Lavender grows thickly in the fields throughout Provence, inspiring artists including Monet and Cezanne to capture the distinctive purple flowers in their work. The plant is a member of the mint family and covers a genus of 39 species, which are thought to have originated in Asia.
A Very Versatile Herb
A plant with multiple uses and applications, lavender is an ingredient in many natural remedies. Application of lavender essential oil can help relieve tension, depression and exhaustion, while its antiseptic and stimulant properties make it an effective treatment for burns and minor cuts.
Blue Gold of Provence
The uses of lavender honey, a specialty of the Provence region made from the nectar of this plant, is prized around the world for its subtle, creamy flavor, particularly around the Valensole Plateau. The area hosts markets showcasing local produce, including soap, essential oils and bouquets made from lavender. In August, visitors can also tour lavender distilleries to see production of the popular essential oil themselves, while some farms offer botanical talks and even workshops on making your own perfume.
Lavender Products by L'OCCITANE
Over 35 years ago, in the south of France, a man named Olivier Baussan bought an alembic in order to distilled Lavender to obtain its essential oil. Mr. Baussan is the founder of L'OCCITANE, and today the company uses this "blue gold" extensively in its products. The lavender is sourced exclusively from farmer's co-operatives on the Plateau de Sault in Haute Provence, and the products in which it is used have the P.D.O (Protected Designation of Origin) label.