Picking Roses in Provence

In Roumoules on the Valensole Plateau, Emmanuelle Ravel cultivates roses, but not just any rose! Centifolia, the variety so well known to perfumers, is her rose of choice. With the help of her flower pickers, she harvests this wonderful scented flower in June. We joined them.
By Caroline Taret
Emmanuelle Ravel arranged to meet us at around 8 in the morning in her fields in Roumoules. We approach her farm with the first rays of sun, and we can already see a line of people standing in front of the rows of roses that make up the fields. These are the pickers who are readying to begin their ballet: for nearly an hour, in lines they will come and go among the roses gently breaking off the open flowers and placing them in their bags. The gesture is precise in order not to damage the rose. All generations can be found in these fields, maintaining an ancient tradition of hand harvesting in Provence, from fields of jasmine to roses. The harvest is carried out in good humor and surrounded by the subtle fragrance of the “centfolia,” as they call it... Emmanuelle emphasizes the importance of harvesting the rose at sunrise to preserve its freshness: indeed, these thousands of petals are then placed in a cold room before being weighed and transported to the Crieppam, the French fragrant plants research organization, about an hour's drive away. This is where the distillation process takes place, never more than a day after harvest, once again to preserve the freshness of the petals. These will become rose water or “concrete” and will be used to create precious fragrances or cosmetics. Many different kinds of expertise combine to conserve the fragrance of the rose of Provence. A tradition to discover in our video!

Latest articles

A behind-the-scenes look at Divine Cream

A behind-the-scenes look at Divine Cream

This year, L'Occitane is celebrating its 40th anniversary! It's the perfect opportunity to delve into the true stories behind the brand filled with the scents of Provence. Let's start with Divine Cream, a remarkable anti-ageing treatment inspired by sunny fields of everlasting 'Immortelle' flowers on the île de Beauté.
Why it's great to be 40

Why it's great to be 40

Are you 40? Congratulations! Self-assured, radiant and loved, the coming decade is set to be sensational. Discover all the reasons to rejoice at this golden age.
Provence Touch: invite Provence into your living room

Provence Touch: invite Provence into your living room

What better way to chase away the winter blues than bringing a touch of Provence to the heart of your home and into a particularly special place within it: your living room. Take a look at these fantastic decorating ideas for bringing the South of France into your home!