Le Couvent des Minimes
We did a little story about this amazing collection when it first landed here - but at that time, it was available in precious few places. Now, though, Le Couvent des Minimes has its own UK website - and is now available at Boots stores nationwide. Le Couvent des Minimes is actually owned by L'Occitane - and Jo's visited their spa, near L'Occitane's HQ, in the stunning Relais & Chateaux hotel of the same name. The range takes its inspiration from the historic monastery, with its reputation for botanical expertise, featuring four collections based around 'miraculous waters', as they were known for their healing and beautifying powers.
Each collection features bath/skin/shower/body treats, as you might expect from a brand that's got anything to do with L'Occitane.
First: Botanical Cologne of the Morning - wonderful crisp, with apple, orange and lemon, with the blossoms from figs and pears alongside basil in the heart. After a while on the skin, it feels calming - thanks to cedar, other woods and soft musks.
Botanical Cologne of Love is pure neroli heaven, packed with sweet orange blossom, citrus plants and aromatic botanicals.
Botanical Cologne of the Cloisters is a floral Cologne, taking its inspiration from the garden that the monks tended, with notes of rose and peony, after a zesty grapefruit introduction.
Last but not least, the signature Botanical Cologne of the Minimes recreates the traditional 'Eau Miraculeuse', or 'Miraculous Water', which was first blended for the Queen of Hungary. It's this recipe which all Colognes still take their cue from today, with its sense-refreshing blend of orange, lemon and grapefruit, here featured alongside seven plants chosen for their beneficial properties.
All in all, a treat for the senses - and when it comes to Le Couvent des Minimes - and we're delighted that this affordable brand is now 'taking orders' of the 21st Century (rather than the monastic) kind.