I love L'Occitane products and buy them as a special treat so I was thrilled when I was given this hand lotion which comes in a bottle with a pump dispenser. That was a couple of years ago and it stayed in my bathroom cupboard for probably just over a year before I decided the time had come to put it to good use. Mine is in a round bottle rather than the square pictured above.
L'Occitane is a French company specialising in high quality skin and body care using the herbs of Provence. Olivier Baussan established the company in 1976 with the intention of using natural ingredients and updating traditional products. Ingredients are sourced from local producers and the company prices itself in its ethical credentials. In 2006 the L'Occitane Foundation was set up to support of the blind and the economic emancipation of women.
L'Occitane now has over 2,000 stores all over the world and you can buy its products in department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams. They don't come cheap however.
Verbena is used in many of L'Occitane ranges. The Verbena collection itself has fragrances, scented candles, bath and shower gels and of course the Verbena hand lotion. Apparently Verbena is known as the 'cure-all' herb and is even used to make love potions! It's a commonly found shrub in the south of France and has a refreshing lemon scent which L'Occitane promises will energize and revive the senses.
The Hand Lotion
The main ingredients of this hand lotion are organic verbena extract, emollient grape-seed oil and nourishing shea butter.
It's a relatively thick white cream which has a delicious citrus smell -somewhere between lemon and grapefruit. I can't use this hand lotion at night - it wakes me up! It definitely lives up to its promise of reviving the senses. I find it's a real pick me up.
The shea butter makes the lotion rich but it absorbs easily and doesn't leave a greasy residue. However it's not the most nourishing of hand lotions. It gives a quick fix to my hands but it doesn't give me long lasting relieve to my admittedly very dry skin.
My other bugbear is the dispenser. I find it clogs regularly and now that I'm nearing the end of the bottle, it doesn't work at all. I don't mind just a little bit at the bottom, there's quite a bit there - at least enough to last 2-3 weeks using the lotion a couple of times a day. I can't waste the last of this expensive lotion so I've had to turn it upside down and when I want some I have to remove the top and pump mechanism in order to get at it.
On the plus side, it has a lovely refreshing smell. It absorbs well and feels luxurious.
But on the down side, it doesn't give my skin lasting hydration or nourishment and it annoys me that the pump doesn't work well particularly since L'Occitane has a reputation for being a high end quality product. Overall I'm disappointed but hopefully the new square shaped dispenser is more efficient. You can expect to pay £17 for a 300ml bottle and on this occasion I don't think the price tag is worth what you get.
This one only gets a 3 out of 5 from me.
L'Occitane en Provence is a brand that I have always admired from afar. Their simple yet attractive packaging and the air of the best of French country living has frequently had me sampling their range whenever I have come across it . I was definitely hooked by the gentle yet fresh and zesty scent of the lemon verbena range and after a serious research in Amazon.co.uk , as the prices are quite high, I decided to buy the Verbena Moisturizing hand lotion. Not only did it promise to smell delicious, but, at around 13pounds for 300ml, it seemed to be the best value for my hard earned money.
The delicate white lotion is contained in a chunky, almost square clear, plastic bottle topped by a pump by which a small amount of the lovely thick cream is easily poured into the palm of your hand. On the front of the bottle is a simple label in brown almost like brown wrapping paper with a verbena leaf depicted on it. In French and English the name of the lotion is given, Verbena Moisturizing Lotion with organic Verbena extract. The name, (I assume), is also given in relief in braille which is something that other companies could put into action. L'Occitane also appears in relief on the front and back of the bottle.
On the reverse is a description of the lotion, "Rich in organic verbena extract, emollient grape-seed oil and nourishing shea butter. This lotion leaves a delicate fresh and citrus scent."
What is it like to use?
One push of the pump gives just enough of the lotion to cover my hands and wrists. The scent is delicious. How can a plant be more lemony than lemons? It is like lemon sherbet and lemon zest combined but yet more delicate. The Shea butter content soaks into my hands leaving them soft and smooth and although I would not use it for intensive moisturising after heavy cleaning or sanding work it is a rather special hand lotion which would make a lovely present and one to keep in mind with Christmas looming on the horizon. I generally apply this just before going to bed and the lovely lemon scent wafts me away to sunny lemon groves. The scent does hold for a few hours and I find myself using it, not just to moisturise my hands but to enjoy the delicious scent.
Although it is not the richest hand lotion I have used it is still one I would be happy to give and also to receive. I have deducted one star due to the high price as this for me will be an occasional indulgence.
4 out of 5 stars from me.
I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk and I have also seen this range in good quality High Street stores.
Thanks for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash
The container is recyclable and the contents last 12months once opened.
A pricey hand cream
I received a small 30ml tube of this hand cream as part of a L'Occitane giftset. A full sized version is 75ml and costs £14, and you can also find smaller 15ml versions for around £6 if you shop around online.
I am not too familiar with the L'Occitane brand, but I know the products are natural ... and expensive! £14 is definitely not a price I would consider paying for a hand cream, so it's nice to get to try out a sample as a gift!
According to the L'Occitane website, the hand cream has a unique gel formula that "turns to a matte, powdery finish, reducing perspiration and swelling sensations". It contains organic verbena extract and tapioca powder to soothe and absorb, and is scented with verbena, orange, geranium and lemon.
Lemons and geranium
Opening up my small, silver tube of hand cream I can definitely detect the smell of lemon, as well as geranium. I sometimes think beauty products scented with lemon come a bit too close to smelling like cleaning products, and I am not a massive fan of the scent of geranium either, so to be honest I wasn't convinced I would like this cream.
I do tend to have slightly dry hands, and with a new baby I am washing my hands more and more frequently. So I have lots of hand creams dotted around the house and this particular one is in my bag for use when I'm out and about. The cream inside is pure white, and does have a slight gel-like appearance to it. I find that just a small amount is plenty and it sinks into the hands instantly. And it definitely does have a cooling effect, which is a little strange at first but not at all unpleasant! It gives hands quite a fresh feeling after use.
And I actually do like the smell, which I wasn't expecting. It isn't too lemony, and the geranium fragrance stops it smelling like kitchen cleaner! And the sweet lemon fragrance stops the geranium scent from being overpowering - both good things in my book. And it is a sweet fragrance that isn't at all sickly - it is very natural and pleasant. The cooling sensation and fragrance are quite refreshing and work well together.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I read that this turns to "a matte, powdery finish", and I have to say this does leave hands feeling a little ... odd! While I wouldn't use the term "powdery" - and I really don't think this is the best choice of words from the company - it is certainly an unusual sensation. At first, once the cream has sunk in, it feels almost sticky or tacky, which is something I don't like. However this sensation is short lived and my hands then do feel moisturised but in a completely non-greasy way - although I do feel that there is still a very slight feeling of stickiness. Overall it is a very odd feeling and I am a bit undecided as to whether or not I like it - although this does feel like it's moisturising my hands it isn't in a way that I'm used to and I'm not sure if I'm a big fan of the "moisturised but dry" sensation that I'm left with. But this may well be useful for people who have sweaty or clammy hands!
In summary ...
Overall this is a perfectly decent handcream and I'll happily use up the rest of the tube I have. I really like the fragrance, which wasn't something I was convinced about, and it leaves my hands smelling lovely and fresh.
But I definitely wouldn't buy it again myself - not only is it really expensive but it leaves hands feeling a bit strange. There are other hand creams out there which I far prefer - and which are significantly cheaper!
My sister in law recommended this hand lotion to me as she knows I am always interested in trying this type of product as I love a good hand cream or moisturising lotion. She was really enthusiastic about this one so I was happy to give it a try. I am currently staying at her house for a few weeks as we are revising for exams together, so we have been swapping a lot of products!
The lotion comes in a cube shaped clear plastic bottle which is quite sturdy and contains 300 ml. You can see the white lotion inside and easily see how much is left. The design is very simple and it just has a label on the front in an olive green colour stating the product name in French and English, with a simple line drawing of a leaf, and the L'Occitane brand name written in small letters at the bottom. L'occitane is also printed onto the actual plastic of the bottle in raised letters. The packaging is simple and not too fancy. The lotion is dispensed by way of a pump, which I find convenient and hygenic. It dispenses quite a generous blob with each pump and is just about the ideal amount to rub into your hands and thoroughly moisturise them.
The lotion contains verbena extract, which according to L'occitane is premium quality, fine and pure verbena. They suggest that the lemon fragrance "energises and revives the senses, thereby helping to banish tiredness and stress". We thought this would be good for us during our exam revision period! I generally like lemon and other citrus scents anyway and do find they can wake me up. The scent of this lotion is very strong when you first pump it out. A strong wave of scent really hits you - I even noticed the intense scent the first time I used this despite having quite a severe cold! I find the scent very pleasant and fresh, but some might find it a bit too strong. It does fade quite quickly, but a subtle scent remains on the hands for hours. The lotion is of a medium consistency - it is not a thick cream at all, but neither is it too runny and watery. It is good for light hydration but won't be enough to really soothe dry skin in my opinion.
The lotion sinks in very quickly, without leaving any greasy residue or stickiness on the hands, so you are able to get on with whatever you want to do. This is important to me as some creams leave your hands slippery, making it a bit difficult to write quickly with a pen! It leaves the hands very soft and smooth, but I don't think it is as moisturising as other thicker creams.
I think this lotion is ideal for use in the bathroom after hand washing or to keep on your desk for a bit of light hydration throughout the day.
At £16.00 for 300 ml it is not the cheapest hand lotion around, but per ml it is much cheaper than some of l'Occitane's other hand cream products such as the shea butter hand creams. I think it is fair that this is cheaper, as it is a much less intensive product. I think the lotion will last quite a long time and at this price I would be happy to buy it occasionally for a change, but I would not make a regular habit as there are other nice lotions costing much less.
L'Occitane Verbena Moisturizing Hand Lotion has a light texture quickly to be absorbed by the skin / Used after washing your hands, it softens and protects from drying skin / It will leave the fresh scent of Verbena on your hands /