From Publishers Weekly
In this slim tribute to the founder of the company that sells products with fragrances distilled from aromatic plants such as rosemary, lavender, honeysuckle, sage and thyme, Magnan (The Murdered House) tells the story of Olivier Baussan, who turned his passion for Provence and its sweet-smelling herbs into a highly successful business, l'Occitane. While he was a young member of the "back to the land" movement, Baussan found an old still, began distilling herbal essences, and in the 1970s started a business that grew into the world-renowned company that sells a wide variety of herbal soaps, shampoos, colognes and bath products. The quintessential entrepreneur, he took his business to Africa, where he used the jatropha bush in the Cape Verde Islands to make soap and the karita tree in Burkina Faso to make creams and lotions. In 1992, Baussan sold the business, though he retained the title of managing director, and Magnan leaves the story of the company there in order to follow its founder into new ventures-a proposal to l'Occitane that Braille be included on its labels and a project for a school where blind children can learn a vocation in the perfume industry. The story, much of it told in Baussan's own words, is charming, even inspiring, but so adulatory that one comes away with the impression of having read a long advertisement for l'Occitane. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.