Saturday heralded our much anticipated visit to the L’Occitane en Provence factory at Manosque. Most people are aware of L’Occitane’s reputation for producing quality skin care products, but this tour of the factory adds a whole new dimension of respect for the passion and ideals of a company dedicated to producing the finest quality cosmetics that they can. By ensuring strict control over the complete production chain from sourcing of raw products, through to final packaging, they can ensure that the finest ingredients are not contaminated in any way to degrade the final product. All of this on a scale that produces 7 million items per month at the facility in Manosque.
At the conclusion of the tour, the ladies were released into the retail shop, where they acquitted themselves like true connoisseurs and yellow bags filled the back of the van.
Thus equipped with cosmetics, we took the winding road towards the stunning village of Moustiers Saint Marie near the Gorge du Verdon. After lunching at a local brasserie, the ladies took the opportunity to browse some of the boutiques, galleries and antique shops that are dotted throughout the picturesque village, where every turn presents another photo opportunity.
Leaving Moustiers Saint Marie, we wound through 15 km of the hillside roads down to Saint Croix du Verdon, a pretty little village on the edge of the lake, where we cooled our heels in the refreshing water and enjoyed the sights of the beach-side activities. After our short stay by the lake, it was time to head home to the chateau, where dinner tonight was to be bouillabaisse, prepared by Joelle and Joel. Delicious as always!