High among the lavender hills between Avignon and Nice, the L’Occitane Factory is open for popular one-hour guided tours.
The site is located near the Provence hamlet of Manosque, and as you go through the factory, you’ll get to see production line rooms and learn how L’Occitane harvests and distills its organic ingredients from the area: lavender, olives, rosemary and almonds are all used in the creams and perfumes that make the brand famous worldwide.
On a tour of L’Occitane, you’ll learn about the history of the company. Once Olivier Baussan founded it in 1976, he started out making rosemary essential oil and selling it at local Provence markets. By 1981, Baussan had opened his first store in Provence, and today, there are over 2,000 L’Occitane stores in 90 countries around the world.
The factory also shows interactive exhibits and films that provide information about various L’Occitane projects, such as its sustainable development program in Burkina Faso, where it sources shea butter.
The L’Occitane factory store is located 30 miles (50 km) north of Aix-en-Provence. Tours available in both French and English run throughout the year, though they must be pre-booked. There is a 10 percent discount offered on anything purchased at the factory shop. L’Occitane is about 45 minutes’ drive on the auto route from the main Nice-Marseille road, and there is no public transport to the factory. Buses to the village of Manosque from Marseille are available, and from there, a taxi can be taken to the factory.