Shop Talk

STORE PROFILE: L’Occitane for Valentine’s Day

The L'Occitane store at the Rideau centre is sleek, luxurious — and stocked with gift-worthy products. Photo by David Kawai.

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

At first glance, it may seem an odd choice for Valentine’s Day. Aren’t we supposed to show our love with chocolate and flowers and sappy red cards?

Maybe it’s the effects of pregnancy — sensitive skin, an adversity to chocolate, and a nesting instinct that drives me to clear the house of clutter — but what I’m craving are useful items that make me feel comfy. (Plus my hubby is a gardener. Please no more plants!)

A few months ago, I picked up a tub of L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream, and I have been thoroughly loving the after-shower belly application. Though I first bought it in a vain attempt to avoid stretch marks, these days it’s just a good excuse to feel pampered, gaze down at my belly, and slow down in the morning. (Though not visible yet, I now accept stretch marks as one of motherhood’s unavoidable side effects — maybe even a badge of honour!)

For moms-to-be, and any woman who loves high-quality products in beautiful packaging, you can’t beat L’Occitane.

Plus, the French boutique also has a great men’s line. My husband picked up a small bottle of shaving oil from the Cade line. It’s a product that keeps us both happy: he avoids razor burn and therefore shaves more often … need I say more?

The Look: Upscale yet natural. Packaging that brings beauty to the toiletries drawer.

Perfect for: Gifting to those you love (or when you need a little pampering).

USP: L’Occitane uses raw materials — and local talent — from around the world. The shea butter, for example, comes from Burkina Faso, where local women are employed to prepare the product, which they call Women’s Gold.

L’Occitane. Rideau Centre (third level), 50 Rideau St., 613-232-2700, www.ca.loccitane.com

Get the scoop on over 435 local stores in the Ottawa Magazine Shopping Guide 2011/2012. Access the Shopping Guide online or get your copy at Britton’s and other newsstand locations.

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