The Story of the Fragrance Merchant

In the heart of L'Occitane en Provence’s design studio in Manosque, the history of the Fragrance Merchant continues to be drawn. Each Christmas, this mythic Provençal character comes to life under the brushstrokes of Nadette Baussan.
By Caroline Taret

It’s always a privilege to watch an artist at work. We had the chance to meet Nadette Baussan, illustrator and painter, who for the last decade or so has brought the famous Fragrance Merchant back to life. This mysterious and charming character, intimately tied to the history of perfume in Grasse, returns each Christmas to decorate L’Occitane gift sets and spread around the world the marvelous scents of L’Occitane products. It was Olivier Baussan, founder of the company, who orchestrated this character’s comeback, this peddler who in the 17th century crisscrossed all of Provence with his perfumes, weighed down with scented articles and aromatic plants. A genuine distributor of nectars, a scent snoop, a smuggler of ingredients throughout the region, and specialist in a forgotten trade. Thanks to L'Occitane, the history of the Fragrance Merchant reminds everyone of the importance of these simple and natural little pleasures that are native to Provence. This year the character is dressed in crimson but also in midnight blue to decorate the Christmas tree with golden gifts. It’s an invitation to celebrate Christmas, but also a lovely story to tell to young and old like.

For a Christmas filled with the colors of Provence, discover our gift ideas !