Ruin is the Road to Transformation

In bed. Sick.

But feeling so well and alive at the same time.

Sometimes, it is when you are at your lowest that you feel the need to breathe again, take complete breaths, long hearty ones. Maybe that’s “fighting spirit”?

So I washed up, put on my skincare and here I am, jotting it all down.

Because today, I feel like telling you my story of this road I took in January.

Bedtime in La Carla

Read With Me.

A Week That Made My Year

I went on a trip, a press trip with Rene Furterer. Filled with thoughts of hair and scalp and of course my favorite city, Paris, I couldn’t wait for the day. But when the trip ended, I came home with that and more.

The history, the philosophies, the dedication & most of all, the people.

The love the founder of Pierre Fabre Group has for his hometown, his employees touched me.

Every detail and care displayed by his staff impressed me.

And the walk, the places we visited, enlightened me.

I came home, enriched and inspired.

Reflecting

A Special Moment, after the case of Lost & Found.

I can’t possibly note them all down although I’d love to. But let’s just start with some daily notes of that week.

The week that gave me all I need to fill the year.

Toulouse in Winter

Toulouse, South of France in January.

 

Notes taken from my Journal

Jotted them In the room, in the plane and mostly during bus rides.
Day 1

Landed in Paris with less than an hour for the next boarding gate to Toulouse.

Though frantic, I had a warm welcome of salmon skies and first lights of the day. Dawn has broken.

Breaking Into Dawn

Salmon Skies Await

Caught the first glimpse of the city before we land. It was pink. And yes, Toulouse is also known as the Pink City, named La Ville Rose by the locals after the distinctive pink stone used to construct many of its buildings.

Met the representatives from China and Japan at the arrival hall as Ms. Martine, greeted us with the warmest smile.

Toulouse Morning

The day has just started with market stalls setting up alongside our ride to the hotel, Crowne Plaza.

Breakfast first, then came 3-course lunch and city tour.

Let There Be Light

Church bells ringing, children laughing. Why do I feel like its Christmas time again?

Toulouse counts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, The Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St.Sernin (below). The bells were ringing just as I stepped foot into the church compound.

Basilica St.Sernin Toulouse UNESCO

Basilica St.Sernin Toulouse UNESCO Site

It was a cold day and I have never felt a warmer embrace from myself.

Looking Forward

Toulouse, the Fourth Largest City in France.

Ended the tour with Nutella crepes and coffee at the square before I rest my eyes a little in the hotel.

Dragged myself out of bed for dinner but cod fish and Chardonnay was all worth it :)

Back to the hotel, I tried on the Rene Furterer products, the Complexe 5 Scalp Oil and soaked in the tub.

Rene Furterer Toulouse Trip

Nutella in the square, Capitole.

Day 2

Good morning! Soft hair and a good sleep do wonders!

At the Conference

Happy Hair, Happy Me.

Hair was easier to style as it was less frizzy (though I still miss my hairstylist back home).

Destination 1: Pablo’s Headquarters.
Rene Furterer HQ ToulouseJPG

Pierre Fabre Headquarters in Toulouse.

In 20 minutes, Martine gave us a whole 50 years of history through her presentation.

Pierre Fabre is a French multinational pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetics company. It has 10 brands, 10 nationalities and 500 employees here. 2020 mission is to have 130 countries and 45 branches globally.

Pierre Fabre HQ

10 brands, 10 nationalities and 500 employees in 2017.

During our visit, there’s construction underway to accommodate 160 new employees by July 2017. The open space office concept was refreshing with trees surrounding the glass building. I was told they have horses and bunnies visiting at times. Imagine, just when you’re running low on creativity, nature comes knocking to inspire.

Rene Furterer HQ Construction Jan 2017

HQ under construction to accommodate the expansion.

 

One message that stood out to me most was how Mr. Pierre Fabre referred the company as his home, “La Maison.” And how he loved and gave back his hometown, Toulouse by providing employments.

Rene Furterer Lovelies from Pierre Fabre Paris

The Angels in Pierre Fabre.

How his love for his staff is still deeply rooted and displayed in them. I felt it in my conversations with them. Perhaps that is the essence of the organization. Perhaps that’s all it takes; legacy.

Rene Furterer Open Space Office

Open Space Workplace at Pierre Fabre.

Destination 2: Botanical Conservatory

By now, we were freezing. But the sky, the clouds look promising.

Above Us

Pierre Fabre Botanical Conservatory.

And the greenhouse, so dear to Pierre Fabre Group kept us warm inside. It’s the world’s biggest private collection of 1200 plant species.

Some are poisonous, some protected. And some, extremely popular with the crowd :)

Rene Furterer Greenhouse

Hello there, I’m most popular here!

Destination 3: Le Carla Private Villa
Midnight at La Carla

We made it here to Pierre Fabre’s Private Mansion, Le Carla!

Le Carla! This is where all the representatives went crazy, bonded rather, not over coffee but over the interior décor.

Mr. Pierre Fabre had all the 14 rooms decorated with its distinctive theme and furnishing.

We spent hours wandering in the property, weaving in and out of each other’s room.

Goofing Around at La Carla (3)

Wefie with Representatives from China.

La Carla Mansion

My bedroom for the night.

Japanese Room in La Carla

The Japanese Decor Room, reserved for the Representative from Japan.

 

Skincare Time

Back to Room for Skincare Time. Need!

Day 3

What do you do when you wake up in this wonderful mansion feeling princessy?

You refuse to go back to reality, let the fairytale be.

And for most part of the morning, I felt like I live there. I have proof its all mine (see below).

A Day in Paradise

Mine. All mine!!

So we goofed around in my garden after breakfast like little kids. Yes, there’s more proof (see picture again).

Piere Fabre La Carla

Fresh air and silence….hmmm not with these ones here haha!

Morning at La Carla

Le Carla, I hope to see you again.

Destination 1: Company Showroom
Rene Furterer Genesis

Ruscus Plant, the genesis of Pierre Fabre.

Chanced upon Ruscus, the flowering plant native to western and southern Europe. It is the first plant Mr. Pierre Fabre formulated for his company, a.k.a the genesis of Pierre Fabre.

Pierre Fabre ShowroomJPG

Pierre Fabre Company Showroom.

Inside Out

Looking from the Inside Out.

Destination 2: Production Site

No photos were allowed, understandably. We witnessed sterilise packaging, the process and how the line is fully covered to prevent air from getting in and to ensure bacteria-free.

Rene Furterer Production Site

Pierre fabre Production Site.

Destination 3: Airport Toulouse-Paris

Lunch at O Saveurs before flying off to Paris.

My Favourite Cod Fish

Cod Fish at O Saveurs.

Destination 4: Paris

You could almost feel the change in atmosphere and the upbeat pace upon landing into Paris.

It would be the coldest week in 10 years for Paris starting from today.

Dior Village in Paris

Dior Village for Lunar New Year Celebration Decor.

 

We were warned. “swallow saliva”.

For dinner, we headed to the oldest restaurant in Paris, Le Procope for lobsters.

Oldest Restaurant in Paris

Oldest Restaurant in Paris, Le Procope Since 1686

Day 4
Destination 1: City Tour of Paris.
Sundance

Sundance!

Nearly made a u-turn back to the bus because it was the coldest! But since the sun is out, I decided to dance ;)

Destination 2: International Conference for Rene Furterer’s 60th Anniversary.
Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Press Event

At Rene Furterer’s 60th Anniversary International Conference.

Rene Furterer International Conference

Representatives from Various Press & Countries.

Founded by Mr. Furterer, then the 10-year old brand was bought over by Mr.Pierre Fabre as the two founders shared similar philosophy and love for nature and plants.

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary 5 Sens Launch

5 Sens Hair and Body Oil, launching in Singapore May 2017.

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Luncheon

What a gorgeous set-up for Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Luncheon!

Luncheon menu prepared by 2-star Michelin Chef, Thierry Marx.

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Michelin Chef Thierry Marx

Michelin Chef, Thierry Marx.

Met a lovely soul, we felt like we’ve met before. I shared “Core”with her and she taught me “Light” (hope if she ever reads this, she will know what I’m referring to). Meet Angela, my new friend from Germany.

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Friend from Germany

Angela from Germany.

 

Day 5
Palace Versailles

A case of Lost and Found.

Enriching

Mesmerised.

After two hours wandering from room to room, I realized that one side of my Mikimoto Pearl Ear-rings was missing. As I recalled the distance, the crowd I’ve experienced, I didn’t think it was possible to find it.

So, I gave up.

One of the journalists from China then said to me “What have you got to lose by retracing back? You’re still here, go find it!”. With the encouragement from the rest, the Tour Guide and Manager from Pierre Fabre China, we headed back to Room 1 where we started.

Within minutes, the Tour Guide spotted something beaming under the sunlight at the side of the door. It was indeed my ear-ring.

What are the odds? Never stop believing.

 

And as I walked in disbelief that I’ve found it, I had even more to learn, to gain.

Follow the Light

When Trapped, Follow the Light.

Versailles in Winter

The Red in the Grey. So full of life, I couldn’t just walk by. As long as our heart beats, we can beat the coldest spell. So breathe.

Sun Ray

The Light Always Shines Through.

Marie Antonette Garden

Reflect.

Frozen Lake

Frozen Beauty.

Snow on Ground

Surrounded by Beauty. Snow on Ground.

Shadows Versailles

Shadows.

A Walk in the Park

I remember looking up and wondering how these trees seems so cold, so crispy yet brought me such warmth.

And now, it’s time to digest lunch at this 120 year old restaurant in Palace Versailles.

Note: Must order the croissant when here. Best!

Restaurant in Versailles

120-year Old Restaurant in Palace Versailles.

Salmon for Lunch

My favourite Salmon, simply delish!

 

 

Day 6
Rene Furterer Hair Institute, Paris.
Rene Furterer Hair Spa in Paris

Rene Furterer Hair Institute, Paris.

Rene Furterer Scalp Analysis

My Scalp Analysis. Non-sensitive scalp with a healthy film of moisture protecting hair strand.

Rene Furterer Hair Spa Product Recommendation

Product Recommendation.

After the analysis, the steps were well explained and products recommended accordingly followed by the treatment.

Rene Furterer Hair Spa Room

Hair Spa Cabin.

Hair Spa Cabin

Feeling good….

Should you ever be in Paris, this hair spa is so worth a visit!

Smoother hair and healthier scalp and the effects lasted for weeks even after daily wash. But you have to book early. At the time of visit, it was fully booked out for the next 3 weeks.

It costs about Euro 160 for a 2-hour ritual. And I’ve approached the team to provide me more info to share with you http://www.renefurterer.com/en/en/institute.

Hair Spa at Rene Furterer Paris

Ahhh so soft, I can’t believe it. Haha!

Day 7

It’s homeward-bound! Depart in the evening back to Singapore.

Availability

Latest Update on 2017 Launches: Lumicia Mid April and 5 Sens in late May.

Will share more here once launched. Stay tuned!

Rene Furterer 2017 Launch

2017 Rene Furterer Product Launches.

Available here in Singapore in selected Guardian, Watsons and Unity stores. See www.renefurterer.com for more info.

 

Rene Furterer Press Trip Paris 2017

Reps from China, France and me, Singapore. Missing you all!

Hair is still soft after returning back to Singapore. Love it!

Hair is still soft after returning back to Singapore. Love it!

 

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Candle

Rene Furterer 60th Anniversary Candle.

Happy 60th Anniversary, Rene Furterer! Thank you for having me ;)

I came home with so much insights, memories and not a “pearl” less ;>

XOXO!

Leanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

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