Upon the destruction of Celtic power, Romans in the western Mediterranean basin used lavender to treat and preserve clothing and as fragrance for baths.
The word "LAVENDER" comes from the Latin "LAVARE" meaning WASH, PURIFY.

At the onset of the Middle Ages, the local Provencal populace gathered wild lavender flowers to treat wounds.
Toward the end of the 19th century inhabitants of Provence began to care for and maintain the wild lavender

One could say that lavender essential oil is a very French essence.
As its cultivation is of interest to an entire poor and mountainous region, it has become a necessary resource.

In 1960, over 150 metric tons of essential oils were produced – a record.
Afterwards, production slowed to its 1992 low point due to competition from imports and synthetic products.

However, today this culture is enjoying dynamic new growth once again thanks to the two successive revitalization programs of 1994 / 1998 and 2000 / 2005.

“That lavender ranks among the finest of aromatic plants is due largely to its high altitude environment. Throughout history the people that know these mountains have always displayed the strongest sense of independence and impetus.”
Statement from a lavender grower noted by Raoul Arnaud, horticultural engineer from the Versailles School.

Production of Lavenders of Provence is located solely in:

• 4 departments : The Drôme, Alpes de Haute Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Vaucluse
• 50 000 acres under cultivation;
• 2 000 growers and about 25 000 related workers;
• 120 distilleries of which 30 are open to visitors.

Flowering takes place in July, and harvesting takes place around July 14 (varies with altitude and year).

The main production zone for lavender essential oils is on the Albion Plateau and in districts of the eastern Vaucluse, southern Drôme, northern Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Hautes-Alpes.



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