Two verbena fragrances: L’Occitane & Le Couvent des Minimes

L'Occitane Verbena

I love the cheerful, summery scent of lemon verbena. Back when I used to garden, I always had a plant in with the other herbs. These days I settle for a nice splash of perfume. Today I am trying two bargain renditions of lemon verbena:

L'Occitane Verbena (Verveine in French; shown above) is a blend of lemon verbena, lemon tree and geranium. It has a nice fizzy start, mildly green and very crisp. The dry down is tart but sweet, and smells just like lemon sorbet. Just as I am starting to wish it was just a tad drier, the whole thing is over and it is time to reapply.

It is a simple fragrance, perfect for hot summer days, and if you can snag one of the glass spray samples, it is a great thing to keep in your purse. It doesn't last, but it is a very happy scent while it does, and it is reasonably priced. The Eau de Toilette is $40 for 100 ml. I could swear that they used to have a smaller size, but I don't see it at the store these days. It also used to come in a tin of solid perfume (cheaper, and great for layering) but that seems to have been discontinued. They do have a "cool stick" — a solid in a lip balm-like tube — but I've never tried it. There is also a body milk, shower gel, soap, hand wash, room spray, candle and scented shea butter.

Le Couvent des Minimes' Verbena & Lemon is very similar to L'Occitane's. It is perhaps slightly drier, and slightly greener. To my nose, it doesn't have quite the same sparkle, and although neither fragrance lasts for long, the Couvent des Minimes goes flat even faster. Like many lemon fragrances, it also has a bit of a household-cleaner vibe. I don't notice that with the L'Occitane, but I've seen the L'Occitane compared to Lemon Pledge many times so perhaps I am alone in that.

The Eau de Toilette is $28 for 100 ml, but you can get a 30 ml travel spray of the body splash for $5, and I can't see spending much more. Other products in the fragrance line include shower gel and body lotion.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds yummy, especially L'Occitane's version. Gosh, I miss summer. Lemon verbena is certainly one of the “summeriest” scents for me. Along with mint. I remember my grand- and great-grand- parents growing both. *sigh*

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great review R! I used to be a fan of Verbena perfumes. Have boring tastes lately. Must be this awful grey winter. Hope you are well.

    Have a super weekend.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I just discovered the Le Couvent des Minimes line this past weekend at Bath & Body Works. I picked up what I thought was a L'Occitane small trial pot of body cream. I got the Orange Blossom cream and it is lovely, which of course made me want to try this one next.

    I think you might really like Elizabeth W's Citrus Vervain.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love the L'Occitane Verbena–it's one of my summer stand-bys. They also make a cooling body gel (similar to the cooling stick, probably) that is *amazing* when it's really hot and humid! The cooling sensation doesn't last forever, but while it does, it's like having your own personal a/c.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ah, I should have tried layering it with L'Occitane Mint Green Tea.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I know you've given up citrus, N. I think the grey winter makes me love them more…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh, will have to go back & try that cream. I got a tiny little pot of Bigelow lemon cream, but the scent is way too light for me.

    Have tried the Elizabeth W but only on a test strip. The store near me that has the line never has samples.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds interesting, maybe I need to try the cooling stick. I didn't see the cooling gel last I was there. Really wish they hadn't discontinued the tin of solid perfume!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You make this sound so lovely–and so not-my-style. But perhaps I need to branch out a bit. And when it's warmer it might be just the thing (it's freezing here). It would be nice, in any case, to start craving some less expensive scents (still trying to ignore my Doblis lemming:)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Their Shea Butter items and some of their skin care is also wonderful. I love L'Occitane. My mother loves the Lavendar linen spray, and I lquite a fan of their candles as well.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I meant to add, I have a small bottle of their Mimosa fragrance, and I really like it! Their Verbena Soap is also great. (can you tell I have spent entirely too much time sniffing and testing and buying in L´Occitane?)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, maybe try the shower gel or the body milk. Both are nice, and a lot cheaper than Doblis!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was sort of disappointed with the Shea. It is not very highly scented, which some people might prefer I guess. The rest of the body products are great.

    And I bought myself a little tin of green tea incense last time I was in the store. I actually never burn incense, but like to open the tin & smell it, LOL…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great Review! I have never seen Le Couvent des Minimes before, but I love L'Occitane products.

    Their verbena products are among my favorites – I love the cologne: it's tart, lemony and refreshing. Their lavendar products are also wonderful smelling.

    Another (much more expensive) verbena I also liked was by Jo Malone. L'Occitane's is not vastly different, and much more affordable though.

    On those grey gloomy days when it feels like winter will never end, Lemon Verbena is the best!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The JM Verbena didn't work on me, but to be honest I can't remember why!

  16. Anonymous says:

    At the L'Occitane shop near me they keep what they have in the Verbena line right next to their Green Tea stuff, which I think actually hurts the sales of the verbena – it seems so plain jane in comparison. It's nice, refreshing, but not as lovely as some others from them. I do love that they offer so many of their scents in those smaller travel bottles, and really wish many more places would follow suit. It's just so frigging convenient.

  17. Anonymous says:

    K, agree on the small sizes….wish I would find one in the new Green Tea w/ Mint. Can't make up my mind if I like it or not, and they never have a sample.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is like one of my favorite perfumes. I wear this nearly year round and always get compliments. I used to wear L'Occitane Vanilla too until they changed the formula or discontinued. I would layer the Verbena and the Vanilla together and it was a FAB combo.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ah, verbena & vanilla together sounds nice :-)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Will be enjoying my new Le Couvent des Minimes Verbena & Lemon Scented Candle over Christmas – can't wait!
    It's a brand whose products look mildly expensive but whose price points aren't a burn (pardon the pun) – perfect for gift-giving, or a little self-indulgence. :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hey, let me know how it is! I'm always after cheapie candles.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm I have mixed feelings about this. When lit the scent isn't very true to verbena and lemon – there's a slight but noticeable artificality to it, like a cleaning product smell. =/

    BTW, in Australia this brand isn't as cheap as it is in the States – the candles cost about A$50 I think. Lucky I got it for $10.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that's a shame — thanks for letting me know!

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