Macadamia hues

Funiculaire conduisant au studio Renzo Piano.

The funicular leading to Renzo Piano’s studio.

The best plant extracts can be sourced hand in hand with the people who grow them. Yves Rocher’s macadamia oil is produced in the forests of Guatemala.

You may cross oceans, climb mountains or navigate bumpy roads only to end up in a place that resonates with where you came from. Perhaps this is what brought Yves Rocher’s laboratories to Guatemala, far from the company’s Breton base. At the foot of the Sierra Madre, the French cosmetics group, which cultivates 55 hectares of organically grown plants at its La Gacilly farm, has partnered with a responsibly run plantation to produce macadamia oil for their creams. “Macadamia often comes from Australia, where it’s grown more intensively in rows of trees,” explains Caroline Raphalen, raw materials and fragrance specialist at Yves Rocher. “Here, the trees grow in and among the tropical forest; nature runs wild, so the nuts must be harvested by hand.” On the 600-hectare El Payacal plantation, the Macadamia integrifolia provide shade for the coffee trees and a livelihood for 400 people, sustaining a whole village. This year, three lip balms were decorated with motifs based on alfombras de aserrín, the sawdust carpets adorning the ground during Easter. Part of the profits from this limited edition will go toward creating a drinking water system. The set, designed by women harvesters, features the colors of the quetzal, Guatemala’s sacred bird.

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