The Alpes de Haute Provence, the land of fragrances

The cosmetics industry: 33 firms, 770 employees and a recognized leading company, L'Occitane en Provencee

To date, 270 million Euros of products exported (perfumes, cosmetics and cleaning products) represent more than half the department's total exports. L’Occitane en Provence is the department's leading exporter. Its amazing growth and worldwide development has helped launch a number of firms.

The spin-off around the company is currently strengthening the importance of cosmetics on the territory.
88 % of the employees in the cosmetics industry are to be found in the Durance valley (65% of them in the municipality of Manosque alone) and 10 % in the Luberon.

The international fame of Provence enables local firms to have a quality showcase to conquer foreign markets.

The following firms have chosen the Alpes de Haute Provence:

  • Collines de Provence (Mane): perfumed products, refined toilet waters, essential oils and natural body care products, etc.
  • Lothantique (Peyruis): manufacture and packaging of essential oil-based natural products (complete range of care products), etc.
  • Terre d'Oc (Villeneuve): scenting, cosmetics production, natural candles, etc.
  • Nicolosi créations (Aiglun): home fragrance, scented soaps, etc.
  • Laboratoires Bains et Arômes (Forcalquier): body care products, cosmetics, soaps, home fragrance, etc.
  • Laboratoire de Combe d'Ase (Peyruis): essential oils, floral waters, care products, etc.
  • Sophim (Peyruis): production of cosmetic ingredients, manufacture of squalane, etc.
  • Savonnerie de Haute-Provence (Villeneuve): creation, manufacture and packaging of turnkey soaps, etc.
Lavender flowers close up

Production of perfume and aromatic plants

The cultivation of perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants is symbolic of this territory which covers 10,100 hectares.

AOC lavender

Originally harvested wild, lavender was planted at the end of 19th century and was cultivated simultaneously with other aromatic and perfume plants whose essential oils supplied the perfumeries of Grasse.

Just after WW1, the cultivation of lavandin (a hybrid of true lavender and spike lavender) spread considerably and supplanted lavender in its traditional growing areas.

Today, lavender has taken shelter in the pays de Forcalquier, in the region of Simiane and the Plateau d'Albion. Lavandin continues to cover considerable surfaces on the Valensole plateau not far from the Verdon. 8,280 hectares of lavandin are currently grown on the territory.

Aromatic plants

Besides lavender, other plants have, over the years, been cultivated. Clary sage, mint, tarragon, hyssop, thyme, etc. mark the landscapes of Haute Provence with their colours.

In addition to their industrial and artisanal uses which have a considerable impact on the landscape, aromatic plants are very much part of the daily life of the inhabitants of Haute-Provence who have a wide knowledge of plants and their uses (medicinal, food, ornamental, symbolic, etc).

Lavender flowers close up

The players in the sector

Players in the cosmetics sector: