just as good as the Shea one.
The shower gel comes in a sort of flat, rectangular bottle with a leaf design imprinted onto one side of the plastic. It sounds a little bit of a stupid thing to say about a company that is based in Provence, but the packaging of the product to me, has a very provincial French sort of look to it. I don't know if it's the image of the leaf, but it also seems to have a quite autumnal look to it - to me, anyway!
One of the reasons I chose to use this gel over the others I have, was that I thought the fresh verbena scent would be perfect for the hot summer days. The scent is very sharp and citrussy, as it contains verbena, orange, geranium and lemon. In some ways the scent is very light and fresh, but in other ways, unfortunately I can't help but be reminded of cleaning products. I bought this as part of a set from QVC so only had the presenters description to go from at the time, and although I thought I'd love it, I'm actually a little disappointed with it, and certainly don't feel that it's one of L'Occitane's best fragrances.
So anyway, onto its use as a shower gel. As you can probably see from the picture, the gel is a sort of yellowy green colour (I don't really want to say urine coloured, but admit it, that's what you were thinking too!), and I found that it had quite a runny consistency. I was surprised by this because other shower gels I've used in a similar price bracket (such as Molton Brown) have tended to be thicker.
When it came to using this, unfortunately I was in for more disappointment. The lather I got from it was minimal to virtually non-existent. I hadn't thought to take a shower puff away with me, and as such I struggled to shave my legs with it, although I did manage, just about.
When I got home, I still had a little bit of this left and used it in the bath with a shower puff, and as expected this produced a lot more lather, but on the whole I still felt the amount of bubbles was quite poor given the price of the stuff.
Another thing that bugged me was that the scent did not stay on my skin after using it, although whilst in the shower/bath the scent does come out quite strongly. Although it left my skin clean, it didn't seem to do a lot else for it - I can't say it suddenly began feeling silky smooth, and although it wasn't drying, it wasn't really moisturising either and didn't seem to add any special qualities.
The price tag for this product is £12.50 for a 250ml bottle from www.loccitane.co.uk or you can also find it at QVC or I think House of Fraser sometimes stock it. For an everyday product I feel this is quite expensive, and had I payed the full price, quite honestly I would have been gutted. Like I say I have been lucky enough to use other shower gels in the same price bracket, and found them to be of a much higher quality and they actually felt luxurious and a treat to use, so my overall feeling with this product has simply been disappointment. Needless to say I will not be buying this again, nor would I recommend others do so.
Great for men and women!