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Published by EF041008 on 2009/4/26

If there is a plant, scent or color that characterizes Provence it can be summed up in a
single  word: lavender.

Known since the old times,
Lavender also has antiseptic, calming and healing qualities.

The word lavender is derived from Lavadoria (clothes to wash) which suggests that from very
early on, people used to perfume their washing with lavender flowers.
The use of lavender dates back to Classical Rome. Then in the Middle Ages, it was used 
in the composition of perfumes and medicines. King René used to offer it Lavender ti his wife.
It is said that during the Great Plague that ravaged Marseille in 1726, four thieves plundering
the homes of the dead were apprehended. In exchange for their freedom, they revealed a
miracle recipe that allowed them to escape the ravages of the plague, a formula of vinaigre
flavored with lavender. This remedy was inscribed in the Codex in 1748 and was used
pharmaceutically for many years.
People have also attributed premonitory powers to lavender. All one has to do is rub it on as 
an ointment over the forehead before going to sleep. Casanova in Venice perfumed and
at the same time disinfected his correspondence by sprinkling it with lavender.
Lavender also calmed the ardor of youth. In the 16th century, St. Angela de Merici (founder of 
the Ursuline Order of nuns) ordered her novitiates to fast on fennel and lavender to ensure their
Lavender also has antiseptic, calming and healing qualities. 
It uses can be divided into several categories. It provides an essential oil, it can flavor water, 
and it can be used in making candles and honey. It can also be used in body care products.
To enjoy views of fields of lavender, you must visit the interior of Provence, especially 
ascending into the hills. And to let yourself be intoxicated by the scent of lavender, you must
visit local distilleries in summertime.

Credit photo web provence 

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