Immortelle has the extraordinary power to never fade, even when picked. Its Latin name, Helichrysum, means "golden sun" – like its magnificent golden flowers. For Corsicans, it is a flower symbolic of the maquis (the fragrant scrubland of Corsica), with a captivating scent.
The Balagne region is an area of exceptional natural diversity and also known as "the garden of Corsica". In 2001, at the heart of this fragrant region, L'OCCITANE discovered this extraordinary wild plant.
The immortelle has medicinal properties that have long been known in Mediterranean traditions: anti-bruising, anti-inflammatory (100 times more effective than arnica), and healing.
Ever since the remarkable anti-aging properties of the immortelle plant were discovered, the picking of wild immortelle has become increasingly common. When the picking is made according to sustainable specific methods, it can help to fight the fire while cleaning the maquis (Corsica's fragrant scrubland). Nevertheless, with the quantities harvested it can’t secure a long term supply. This is why, in 2004, L’OCCITANE launched the very first large-scale organic immortelle plantation1 in Corsica. Today, about 45 hectares of immortelle have been planted.
Our first distiller, Albrecht Von Keyserlingk: "Distillation is an art, not a theory. Its quality is defined by the skill and craft that go into its production. It takes one ton of fresh flowers to produce 1 to 2 kilos of essential oil."
Stephan Francisci gradually planted five hectares between Bastia and Porto-Vecchio. "For each flower grown, a wild flower in the maquis is saved."
Did you know ?
• The flowers are picked in the morning and distilled on site that evening, to extract all their constituents.
• 1 hectare provides enough land to produce 5 tons of plant matter, and therefore 10 kilos of essential oil.
Did you know ?
What does co-development mean for L’OCCITANE?
L’OCCITANE wants to go further than a trade business. It ensures that the women of Burkina Faso reap the full benefits of their work by purchasing the butter directly from them in situ. A correct price is paid, which covers the production costs – including environmental and social costs – and leaves a margin for investment. L’OCCITANE pre-finances harvest by up to 80%, and helps the women’s groups with production, export and finding new outlets.
In 2003, we set up the organic ne2rk, which is more lucrative for the producers. Created in 2006, L’OCCITANE’s Foundation supports projects that help develop the autonomy and economic emancipation of women by the creation of literacy centers, the access to microcredit, or bear the cost of medicines and treatments (http://fondation.loccitane.com). In 2009 we decided to professionalize the women’s groups by certifying them "Fair Trade1”.
Thus, thanks to the EFT certification, the women’s groups can now promote a label towards international clients and become emancipated in a sustainable way.
The shea butter used in the L’OCCITANE formulas is the perfect beauty balm for dry or dehydrated skin. It restores the hydrolipidic film, leaving skin softer, more supple and more comfortable.
Fair Trade1 :
The European Control and certification body ECOCERT SA developed the label EFT “Ecocert Fair Trade”, with 4 main objectives:
• Social responsibility
• Economic solidarity
• Environmental responsibility
• Information transparency and respect towards the consumer
*Standards available on www.ecocert.com