Think of Provence – and you’ll no doubt call to mind fields of lavender, olive groves and rolling hills. Packaging up this scented idyll is beauty brand Branche d’Olive – perfect for those who want the fragrances of France in their own home.
If you are one of the many who considers a bar of soap an outdated and cumbersome-to-use product, then this lifestyle brand will have you thinking again. The humble bar of soap is actually Branche d’Olive‘s hero product – but forget the soap your grandma probably used, this version has been elevated to luxury status.
Triple-milled to create a long-lasting fragrance, the luxury soaps – available in a variety of scents and hues – are beautifully hand-made. Contain the natural ingredients of vegetable oil, glycerine and nourishing shea butter – they are kind to the skin – and furthermore have been blended with high-quality perfumes sourced from Grasse. Hand-wrapped in cellophane, their gentle cleansing and conditioning qualities leave skin fragrant and smooth.
Shown here is the Lavender Soap, £5, – which is, of course, a quintessential Provencal scent – enhanced with amber, vanilla, lemon leaf and musk – it smells divine and keeps its shape and fragrance after many uses.
Another gem from the beauty brand is the Diffuser, £35. The Green Tea scent is clean and fresh (great for the kitchen) and has a simple design aesthetic, which I love. Calling to mind the fresh scents of spring: the green tea notes have been blended with hesperidia berry, jasmine and peony over a base of musk and white cedar.
Founded in 2002, Branche d’Olive was launched by Jane Comyn and Ruth Watson. The pair were sourcing and selling antique French furniture, and during a trip to a traditional market in Provence, they came across a beautiful, handcrafted Marseilles soap – which became the starting point for their new business.
Soon the hand-wrapped soaps were outstripping the French furniture and the company grew to eventually include a wide range of home fragrances, bath and beauty products and lifestyle accessories. Many of the products’ origins are still sourced from local Provencale producers, famous for their centuries of expertise and sustainable traditional methods. Travel nerds may have spotted it as the beauty brand of choice at Raymond Blanc’s iconic hotel: Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of ’boutique hotel’ to your own home.