Aromachologie has taught us an important lesson: plants have amazing powers and many things to teach us. For 30 years, L'OCCITANE has developed formulas made with essential oils. Provence offers an abundance of delicate, mysterious plants with captivating properties. Day after day, in its wonderful herbarium, L’OCCITANE unlocks the secret of the marvelous power of plants.
Purifying, relaxing, revitalizing actions,… L'OCCITANE formulates hair products, as well as products for the bath and home, which contain a combination of essential oils. It also offers blends of pure essential oils, which you can mix with neutral bases to obtain the desired effect.
Yves Millou keeps L’OCCITANE’s large Provençal Herbal up to date. A trained chemist and a botanist at heart, he knows all about plants, their origins and properties, but also about the incredible power of their fragrance alone. In 1980, at a time when beauty product laboratories had little interest in natural ingredients, Yves Millou was beginning to extract plant essential oils for L’OCCITANE. These precious essences capture the effects of a plant in its highest concentration and are so powerful that he measures and combines them drop by drop.
Did you know?
What is an essential oil?
An essential oil is an aromatic and volatile substance extracted from a botanical source. Essential oils can be held in all plant organs: flowers, leaves, and (though less often) bark, wood, roots, rhizomes, fruits and seeds.
What are the different extraction techniques?
To extract these volatile substances, different methods exist, but 2 main processes are used: steam distillation and expression.
1) Steam distillation is one of the oldest extraction methods, and is carried out using a distillation still. When steam passes through the plant matter, it fills with volatile and aromatic molecules. After passing through the condenser, which cools down the steam, we are left with:
- The aqueous phase, called the hydrolat or floral water,
- The non-water-soluble, floating liquid: the essential oil.
2) Cold expression is used for citrus fruits: lemon, mandarin orange, sweet orange, etc. The essential oil of citrus fruits is held in tiny glands in the skin of the fruit. This technique consists of pressing the peel to recover what is known as the essence. For example, it is what we do when we press an orange peel between the fingers.
Essential oils are particularly recommended in hair care products as they penetrate deeply, act rapidly and are very effective at carrying all the natural nutrients that are needed for the hair's vitality.
- To add volume to fine and normal hair: artemisia, petit grain, sweet orange, rosemary and palmarosa.
- To repair dry and damaged hair: lavender, angelica, geranium, ylang-ylang and sweet orange.
- To restore balance to dandruff-prone scalps: cade, tea tree, lemon, thyme, pepper.
- To soothe sensitive scalps: chamomile, mandarin, lemongrass, basil and cedar.