Lip Treatment: Le Couvent des Minimes Nutritive Lip Balm

It’s probably easier to get straight to the point and talk about the lipbalm, but I find it interesting to explore the brand first.

Le Couvent des Minimes is a landmark in Mane, France. It started life in 1613 as a monastery for friars from the order of Minims. Horticulture was a major activity there. It was left unoccupied after the French Revolution but it underwent restoration and was transformed into a hospice in 1862. A community of Franciscan sisters from the Missionaries of Mary moved in some years later, taking care of the hospice and its residents. The Sisters cultivated the grounds near the convent and the harvest was used to feed not only the residents but also to refortify the health of the Sisters who returned from tropical countries.

The idea of the products being made by the Sisters at Le Couvent des Minimes is very romantic, but sadly, that isn’t the case. The remaining Sisters were too old and too few to keep the hospice and the gardens running. They vacated the convent sometime in the past decade or so.

That was Le Couvent des Minimes, the history.

If you think the packaging looks rather like that of a well-known brand, you’re not that far wrong. Think L’Occitane. It was actually L’Occitane that created Le Couvent des Minimes, the brand, in 2004 in honour of the convent’s long tradition of care and welfare using plants and natural ingredients. Le Couvent des Minimes is like a baby brand of L’Occitane. In the scheme of things, if L’Occitane were the ocean, Le Couvent des Minimes would be a little pond.

Le Couvent des Minimes has a relatively small range of body, hair care and home products, totalling around fifty. Each has a numbered formula and the products fall into one of nine “recipes” with names like Beneficial Rose Skincare, Gardener’s Hand Healer and Skin Softening Recipe.

The Nutritive Lip Balm I’m featuring here falls under the Nourishing Recipe category – Formula 106. It’s housed in a little glass jar and is priced at €9.10 for 15ml. I bought this at ICI Paris XL.

Product Info (excerpts, translated)
Residents of the Couvent des Minimes owned more than 70 hives from which they obtained the honey, royal jelly and beeswax for food and to make candles.

So thanks to their fortifying and nourishing properties, Honey and Shea contributed daily to the proper restoration of the Convent residents who came for comfort, care and hospitality.

Recommended for dry, sensitive skin or for those who like sweet scents, and gourmets.

With its combination of the Original Recipe Honey tonic, softening Beeswax and nourishing shea butter in a small portable and convenient jar, Nutritive Lip Balm:

• protects lips against external aggressions (cold, wind, pollution...)
• nourishes and repairs chapped lips.
• softens lips.

Chapped lips are repaired and softened. The lips are protected.


My Thoughts
It smells very strongly of honey. Very sweet honey. I’m fine with that, but perhaps there are some of you who don’t favour this scent.

It looks a bit grainy in the jar, which kind of reminds me of crystallised honey. On application, it feels mildly grainy too but that melts away with some gentle rubbing. I didn’t think it was sticky on the lips.

Moisturising Effect
Hmmm, this aspect disappointed me. I can’t say it’s an extremely bad product. It’s just decent. I’ve given this lip balm more than a few weeks to prove its worth and as much as I would like to love it, I don’t. I apply it before going to sleep and I wake up in the morning with dry, almost chapping lips. During the day, it works fine for the first couple of hours, but it always requires re-application way too soon! I’ve had better experiences with other natural lip balms, so I don’t think I’m being overly critical here.

Final Words
I’ve read that some people absolutely love this lip balm. I’m not one of them, but still, I’m very taken by this L’Occitane-created brand. In fact, I’m not giving up on Le Couvent des Minimes yet. I’d like to try something from its Gardener’s Hand Healer Recipe next.

So, whatever happened to Le Couvent des Minimes, the convent?
It was turned into a luxury hotel and spa in 2008. Charming!

In the Netherlands, Le Couvent des Minimes products are available at ICI Paris XL parfumerie stores.

More information:
Le Couvent des Minimes website
Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel & Spa website


Anonymous said...

Great post! The history part was fun to read, very informative. Pity the quality of the lipbalm itself was not satisfying. "KTee"xx

Witoxicity said...

Thanks, KTee. I'm glad you enjoyed the read. As for the lipbalm, I'm still wondering why it didn't work for me. It has all the right, nourishing ingredients, so I'm totally stumped! Like I said, I really want to love it. :)

Anna said...

wow i dint know l'occitane got a baby company!
hmm i dont really like grainy lip balm hehe but i love honey!

xoxo elle

Anonymous said...

I know L'occitane, in fact I love it. However I'm not familiar with Le Couvant des Minimes, so thanks for sharing. Great post.

take care,
Nicole x

Unknown said...

I don't mind sweet scents but if it's too sweet, then I get sick. lol yup just by smelling it ^_^

Anonymous said...

What a romantic story *sigh* I'm definitely a sucker for such background romance ;-)

But the price keeps it out of my reach... o well. But I totally get your 'I really want to love it!"

But hey, perhaps it is not such an extraordinary balm, but the honey-flavored lips could be an extra attraction for someone to kiss you :-) You know, as in catching more flies with honey than vinegar on Valentine's day... ;-)

Witoxicity said...

Well, even though it's a bit grainy, it does melt away. This doesn't bother me much. :)

Hey, thanks, Nicole. I did some checking and when I read the interesting story behind the brand, I just knew it would be lovely to share it with my readers. After all, Le Couvent des Minimes isn't yet as well-known as L'Occitane. I'm pleased you enjoyed it. :)

Everyone has different thresholds for such scents. I think you'd have to smell it first to know. :)

Oh, DalaLuz, you are so funny! I laughed hard when I read your commment. :D I like that idiom.

Well, I've got to accept the fact that this lipbalm isn't for me. I will nevertheless get to the bottom of the jar. :)

Shop N' Chomp said...

I thought the packaging looked familiar! Sorry to hear it was just decent. I love how it was converted into a luxury hotel and spa! How awesome...

Anonymous said...

I love all of your reviews. I love them because not only do they give the background to the product but they are thoughful and very honest. While I love honey, I am not so sure I'd be a fan of the scent. Won't stop me from checking the product out though. See Witoxicity; your job is done. Well done x

Witoxicity said...

@Shop N' Chomp
Actually, my first thought when I first set my eyes on its products was "L'Occitane!". Haha! It all made sense later when I checked up on Le Couvent des Minimes. :)

@The Diva's Polish
Thank you, my friend! I'm so touched by your words. It's very satisfying to know that there are readers out there who would take the time to read wordy articles like this. The history of Le Couvent des Minimes is certainly noteworthy. My job is indeed done! :D

Rocaille said...

This product is great in the winter months. It has a lovely light fragrance and a deep moisurizing effect. I use it at night to help restore moisture and keep from getting those nasty cracks in the corners from the frigid winter tempuratures

Witoxicity said...

Thanks for sharing your positive experience with this lipbalm. It reflects what I've read before from the reviews of those who do love this product. Good for you!

AmericanMakeup said...

I like your review a lot! Following!

lavender said...

For that price tag I would expect it to perform better. maybe u should apply it before going to sleep and report to us the result after 1 week.

Witoxicity said...

Thank you! It's lovely of you to drop by. :)

Witoxicity said...

I think you may have missed reading that part where I mentioned doing exactly what you had suggested. It didn't help. I've tested it long enough. This lipbalm may work for others, but not for me, unfortunately. :)

DinaXYYan said...

I love that you explore about the brand, it's a really interesting story :D
Ah, too bad this lip balm is just mediocre...

Witoxicity said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Well, the lipbalm may not work for me, but it may work for you. Who knows! :)