L'Occitane Bonne Mere is the brand's homage to the ancient artisanal soap making industry in Marseille, France. The bottle are designed as hefty cubes, like those chunky soaps made with a high percentage of olive oil and scented with the various herbs and flowers of the region. The Bonne Mere range is extra gentle and is geared towards the entire family, including little children. The scents are soft and very low-key, and the formulas are supposed to be enriched with olive oil and olive water.
The scent of L'Occitane Bonne Mere Olive Shower Gel is, indeed, light and fresh. It's barely noticeable and would probably suit just about everyone, especially since it doesn't linger once you wash it off. The texture is gel-like and foams gently, just enough to make you feel clean. I have one major issue here: I was hoping that Bonne Mere is a true olive oil product, but while it does contains olive extract, the main body of the gel is made of coconut derivatives: coco-glucoside, cocamide propyl betane, and glyceryl cocate. For the majority of people this is a very good thing, as coconut oil is a good-for-you ingredient. From past experience I know that coco-glucoside is ok for me to use (it's made of the sugar in the coconut, not of the oil), but the other stuff? Not so much.
I wish L'Occitane had all the ingredient listed on their otherwise informative website. I had to strain my eyes to read the small print, which made me cranky (but at least not itchy). I find that I can actually use this gel as a hand soap, and it's gentle enough not to dry my skin. But I'm wary of bringing it anywhere my face or more sensitive skin.
Bottom Line: it's a good soap. Just make sure to read the ingredient list.
L'Occitane Bonne Mere Olive Shower Gel ($14, 10.1 oz) is available at L'Occitane stores and online. The product for this review was sent by the company's PR.
Art: Van Gogh, Olive Grove, 1889.