Julie Massé, L'Occitane perfumer

From her first steps in the garden of the family home in Grasse, Julie has loved beautiful fragrances, particularly those of the Mediterranean. This love has led her to blend intoxicating and precious essences for some of the best-known companies, including L'Occitane en Provence. Meeting.
By Mélissa Darré

A bold woman

What natural gift would you most like to have?

To be reborn each season. Just like in nature, when new flowers bloom every spring.

Your motto?

When I was little, my primary school teacher wrote on the chalkboard, "Where there's a will, there's a way". My eyes were glued to that motto all year long and I never forgot it. Since then, I often think about it and say it, too. It's very positive: when you have goals in life, you have to give your all to achieve them.

Your favourite time of the day?

Evening. After a full day, I love to go to bed with fresh sheets. It's the time when I can just let go. 

What's your cure for the blues?


Julie Massé, L'Occitane perfumer
© Julie Massé

A Mediterranean at heart

What's your favourite Provençal dish?

My mother makes a vegetable tian to die for. She puts caramelised onions in the bottom of the dish and then tightly-packed slices of aubergines and peppers, seasoned with just olive oil, salt and pepper. Then it's baked a for a long time at a low temperature. It's heavenly.

What is a typical regional gift you might give to a friend from another country?

Orange flower water fougassettes from Venturini's in Grasse, or a bouquet of everlasting flowers and lavender from my parents' garden.

The aspect of Provence you miss most when you are abroad?

The azure sky.

The smell that you associate with Provence?

The fragrance of cistus that you can smell while walking in the garrigue.

A born perfumer

If Provence were a perfume, what would it be?

First, a blend of grape leaves as a memory of my grandfather's vineyard, and bitter orange like the ones that grow in my garden. Crisp citrus notes that connect around a centre dominated by iconic lavender, orange flower, which is my favourite, and cypress. At its base, pure cistus, musk and honey for an addictive touch, because from the moment you set foot in Provence, all you want to do is come back.

Your trick for finding inspiration?

It can come from anywhere: a personal experience, an encounter, a trip, a painting, a meal... To be inspired, you have to pay attention to nature and to the beautiful people you meet.

What do you love about your work?

The basic materials. I wanted to play with the gifts nature has given us, to try to find new connections and olfactory forms.

What job would you like to have?

I've always dreamed of doing this as a job, ever since I was little.

Julie Massé, L'Occitane perfumer
© Julie Massé

A natural beauty lover

What makes a woman beautiful?

When she is natural and comfortable with herself, charm is automatic. You don't need to use a lot of tricks: a smile and a laugh will light up your face.

Your daily beauty ritual?

I never leave home without moisturiser on my face. I feel it helps revive my skin. And I stash little tubes of L'Occitane hand cream everywhere: in my bag, my bedside table, my desk...

The beauty essential you're never without?

My Terracotta bronzing powder. So I can look healthy even when I'm tired.

What's your little indulgence to make you feel beautiful?

Putting on some heels. I immediately feel more feminine. And when my son tells me I'm beautiful.

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