The 2022 lavender and lavandin harvesting season ends with the Digne Les Bains fair. It was a particular season, with particularly dry and hot weather which forced the growers to harvest the blue gold early both on the Valensole Plateau and in the highest hills of Sault. The Digne fair has the ancient and sincere flavor of the village festival, populated by characters who seem to have just come out of a Peter Mayle book, it is the perfect showcase for small artisans, farmers and distillers, true guardians of a centuries-old tradition. Here, respect for nature, organic, is not a fashion but a necessity, the only way to achieve excellence in their products.
Every morning, a picturesque character with a beard, a waxed mustache and a big tenor voice tells the large audience of tourists and onlookers about the work of the distillers. But first, while behind him elderly distillers prepare for the practical demonstration, he shows us the fundamental difference between lavender and lavandin.
The old alembic from the fifties (created in 1850) is loaded by hand and lit for the traditional distillation. It is a slow and tiring process which is still repeated today unchanged and which fully respects the exceptional raw material. An excellent distillate and a very fragrant lavender water are obtained.
Our guide reiterates: lavender and lavandin are different plants that give different products, it is very important to understand the difference! Undoubtedly lavender is the queen of the party, but it is not the only protagonist. In fact, the master distillers have other natural treasures that they treat with the same love for lavender.
Thus noble plants such as thyme, helichrysum, clary sage, etc. are transformed into essence. A transformation that not only gives excellent scents for perfumes, but provides the raw material for creams, gels, ointments, of centuries-old tradition. They cannot be classified as medicines, however those who try them are enthusiastic about them, almost as if they were magic. All absolutely natural, without chemicals and with very pleasant scents.
Speaking of well-being, let's certainly not forget the most known and appreciated products all over the world, the classic Marseille soaps have long been part of complete lines for the body: skin, hair, they are pampered by all natural products that contain precious essences . But that's not all, for super natural, organic, hypoallergenic treatments, today there are available, in addition to soaps with Aleppo laurel, complete lines with donkey, sheep's and goat's milk with fantastic effects that are put on display among the manufacturers' exhibitions.
There is certainly no shortage of home care products, super effective and very respectful of the environment.
Once again Provence amazes with the variety, nobility of its products and the ability of its people to work their land and its fruits with care, respect and love.
This may already seem incredible, but Provence offers much more, an infinite and very pleasant discovery.
Little by little we will discover its secrets, our journey has just begun.