beauty . Skincare

Get The Scoop: L’OCCITANE X Pierre Hermé Collaboration

Creating a collection of new scents is harder than it looks — knowing which smells are good together, or those that complement each other requires great skill and knowledge on the scents one is working with. Which is why the brand new L’OCCITANE x Pierre Hermé collection is a collaboration sent by the scent gods themselves!


Olivier Baussan, founder of L’OCCITANE en Provence, created the jars and boxes that house the new products - its cylindrical form and aromatic colours will remind you of a hat box and a cake. And his friend, pasty chef Pierre Hermé, designed the new scents that was inspired by “ingredients that awaken desires, raw materials that conjure up pleasures.”

So get all the details from this unique collaboration from Olivier Baussan himself, and find out everything there is to know about this wonderful and delicious collection!

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What brings you [and Pierre Hermé] together? What do you have in common?


I think that we take a modest approach to things, and we both believe in the importance of meeting and exchanging with other people. Pierre uses candied fruits because he met people who used them. He's a bit like a library of tastes: he'll try something, memorize it, and store it in the back of his mind. As for me, when I learn about a tradition, I like to observe it, and then I like to wait and store it in my memory bank. And when it's the right time, this taste or tradition will resurface. We build through our memories, not through the present.

How did the project for this collection come about?


It was Corsica and immortelle that first inspired us. We were seduced by ingredients from the land of Corsica, and we wanted to integrate these ingredients into our three collections. 

The starting point for the project was immortelle. I showed Pierre our plantations and he was fascinated, just as I was. He loved that subtle blend of spices that you get when you crush an immortelle flower between your fingers, with scents of honey, spices and curry. He was fascinated by this smell, because he loves combining extremes in his creations. He'll bring together unexpected flavours, which become one rather than pushing each other away. He was astonished and surprised by the strength of the scents of immortelle. For him, it was an ingredient in its own right that he wanted to work with as it was. We wanted to create something by combining our talents, where each one brings his vision and expertise. We began working on immortelle and in the end we created a complete collection that really puts the emphasis on the ingredients.



Could you tell us a little about the work you did on the packaging?


There again, I didn't want to focus too obviously on macarons. The packaging alludes to macarons. There are bands and "layers" on the bottles, but it's just a subtle reference, nothing more. 

 When I create a packaging design, I'm always inspired by traditions. For this collection, I began by working on the box. I was inspired by round hat boxes and cake boxes, with a lid on the top. I wanted to evoke these cake boxes, which are very classic and wonderful to behold. There are different colours and engravings, tributes to ingredients, and precious, festive touches, with gold and silver hot-foil stamping. 

I wanted the bottle to be a cylinder that you would slip into these round boxes. I wanted to recreate what I felt when I discovered these boxes as a child, to share that pleasure. Nadette, my wife, designed the Christmas gift boxes. She wanted to express the explosion of flavours in the mouth that you experience when you taste a pastry. 

How were you involved in creating the fragrances?

I wasn't involved in creating the fragrances. I worked on the packaging. We wanted to reflect, in a way, the encounter that is our friendship, through an encounter between the fragrances and the packaging. It's an encounter between the imagination of Pierre, focused on scents, and my imagination, focused on the packaging. Pierre was free to dream up explosive, surprising combinations.



What connection do you think there is between the world of patisserie and the world of beauty products?


It's an explosive combination. Pierre focuses on pleasure for the palate, while L'OCCITANE focuses on pleasure for the body. Both are connected by the notion of pleasure and awakening the senses.

Why did you choose Christmas time to launch this collection?

Christmas is the time of year when there's all that excitement in the air, everything sparkles, we want things that dazzle and shimmer, we want gold… So it made perfect sense to unveil this collection for Christmas. It's a collection that makes you think of an imaginary garden, a magical moment that brings back childhood memories, when everything is bright and full of light. Just like Christmas, this collection is an explosion of joy and flavours.



If you had to imagine one world that you would both have in common, what would it be? 
 
It would be an imaginary garden, inspired by skills, techniques, know-how and ingredients. My imagination is shaped around skills and techniques; my imaginary garden is about looking at the stars. We're all looking for a wonderful Eden. In Greek mythology, it's the garden with the golden apple. It's the citrus fruit, the orange tree.
Reference to the garden of the Hesperides and the story of Paris and Helen of Sparta.

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Which item from the collection are you excited about? Tell us in the comment section below!