Provence – Waxing Lyrical
Firstly apologies to my readers – I know I missed July’s newsletter but I have a genuine reason. I was on holiday in the South of France (in beautiful Provence) and as well as relaxing, taking in the sensational scenery and enjoying a well-earned break I also used the opportunity to get creative!
Idyllic Provence is the inspiration behind my new candle, of the same name. While I was soaking up the sunshine (and it was extremely hot) I noticed the unmistakeable scents of the South of France. Being surrounded by the distracting French countryside in the summer is a luxurious treat and the sights and smells intermingle, tantalising the senses. I was very aware of the abundance of lavender swaying in the breeze and the array of colourful geraniums; soft pink, silky white and sensual red. All these colours and aromas greeted me every morning and stayed with me all day. It was a heady mix! I wasn’t the only person falling in love with the scenery. The bees buzzed busily around the flowers feeding on their scent and nectar to make honey – another one of my favourite smells and tastes.
"Idyllic Provence is the inspiration behind my new candle, of the same name."
While laying on my sun-lounger the captivating views and the scent of the flowers spurred me on to develop Petits Rituels new Lavender Candle and I suppose I should have been using the time to completely unwind but when an idea springs to mind, it’s hard not to act on it when the inspiration is right in front of you!
If you haven’t yet visited it, Provence is situated in the South of France and there are so many reasons to travel to the area. It boasts a pristine coastline with a variety of pine trees, quaint villages and fruitful vineyards and it also stretches along the Mediterranean coast with some incredible sandy beaches. I really should mention the French cuisine in the area, there’s no such thing as a bad meal when in Provence.
If you are planning a trip then visit the lower Rhone Valley which has plenty of rich history, originally being inhabited by the Romans 2000 years ago. There is still plenty of evidence of their buildings and remains especially the Amphitheatre at Orange and the Roman remains at Nimes. Visit Avignon and its palace which was established by the Popes in the Middle Ages. For stunning views end exceptional charm, visit Gordes one of the "in" villages where movies stars and artists have made it their home.
For shopping don’t miss Marseilles and of course Nice and if you want to be one of the beautiful people – take a stroll down Le Croisette in Cannes and stop off at the Hotel Majestic for cocktails or the Carlton Hotel for beachside people-watching!
It’s not just history and culture that Provence is famous for. It is an area renowned for its lavender fields and it’s hard to avoid it when you’re in the area. The smell can be overwhelmingly intoxicating. What first hits you is the familiar strong smell which when sitting in the sunshine lulls you to sleep too – lavender has a calming, healing effect and is known for its relaxing influence.
As well as being beautiful to look at, it is a medicinal herb used for soothing. It must be very effective because in ancient times, it was used to tame lions! It’s also an aphrodisiac so if you want to seduce someone – my new Provence candle will work a treat! As well as calming, lavender is good for inducing sleep, reducing anxiety and combatting depression so it doesn’t just smell delicious it has many healing benefits.
"My distiller creates the best oils in the world using a unique aromatherapy process steaming at a very low temperature..."
Unfortunately or fortunately (it depends which way you look at it!) I felt I had to take my idea further so I left my sun-lounger and took a visit to my distiller who is located in Provence, not far from Grasse and Cannes. The location is incredible, with over 2,500 acres of wild lavender and thyme – again, the smell is amazing! My distiller creates the best oils in the world using a unique aromatherapy process steaming at a very low temperature therefore giving each oil exceptional quality as it maintains the characteristics of molecules (it’s similar to those produced by plants).
I wanted to really capture the essence of Provence, using organic geranium and organic High Altitude lavender with Ylang Ylang my candle started to come to life. As you know, I only use pure organic essential oils and 100% natural wax so I believe my candles to be made with love and to the best of my abilities.
I am delighted to announce that my candle is now available for you to enjoy – bringing the fragrance of Provence into your home. What I love most about it is it captures the essence of Provence perfectly, so when I want to disappear on holiday, I simply light one, close my eyes and I’m back on my sun-lounger.
Updated 19 September, 2017
Nathalie Allard is an Artisan Perfumer and the founder of Petits Rituels. She’s known for creating beautiful room-transforming 100% natural fragrances with real therapeutic benefits.