Some of the best gifts are ones that make the recipient feel beautiful. We asked Christina Polychroni, senior director of marketing and brand communication at L’Occitane, about the season’s top gift items, as well as how to take care of your skin throughout the winter months.

LN: What gifts at L’Occitane are you most excited about this holiday season?

CP: Some of our most exciting gifts are the Délice de Fruits and Délice des Fleurs holiday sets. In the south of France, a classic confiserie, called Confiserie Florian, transforms fruits and flowers into mouth-watering delights. This confiserie was the inspiration for this year’s limited-edition holiday collection. The sets include items such as shower jellies, soaps, candles, home diffusers and perfumes.

LN: Since scents are often very personal, how do you choose something the recipient will appreciate?

CP: Every L’Occitane fragrance tells a story of its origin, and are made with essential oils extracted from flowers and aromatic plants such as roses, jasmine, lavender, cherry blossom and verbena. Each ingredient has a personality that can help you find the perfect fragrance to gift: Rose is feminine and classic, lavender is calming and refined, and verbena is citrus-fresh and invigorating.

LN: What’s your top gift item for men?

CP: With the L’Occitane A Man’s Ritual gift set, men can practice shaving at its best with our line of Cade products, containing Organic Cade essential oil to purify and stimulate the skin, as well as Shea Butter and Bisabolol to protect and moisturize.

LN: What skin-care tips should we keep in mind as the weather gets colder?

CP: It is important to keep your skin hydrated constantly. Choose a lotion that moisturizes but complements your skin in a healthy and durable way. Hair also becomes brittle in the winter and with our hair care line, which is made with five essential oils, your hair will maintain vitality, shine and softness.

LN: L’Occitane is created in the ‘French tradition.’ What exactly does that mean?

CP: Drawing inspiration from Mediterranean cultures, L’Occitane founder Olivier Baussan developed skin-care products and fragrances that were natural and authentic to the area. Every year, Olivier seeks out traditional techniques and ingredients once used in the region to ensure well-being. L’Occitane products are authentic and respectful products following the principles of phytotherapy, handing down of culture and local expertise, and respect of people and the environment.

LN: What are some of the best ingredients to work with?

CP: L’Occitane beauty products are a true art de vivre devoted to your well-being. We bring together nature and research. We are especially proud of our work with immortelle flowers, socalled ‘everlasting flowers’ that even once picked, never lose their vibrant yellow color. L’Occitane discovered the incredible anti-aging actives in the immortelle flower’s essential oil more than 10 years ago, when it was simply a beautiful yellow wildflower growing in Corsica, France. We worked with growers in Corsica to develop the first sustainable cultivation. It has been incredibly rewarding, as even today we are continuing to discover new benefits that this miraculous flower offers.

LN: Where do your inspirations come from?

CP: Inspirations come from the region of Provence and the people who harvest these plants and flowers. L’Occitane uses plant active ingredients, which are often organic and of controlled origin from the lands of Provence or Mediterranean. Approximately 150 plants are used in L’Occitane’s formulas, and each ingredient is meticulously selected to offer incredible benefits to the skin as well as delightful scents and unique textures.