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It may not be growing in the fields right now, but in Provence, lavender is always in the air. And no more so than around Manosque, a town high in the hills between Marseille and Nice, and where toiletry brand L’Occitane En Provence is based.
L’Occitane is probably our fave brand of smelly stuff so when we stayed at the official L’Occitane Hotel, Le Couvent Des Minimes, our priority was to fit in a factory tour of the operation at Manosque.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. We arrived at the hotel on a Sunday, when the factory is closed, and the staff had no idea when, or even if, there would be a tour (of their sister outfit) on the Monday. On the Monday, they told us that there was only one tour that day – at 4pm, in French. And though our pigeon French could have muscled through, we had to be on the road to the airport at 3.