There are over a thousand L’OCCITANE boutiques in 90 countries on five continents. To produce enough high-quality products, L’OCCITANE works with over 130 French farmers and 10,000 field workers from Corsica to the lavender fields in Provence to ensure the high quality and sustainability of ingredients for their iconic products.

L'OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream 150ml
L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream 150ml

L’OCCITANE produces luxury body washes, scrubs, skin-toning body oils, foot and hand care, and general epidermal good works, but L’OCCITANE does not just rescue skin and help complexions. It also has a charitable side. The famous French skincare brand works with over 40,000 women in land-locked Burkina Faso in West Africa to promote entrepreneurship and education. Other important work includes helping the visually impaired in various countries.

L'OCCITANE Foundation

Established in 2004, The L’OCCITANE Foundation was created to unite the philanthropic initiatives launched in 1976. In addition to supporting the visually impaired and the emancipation of women, they also work towards preserving natural heritages and biodiversity worldwide. In 2020, it surpassed its goal of supporting 33,000 women in Faso and has set a new one to help 60,000 women there by 2025.

L'OCCITANE Immortelle Divine Cream
L’OCCITANE Immortelle Divine Cream

Now seventy years old, L’OCCITANE’s founder, Olivier Baussan, studied literature at L’Universitie d’Aix-en-Provence. He bought an old still from a local farmer to distill rosemary and lavender essential oils; with a chemist friend, Yves Millou. Then Bassaun bought an old soap factory, and, in 1976, L’Occitane was born, reviving the traditional art of soap-making in Marseille. A year later, the first harvest of delicate lavender occurred. In 1981, it opened its first shop in Volx, Haute Provence. The first store in Paris opened on Rue Vavin in 1992.


L’OCCITANE’s best-selling skincare product is the Shea Butter Hand Cream. One is sold every two seconds around the world. Olivier Baussan first heard about Burkino Faso’s female shea butter makers from a stranger he met at an airport while traveling in Africa. He immediately changed his flight home and flew to Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, placing a large order of shea butter and pledging to work with women into the future to support their education and entrepreneurship. He has changed lives in Africa. There were twelve workers at the factory he pledged to help, and now that number has turned into thousands and thousands. His charitable organization, of which he is vice president, still focuses on the economic emancipation of women.

L'OCCITANE Foundation

The company decided in 1997 to include the names of products in braille on most of the packaging. It partnered with the Helen Keller Foundation to provide eye exams to schools on both coasts of the United States. Not just stateside, proceeds from the sales of L’OCCITANE’s “Animal Soaps Set” go to Orbis, a non-profit organization fighting blindness in developing countries. For over 20 years, the company’s foundation has supported projects and initiatives to combat avoidable blindness. It hopes to reach 15 million beneficiaries worldwide by 2025.

L'OCCITANE Foundation

The L’OCCITANE Foundation has been a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness since 2016. “At L’OCCITANE, we want to live in a world where everyone can see and experience the beauty that nature has to offer,” says Baussan.

Every year since 2000, the retailing group has sold a new solidarity product to raise funds to help our partners fight avoidable blindness worldwide. Before that, in 2017, L’OCCITANE and its foundation embarked on a major international partnership with UNICEF. The collaboration guaranteed a minimum of one million euros annually for three years. It helped prevent childhood blindness of more than five and a half million children in Bolivia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Niger.

L'OCCITANE Foundation

The company aims to provide 10 million beneficiaries access to eye care, showing its commitment to fighting avoidable blindness through its Union for Vision program. L’OCCITANE has worked with UNICEF to provide Vitamin A supplement programs for children worldwide. Vitamin A is essential for a child’s immune system, and Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness.

Another important initiative for the company, L’OCCITANE, has partnered with the PUR Project globally to fight deforestation and climate change by planting trees locally. For over ten years, L’OCCITANE has been introducing initiatives such as eco-refills and in-store recycling. Since its inception, it has offered a glass bottle return system for local refilling or recycling.

L'OCCITANE Foundation. Burkina Faso Yikri by Helene Cheron Kientega
L’OCCITANE Foundation. Burkina Faso Yikri by Helene Cheron Kientega

Says Baussand, “The Foundation has sprung forth from L’OCCITANE’s soul. Simply bringing out what is on the inside.” He and the company have proven that the power of a solid corporate philanthropy philosophy can lead to lasting, impactful changes in the lives of millions worldwide.

Although the company was sold to Austrian businessman Reinold Geiger, Baussan retains a 5% stake. The headquarters is based in Manosque in the Alpes-de-Haute, Provence in southwestern France.