When we travelled to France to learn about cosmetics giant Guerlain's commitment to bees, we found a venerable bee-loved history and a blooming future.
We all know just how important the industrious bee is to ecosystems all over the world and how the threats to its survival are real. So when we hear about organizations working to protect and foster these insects and their habitats, we think they deserve a shout-out. One such company is Guerlain, the renowned French perfume, cosmetics and skin-care brand, so when our editorial director, Erin McLaughlin, was invited to France to see its efforts first- hand, she eagerly suited up and set off.
Essential attire for editorial director Erin McLaughlin when she makes the acquaintance of Ouessant Island's black bees.
A must-see was Ouessant Island (a UNESCO biosphere reserve), just off the coast of Brittany, known for its unique black bee population. Because of the island's distance from the mainland, the black bee colonies pollinate only from the area's incredible variety of flora, which ensures the best-quality raw materials, free from influences such as overfarming and pollution. Through its commitment to sustainable development with its partner, the Brittany Black Bee Conservatory Association, Guerlain has access to the bees' honey and royal jelly.
The result is the rich, potent skin-care products that visitors to Paris can experience at the luxurious L'Institut Guerlain on the Champs-Elysées, as well as at home. And knowing that your beauty buys are from brands that are also being ecologically responsible— well, how sweet is that?
Erin at L'Institut Guerlain on the Champs-Elysées.
A HIVE OF HISTORY
• In 1853, Pierre-François- Pascal Guerlain creates Eau de Cologne Impériale for Empress Eugénie on her marriage to Napoléon III and has it bottled in a vessel adorned with golden bees, a symbol of royalty. The bee becomes the emblem of excel- lence for the brand.
• Guerlain launches its Abeille Royale skin-care line in 2010, partnering with the Brittany Black Bee Conservatory Association to ensure the best-quality raw materials for its products that incorporate honey and royal jelly from Ouessant Island's bees.
• The French Apidology Observatory begins receiving support from Guerlain in 2015, working toward the creation of 10 million bee colonies in Europe by 2025. • In 2017, Guerlain presents Bee University, a forum on the benefits of biodiversity and sustainability for bees.
• This year, Guerlain unveils Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair Serum, a premium product featuring ingredients from Ouessant Island's black bees. ￼