Lavender Flower | Photo Makhfud Sappe
LAVENDER : The Miracle Flower of the Middle Sea
Makhfud Sappe
Tue, 30 Apr 2024

Lavender is part of the Lamiaceae family, still in the same family as mint, savory, and thyme. It originates from the southern region of the Mediterranean, belonging to the grass and shrub species.

Lavender plants have leaves that are quite diverse according to their subgenus. Generally, this plant has serrated or pinnate leaves. The flower shape resembles reed flowers or is colonized on one stalk with several variants of blue, purple, and blackish purple colors.

Lavender thrives in areas with cold weather and an altitude between 600 and 700 m above sea level. In Europe, lavender can be found in France, Italy, Spain, and England. In Asia, lavender grows in China and India. It can also be found in Canada. 

In France, this purple-colored plant can improve the economy of farmers. Provence is the largest producer of lavender in the world. 

Lavender has been known since ancient times; even Shakespeare mentioned it in one of his plays. In medieval times, it was used for medicinal purposes. The Romans called lavender lavare, which means to wash or refresh. In addition to evoking a sense of peace and refreshing the brain, lavender flowers can also clear the soul. 

Since ancient Roman times, lavender flowers have been used in perfumes and religious rituals. Lavender is considered one of the ‘noble plants’. Some have nicknamed it ‘blue gold’.

Along with the development of health and beauty technology, lavender flowers are processed into various beauty and medicinal products. Beauty products made from lavender flowers, such as L'octacine products, can be found in malls, including in Jakarta. Because of its many benefits, this flower is nicknamed "Magic Purple.


We took a break at a small cafe not far from Notre-Dame de la Tour Church while enjoying a cappuccino and caramel soufflé, a French cake similar to a muffin. Sault is a small town surrounded by valleys of lavender and wheat fields.

The presence of lavender flowers is a blessing for the town. There are still some 16th-century stone houses in Sault. Along the streets, there are many shops selling lavender products, such as dried lavender flowers, small pillows filled with dried lavender flowers that give off a fragrant smell, lavender oil, honey, soap, and so on. 

Sault : an old town surrounded by lavender fields. Photo Makhfud Sappe

As we savored our cappuccinos, Bruno, our driver, continued his history lesson. A couple of young Japanese tourists entered the café and sat not far from us. They were quietly listening to Bruno's explanation of the origins of France.

The Sault sits on a hill overlooking the Val Sault Valley. The town is a key stop to explore if you want to enjoy the lavender blooms. June to August are lavender flowering times. During this time, Provence, including the Sault, turns purple, and the scent of lavender fills the streets of the town.

By midday, we left Sault. On the way back while enjoying the rural landscape of Southern France, we listened to Bruno's story about the old town of Avignon, which houses the Palais de Papas, was once home to several Popes, and has been on UNESCO's list of protected sites since 1995.

We arrived back in Avignon around 2 p.m. The rest of the day was spent seeing performances at the 70-year-old Avignon festival. Tomorrow we have to return to Paris, carrying the memories of the beautiful purple flowers of the Mediterranean.

Previus article : Chasing the Purple Flower to Provence


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