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Posted on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Briarwood Mall welcomes the scents of Provence with new store at center court

By Angela Smith

In time for last minute Christmas shoppers, L'Occitane en Provence was able to open its doors on Dec. 15.

The Briarwood Mall location has been very busy for the last two weeks, according to its staff. The store's four employees “basically set up in one day, in order to open on a Saturday,” said one store employee.


The Briarwood Mall L'Occitane opened on December 15.

Angela Smith for

I The store is located at Briarwood’s center court, next to Brighton Collectibles. Other Metro Detroit stores are in Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The staff at the Briarwood store says that the Ann Arbor location is the biggest of the three.

Originally created and sold in open-air markets in Provence, France, the brand offers skin-care products and fragrances.

Though mainly popular in Europe, the company recently reported its sales growth to be developing quickly in non-European markets, including the US.

The shop offers a variety of products inspired by the natural scents and colors of the French countryside, particularly the fresh lavender that is notably grown there.

The name L'Occitane, pronounced "lox-ee-tan", has an entertaining video about its pronunciation. In it, the founder of the company, Olivier Baussan, says the name “is the evocation of the women of Occietanie; the women of the land."

Sales Associate Kaitlyn Roakes says that the shop has been welcomed into Briarwood by other stores and shoppers alike. She says for many shoppers the store is like a candy store, because each of their products has a sample that customers are encouraged to try.

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Sales Associates Kaitlin Roakes and Meghan Robertson at Briarwood Mall's L'Occitane en Provence.

L'Occitane en Provence is still hiring for a manager and additional employees. The store hours can be found at Briarwood Mall’s website.



Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 6:27 a.m.

There is also a store at the Somerset Collection in Troy.