Immortelle has the extraordinary power to never fade, even when picked. Its Latin name, Helichrysum, means "golden sun" – like its magnificent golden flowers. For Corsicans, it is a flower symbolic of the maquis (the fragrant scrubland of Corsica), with a captivating scent.
The Balagne region is an area of exceptional natural diversity and also known as "the garden of Corsica". In 2001, at the heart of this fragrant region, L'OCCITANE discovered this extraordinary wild plant.
The immortelle has medicinal properties that have long been known in Mediterranean traditions: anti-bruising, anti-inflammatory (100 times more effective than arnica), and healing.
Ever since the remarkable anti-aging properties of the immortelle plant were discovered, the picking of wild immortelle has become increasingly common. When the picking is made according to sustainable specific methods, it can help to fight the fire while cleaning the maquis (Corsica's fragrant scrubland). Nevertheless, with the quantities harvested it can’t secure a long term supply. This is why, in 2004, L’OCCITANE launched the very first large-scale organic immortelle plantation
in Corsica. Today, about 45 hectares of immortelle have been planted.
Our first distiller, Albrecht Von Keyserlingk: "Distillation is an art, not a theory. Its quality is defined by the skill and craft that go into its production. It takes one ton of fresh flowers to produce 1 to 2 kilos of essential oil."
Stephan Francisci gradually planted five hectares between Bastia and Porto-Vecchio. "For each flower grown, a wild flower in the maquis is saved."
Did you know ?
- The flowers are picked in the morning and distilled on site that evening, to extract all their constituents.
- 1 hectare provides enough land to produce 5 tons of plant matter, and therefore 10 kilos of essential oil.