Canadian Living


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 firsthand, she eagerly suited up and set off.

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?

Essential attire for editorial director Erin McLaughlin when she makes the acquaintance of Ouessant Island’s black bees.