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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Visually Impaired Teens Become Perfumers at L'Occitane's Summer Fragrance Workshop in Provence

New York (May 17, 2006)—Five teens with vision loss are heading to France to study fragrance design at L'Occitane's summer perfume workshop, Provence dans tous les sens (Provence in every sense). Katie Lawson, Stephanie O'Donnell, Nicole Ann White, Emma Liu, and Michelle Hackman will spend four days in June developing their own perfumes, bath and body products, and learning about the scents and aromatic plants of Provence.

"The summer workshop will help the development of these young people's senses and could even inspire future careers," said Christophe Amigorena, Managing Director of L'Occitane USA. "It's a great opportunity for them to learn about fragrance and essential oils and explore the magic and beauty of Provence."

The students, who will be traveling to Provence on June 17, were selected through a competitive application process in the spring of 2007 run by L'Occitane and the American Foundation for the Blind.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with L'Occitane to introduce young people to the art of perfume-making, and France," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB President & CEO. "L'Occitane's summer workshop is a wonderful experience for everyone involved."

The 2007 L'Occitane finalists include:

Emma Liu, 14, Bethesda, MD
Emma loves reading and hip hop dance, rides a unicycle, and plays soccer and volleyball.

Katie Lawson, 15, New York, NY
Katie is a sophomore at Fiorello LaGuardia High School, with a passion for the arts.

Michelle Hackman, 14, Great Neck, NY
Michelle loves beauty products and singing, and is on the staff of her school newspaper.

Nicole Ann White, 15, Las Vegas, NV
Nicole is a vocal and French double major who tutors other visually impaired students
in music code, the abacus, and technology.

Stephanie O'Donnell, 16, Derry, NH
Stephanie is an honor roll student who loves to dance, baby-sit, and cheerlead.

L'Occitane created the program in 1998. The idea for the workshop came from L'Occitane's founder, Olivier Baussan, who was inspired by watching a blind woman smell his perfumes. He wanted to help young people focus on using the skills they had, not the ones they lacked. At the same time, L'Occitane also began to introduce Braille labeling on its products.

All flights and accommodations for participants and their chaperones are generously funded by L'Occitane. Provence dans tous les sens is supported financially by L'Occitane and other individuals and businesses in the Provence region. It is managed by company employees in the corporate headquarters in Manosque, France, and seeks to reflect L'Occitane's philanthropic philosophy of accessibility to all.

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Inspired by his ancestors' traditions, Olivier Baussan founded L'Occitane over 30 years ago in the Provence region of France. All L'Occitane products for bath, body, skincare and home are passionately created to preserve the authentic ingredients and traditions of the Mediterranean land. To give greater accessibility, L'Occitane has incorporated Braille labeling on its boxes and containers. L'Occitane products are available at and in 150 boutiques throughout the U.S.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Adrianna Montague-Gray
AFB Communications
(212) 502-7675

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