Lavender… beyond the fields (and out of season)
Make the most of this plant before and after it flowers
Distillerie des Agnels
Atelier LJ Aroma
Come and discover lavender out of season. Beyond from the fields, it is transformed in the distilleries, and shows up on your plate and in your bathroom thanks to its transformation into various cosmetics.
These many states and steps will punctuate your trip and give you an expert knowledge of the plant and its benefits – a true symbol of Provence.
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Distillerie de lavande LES AGNELS
Route de Buoux – D113
10-11 am: See where it all begins – the distilleries
Lavender may only flower in July and August, but the distilleries are working hard the rest of the year to convert it into all its different states.
Of course, the distilleries are particularly busy in August during the lavender harvest. But to get to that stage, it’s no easy ride for the artisans at the foot of Mont Ventoux or in the Enclave des Papes.
At Les Agnels Distillery, not far from Apt, a guided tour will convey all the steps in the process of turning seeds into small bottles of essential oils. The guide will unveil all of the mysteries associated with the distillation of this iconic plant.
- Free for under 15’s
- Tour duration: 1 hour
- Tours available from April to the end of October
12 noon – 2 pm: Lavender for your taste buds
Whilst lavender only flowers in July and August, distilleries spend the rest of the year producing it in many different forms.
Yves Gattechaut, chef at Restaurant Regain in Sault, certainly knows lavender. He has experimented a lot with it, he knows the strengths that you must master so as to surprise the taste buds and avoid doing anything too obvious.
Seeing him in the kitchen is an olfactory and artistic experience: his movements are precise, the ingredients are few but skillfully combined, and the plates are dressed with the inspiration of a painter, all with balanced colours.
From the Provence lamb to the lavender ice cream, the menu is a reflection of his work around the flavours of this purple-sprigged plant.
- “Lavender has such a character, it’s an explosive ingredient – you just need a tiny bit, or you’ll risk having your mouth blown away!”
Yves Gattechaut, chef at Regain
2:30-3:30 pm The Lavender Museum
After using your sense of smell in the distillery and sense of taste in the restaurant, make way for the view at the Lavender Museum.
This is an unmissable destination for perfecting your knowledge of lavender and lavandin.
Now you know how it is converted into essential oils and how best to prepare it with lamb, some information on its cultivation and harvest over the centuries will allow you to return from your trip with sound knowledge on this fragrant plant.
The tour of the museum is fun and exciting with the chance to see stills, a documentary and occasional demonstrations.
- Children can get a “livret jeu” (games booklet) and win a young lavender-grower certificate
- You won’t be able to resist the essential oils in the shop by the museum exit
- Included in the Vaucluse Provence Pass
4-5 pm Lavender-scented cosmetics workshop
Make your own lavender-scented day cream for a lovely start to the day!
We’ll end this lavender-themed day with the most important thing (plus essential oils…): its use in cosmetics.
To learn how to combine this plant with other ingredients, make an appointment at Leila and Julie’s workshop where they introduce participants to the careful mixing of materials.
They will show you how to make “home-made” day cream from organic products (essential oils, floral water etc.): a touch of shea here, some drops of lavandin there, and there you go! You’ll leave with your lovely, natural cream!
- Workshop duration: around 45 mins
- Don’t forget to book your workshop in advance
- Several workshops on offer: lip balm, soap, lotion etc.