When it comes to beauty products, I'm a "keep it very simple" kinda woman. As long as I have some nice lip balm on standby, I'm pretty much good to go. I'm usually bias to Kiehl's or C.O.Bigelow and generally have a least 2-3 tubes in various coat pockets and/or purses A few days ago, I somehow found myself at work sans lip balm, a situation that obviously required a quick remedy which is how I found myself in a L'Occitane store nearby. I walked in with one simple goal: "get lip balm and get out" as my tolerance for stores with overly powerful scents is really low. As it was the middle of the workday and with no other customers in the store, the saleswoman was on me like white on rice before I could even think straight. After buttering me up by showing me various lip balm options (meaning the back of my hand had streaks of lip balm all over it), she quickly transitioned to hand creams and "the great value" deal before I could even get my defenses up. Knowing that she had me in the palm of her hand, she opened this innocent tube of shea butter hand cream and announced that it had extract of the frangipani plant directly from Madagascar. My mind was immediately split between "frangi-who?" and "Madagascar, must be exotic!" Even though the scent felt so familiar, I couldn't place it but it had shea butter in it and I already knew that most of the companies' shea comes from Burkina Faso so I left the store, olive tree lip balm, frangipani shea hand cream and 100% shea butter hand cream (remember I told you about the "great value") all tucked alway in a pretty bag. It wasn't until one google search later that I realized that frangipani was really another name for plumeria (which isn't something I just have chilling in my memory bank) and more specifically, that white flower I've seen in parts of Africa that smells ohh so good especially when in full bloom.
Of course me being me, I immediately had questions about how the companies treats the women doing the day-to-day labor and a whole host of other questions, but a bit of digging around and I found that L'Occitane has pretty sound practices throughout Africa, making sure women earn an income year-round (rather than only during harvest) and also provides opportunities for further education.
On a final note...how cute is this vintage Malagasy stamp with the frangipani flower?!?!