L’Occitane’s new London store is a riot of beauty, botany and bonbons
French skincare brand L’Occitane en Provence has opened a sunny flagship store on London’s Regent Street. Taking a leaf out of its new Paris flagship’s book, this one also stocks macarons – courtesy of famed pastry chef Pierre Hermé – alongside handcreams and fragrances.
L’Occitane is in the throes of creating a series of individual flagships, and this one-off was the work of UK- and Amsterdam-based design firm Futurebrand UXUS. George Gottl, the co-founder, set about ‘creating a contemporary Provençal landscape in the middle of London’. The colour palette and lighting are warm, and botanicals adorn the ground floor columns.
Customers can throw themselves into discovering the products on this level. There’s a handcare fountain where taps release unguents for exfoliating, cleansing and moisturizing. Futurebrand UXUS has also thought up a new way to sample fragrances, ditching the standard paper strip in favour of a tasteful linen ribbon that can be tied around the wrist. Customers can also get free hand and arm massages on this floor.
Floral display, designed by Futurebrand UXUS. Photography: Michael Franke
Many L’Occitane products are bought as presents, so as well as a gift-wrapping station offering personalised ribbon printing, there’s a machine that engraves names or messages on metal and glass perfume bottles (a free service for those who spend over £40).
Futurebrand UXUS widened the stairs to draw customers up to the first floor, where the full product range is on show, along with a consultation room and café area where those bijou macaroons are displayed. ‘We don’t associate food with skincare, but there’s talk now that what you eat is what you become,’ says Gottl. ‘Eating a macaron is so sensorial.’
L’Occitane Group, which has its roots in 1970s Provence, has more than 2,700 stores in more than 90 countries. The Regent Street store is part of L’Occitane’s plans to modernise all of its outlets around the world.