* Prices may differ from that shown
A few years ago we would regularly buy L'Occitane products but only when there was a big set on offer at QVC as until recently that was the only place we could get them where I live. We could I suppose have used L'Occitane's own website but the offers on QVC were (and hopefully still are) very good and made a luxury product affordable for us as a treat or as gifts for family. They are now available at Debenhams too, unfortunately L'Occitane is now pretty much out of our price range and I'm always delighted to receive something from their range as a gift. One of the products we ended up with a couple of times as part of a large set was L'Occitane Sweet Almond Shea Butter Liquid Soap,
You can learn more about L'Occitanes ethical and ecologically sound policies at their website should you wish http://uk.loccitane.com/FO/Home.aspx . L'Occitane don't test on animals either or use animal products/by products in their manufacture (other than bee hive ingredients like wax and honey) which is always a big plus.
An idea of pricing
At the moment this sweet almond soap is available at QVC only in a duo pack or as part of a larger set. The duo costs (15.Feb.12) £26.25 plus £4.45 postage and on L'Occitane's website as a duo of one full pump and a refill for £22 (normally £27) refills alone retail for about £10. The difference in price between this product in the dispenser and in the refill is astounding, at full price for both the difference is £7! which I find quite bad. You could buy and attractive permanent soap dispenser for that. If I were to buy this again I would only buy the refill and decant into either an old disposable dispenser whether the actual L'Occitane one or a cheap one (unless as part of a multipack as above where the cost of the soap was much less than if bought alone). If you have a nice permanent dispenser of course you would use that.
This soap though quite a large size and packed full of good quality ingredients is not something I would normally spend this amount of money on but as part of a larger set where it works out as technically 'free' or only a few pounds it is a great bargain.
The packaging is as the Dooyoo picture you can see the gorgeous amber colour of the soap through the container, though of course this lovely colour disappears as you use it, and the whole construction is nice and sturdy it sits nice and solidly on my sink between the taps. It looks classy and doesn't shout look at me. The pump action is reliable and delivers a nice amount of soap, though in use you get the feel of the pump and learn how hard and how far to depress it if you require a smaller or greater quantity of soap.
The liquid looks and feels nice and rich when dispensed and doesn't slip off your fingers and straight down the plug hole when the water is added, as I have had happen with some cheap brands. The lather as with most L'Occitane soaps is dense and rich and slides across the skin beautifully. With some cheap liquid soaps I feel wet skin rubbing against skin the lather is so thin and 'patchy' I never get that with this soap. Despite a good lather and plenty of moisturising ingredients it rinses away well with no noticeable residue. The moisturising ingredients of shea butter, sweet almond and aloe vera do there jobs and leave my skin feeling perfectly clean but not dried out or irritated. This soap has a non detergent base and is one of the reasons it feels so good on my skin and never irritates it.
Although the soap is expensive it does last a long time, in my experience longer than other liquid soaps we have used (other than other L'Occitane soaps). It usually lasts our family of four nearly 6 months and we don't stint on using it. We do tend to not take a full pump though, as although a full one is a nice amount a lesser amount does the job well and helps to stretch the soap out a bit. I have used this as a quick all over body wash when we ran out of shower gel and it wasn't too drying and did a good job. I have used it as a face wash too, though I usually use a cleanser or specific facial wash, and found it very pleasant to use, but my face did feel a little drier than the rest of my body after use, but there were no ill effects and I felt clean and fresh.
My sister who suffers with moderate to severe eczema can use this when she is not suffering from a particularly bad outbreak and it doesn't aggravate her skin, and though she does need to moisturise afterwards she needs to do that whatever she uses to clean her skin, after using the L'Occitane almond liquid soap her skin feels softer and fresher than with other liquid soaps she has used so far.
One thing I'm not keen on about this particular soap is the scent, but that is only because I can't stand the smell of almonds, I hate marzipan or any food product that uses the essence. The nuts themselves I quite like. Because we received this as part of a bigger set and we bought it for some other specific items in the set which weren't available with a different liquid soap option we had no choice but to take the almond soap. I would not have bought this scent if I'd had the choice. However although the almond smell is very obvious I didn't find it terribly unpleasant it is very natural and I think that's why I didn't find it offensive. Also I have tried the verbena and lavender L'Occitane liquid soaps and I like the almond one because it feels in my opinion the most moisturising. I think the scent of this and the other scents in this particular liquid soap range are unisex, they are not flowery or overly sweet and have a nice fresh clean smell suitable for all ages and sexes. The almond scent does linger a little which personally I would prefer it didn't but it's not too overpowering and does fade fairly quickly. My negativity about the smell is only a personal one and of course you as my husband does may love the scent.
This in my opinion really is a great product, and despite the fact I normally detest the smell of almonds I would buy it again if I got the opportunity. If I did buy this again I would try and get it as before as part of a larger set or buy the refill at £10 and decant .
As I'm yearning for our halcyon days when L'Occitane products were a fairly regular purchase I've been having a little thumb through the Dooyoo catalogue in search of some suitably manly products to review. So far it's mainly soap; I'm not quite ready to admit any dalliance with creams etc. My most recent find is the L'Occitane Sweet Almond Shea Butter Liquid Soap in a pump.
You can find out about L'Occitanes excellent ethical and ecologically sound policies at their website here http://uk.loccitane.com/FO/Home.aspx . L'Occitane also do not test on animals or use animal products or by products in their manufacture (other than bee products such as honey and wax).
This soap at time of writing is reduced at L'Occitane in an 'eco pack' costing £22 for a soap in dispenser, and full 500ml refill pack£3.95 (the site also provides a store locator so you can check of there is one of their own outlets near you). L'Occitane products can also be sourced from large department stores such a Debenhams (though I haven's seen this specific soap there recently), and online shopping at QVC.
This is a pricey soap, and even when we were better off I would never have paid the full price for what at the end of the day is 'just' soap. However the wife is fairly nifty at finding good offers and we always purchased our L'Occitane products only as part of a multi packs on special offers, ours came with hand creams (which were the main reason for purchase), body wash, half size samples of some of their face creams, a cologne and even a bath/shower mit. If you look out on their website or in particular QVC you can often find these products in amazing offers where each item would average out at a few pounds.
The bottle is a handsome specimen solid and rectangular and has a sort of presence on the sink. The pump action is a good looking black and solid in operation, and doesn't seem to gunk up during use. The amount delivered with each press is a decent portion, the wife presses less hard to get a smaller amount, I take the full dollop and it gives a nice rich lather which is enough for both hands, wrists and face/neck should I want to use it there. I have been surprised at how long this soap lasts, it was 7 months before it came close to needing changing, I think we got 8 months out of it in total, that is with daily use by a family of four.
This soap is an excellent quality - as it should be for the price - the best thing about it is that it is detergent free, so much less likely to set off the itch cycle for people with eczema or similar.
The bubbles like most of L'Occitane's soap products which I have tried are small and tightly packed forming a creamy lather, not big and frothy; which as mentioned in my Verbena soap review is the sign of quality soap.
You can feel the difference between this and cheaper supermarket brands. It really does feel kind of luxurious right from the moment it hits your hand. The ingredients of shea butter, aloe-vera extract, and sweet almond oil make for a really nice moisturising wash. Plus, as one would hope, it gives an excellent cleaning action. It gets everything off my skin that I've thrown at it with ease, from oil to biro and a lot worse in between. It rinses away like snow on a hot plate leaving nothing behind but clean, soft, nicely scented skin.
The colour of this liquid soap is very nice, a rich golden colour almost as it it's infused with saffron (I don't think it is) and very attractive, as the bottle is clear this colour of course does disappear as the wash does. The fact that the bottle is clear is good as you know exactly when you are about to run out.
The only issue we have experience with this soap is the smell, now if we had had a choice of which liquid soap to chose as part of the offer we would probably have gone for lavender, plain shea butter, or verbena as the wife hates the smell of almonds (though she quite likes the taste of the fresh from the shell nut), and won't even allow marzipan in the house (if you are kind say ahhhh, because I love marzipan and haven't tasted it at home since 1987).
A testament to how good this soap is is that the wife didn't pack it off to her sister but used it with the rest of us to the last drop. She claims that this is because the almond smell though strong, doesn't come over as highly processed or 'chemical'.
I would highly recommend this soap, we wouldn't buy it again simply because madam is not keen on the almond smell, but this is a fantastic product sadly at not such a fantastic price. I would normally knock a star off for the price, but this is so good I can't bring myself to.
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).
Having used many products from the range, over many years, I received a large liquid soap in a L'occitane gift set that I had given me for Christmas. Waiting until the previous hand wash was used up was a bit annoying to say the least, as I do so love this company's products, but used it is, and so to my review.
I have used these liquid soaps many times before, and was pleased to see one in my set, in a fragrance that I hadn't tried before - Sweet Almond. The bottle is clear plastic, it could be tacky, but it's actually quite stylish with the L'occitane branding on the front. The soap contains moisturising shea butter but unfortunately there is no mention on the bottle or the website (www.loccitane.co.uk) of what percentage it contains.
Along with the shea butter, this soap contains almond oil, for both its fragrance and the emollient qualities it possesses. The almond oil is extracted from the nut by means of pressure, rather like olive oil, I presume. The almond glycoproteins it contains, also have firming and smoothing properties. As it is a 100% natural product, it is guaranteed free from synthetic detergents which will further dry your skin.
All you need is half a pump (which keeps the soap hygienically clean) and you will have plenty of soap. The foam is rich, creamy and luxurious. One of these bottles has lasted a good seven months in my house, possibly longer, and with four people it gets used an awful lot. This is where I get fed up, it lasts too long, I get bored with the same fragrance and am eager to try something different, so once or twice I have stored them out of sight for a while, until I fancy another change. This is fine as it has a 12 month shelf life once it has been opened. At £16.00 a bottle, this is not a cheap option, but for me it is worth it because I suffer with very dry hands.
I love all products by this manufacturer but I must admit, this fragrance is not one I'll be purchasing again. I love marzipan, I have been known to eat it straight from the packet before it has even looked at a cake, but my goodness me, this is TOO, TOO strong. It is so strong this borders on being awful, it's so sickly and sweet. If however, you do like the fragrance, you'll be pleased to know it lingers on your hands for a very long time. By the time it starts to fade, it's time to wash your hands again. Yuk! I have used this bottle for less than two weeks, so I have a fair way to go until it's used up unfortunately. I shall persevere though, who knows, by the time it is finished, I may quite like it!
I cannot stress how much I dislike this scent, and my two girls (18 and 7) even refuse to wash their hands with it, so it cannot just be my taste. I wholeheartly recommend you use L'occitane hand washes in future, but please do choose another fragrance.
I am giving this five out of five for the soaps performance, and three out of five for smell (well someone must like it, as they would have stopped selling it by now). Finding the middle ground, I am awarding the Sweet Almond liquid soap four stars. As my school report often said - 'Good try but can do better'!