For centuries, lavender has been considered a balm for the soul with mystical properties. Already used in the Middle Ages as an effective remedy against the plague, lavender not only arouses olfactory stimuli, but also gives culinary refinements such as lavender honey, lavender nougat or crème brûlée à la lavande that certain something.

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On the trail of the secret of lavender

If you want to find out all the secrets of this purple, glowing treasure, Provence and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region offer a total of six lavender routes over more than 900 kilometers, which can be explored either by motorized vehicle or by bike. On winding paths amidst the surging seas of lavender, one meets again and again people who have dedicated themselves to this beguiling herb with passionate devotion: Watch lavender farmers during the sweaty harvest, let yourself be initiated into the secrets of lavender oil production in one of the numerous distilleries or relax in the hotel with a soothing massage with essential lavender oils.

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Everything worth knowing about lavender in 5 minutes

Two types of lavender are grown in Provence. The most famous among them is without the question of the so-called real lavender or narrow-leaved lavender. It grows naturally in the Mediterranean shrub heathlands at a height of 600 to 1,400 meters. You can recognize him at the smaller clumps and the earlier inflorescence. It is used to make the AOP lavender oil of the Haute Provence, which has its origin in the departments of Vaucluse, Drôme, Alpes de Haute-Provence and Hautes Alpes and comes from growing areas to at least 800 meters altitude. For a liter of essential oil you need up to 200 kilograms of fresh flowers!

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Lavender wands: A provençale tradition

Since the 18th century lavender wands have been placed in wardrobes to scent and protect against moths. Symbols of love and joy they enhanced the wedding trousseau. To this day, during the blossoming from June to September, lavender is woven by hand. Stems are gently folded over the fresh flowers and then woven with ribbons. This ancestral technique retains the essential oil. So, as before, lavender wands will embellish and perfume your home for years to come.

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The 5-minute essential guide to the truffle

Just about worth its weight in gold and enjoyed especially at the end-of-year festivities: truffles are little black treasures offered by the earth. Where are they found? How do we spot them? How much do they cost? Find out everything you need to know about truffles, right here.

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