I awoke to a knock on our hotel room door. I opened the door to Simons face, flushed from the already hot sunny morning. “They have begun to harvest the Lavender so I came back for you. he explained, I wouldn’t want you to miss it”.
“Thanks Simon, Give me five minutes” I answered sleepily, and hurried to dress and grabbed my iPad for lots of photo’s. Terry was tired so I left him to his dreamy slumber. One of my dreams would be realized today. Terry and I had traveled to Provence in southern France to visit the Young Living Essential Oil’s Lavender Farm, in Simiane and experience the grass roots of therapeutic grade EO production.
Essential Oils are droplets of pure nature and if grown, harvested and bottled with care and organically, with all their delicate chemical make up in tact, are indeed gifts of great worth.
With its unique ‘seed to seal’ process Young Living guarantees the purity of its essential oils. Hence I have chosen these particular oils as I would never compromise quality. From the planting of the seeds to the labeling of the bottles Young Living gives us the highest, most reliable quality of essential oils on the market.
I had always wanted to visit the South of France, with its incredibly diverse landscape, history and sunny climate, and here was a perfect opportunity to mix business with pure pleasure. I feel so blessed that my work takes me all over the globe meeting wonderful people and exploring far flung places.
Our hotel, ‘Le Lavendin’, had housed 50 bike Canadian cyclists overnight, who chatted away long after I dropped off to sleep. Hundreds of cycle enthusiasts inspired by the ‘Tour de France’ dressed in bright colors, strong thighs working hard are to be seen everywhere on the picturesque hills of the Provence. In this heat I have to say I prefer gazing out over the Lavender fields, ancient stone architecture and vineyards from the comfort of an air conditioned car.
In 10 mins we arrived at a field below the Simiane Le Rotunde where the shining new harvester was cutting the Lavender. On the way Simon pointed out the Rosemary and clary sage also growing on the YL farm.
The old harvester, still in use gave a strong contrast to the new model. “Gary loves his machinery”, Simon shared, “He is looking forward to seeing the video of the new machine in operation.”
It was wonderfully warm, just like home in Australia. The camera crew, from Utah, John and Johnny, Lara advertising and media head from the UK office, Simon and myself were all in the field. Simon then introduced me to Jean Noel, a local man, who manages the young living crops here on the farm. Gary first met Jean Noel at a health expo in America many years ago. Gary had been the only stall holder with essential oils. An important firm friendship developed between the two. Gary later came to France to study with Jean Noels then employer , a master at the trade of distilling.
“I didn’t know about oils for health until I met Gary,” Jean Noel shared, “My son, Nicholas very little at the time and had terrible eczema, he could not sleep well. Gary rubbed therapeutic grade Lavender on his little feet and he slept like an angel and got better.” This was an inspiration.
Nicholas then appeared in the field, a wonderful young man in his early twenties. He grew up in the Lavender his father stated, and now he is working with me and with Young Living. Later as I chatted with Nicholas I realised he certainly had grown up in the lavender, with a French father and American mother and a good head for business he is a wonderful person with a wealth of knowledge about essential oils.
Jean Noel shared, “When I met Gary Young he was a man with a vision, however he was just beginning his company, and he was not much of a business man, but he was passionate. It has been wonderful to see Young Living grow and become so successful.”
Jean Noel has a great sense of humor and happily shared from his vast knowledge of farming and distilling oils.
He explained that this was a first year crop and its first harvest and thus the flower heads were still small. Each year the plants and yield grows he explained. Lavender plants can live up to 10 years being harvested each year. For a few years a virus together with drought has devastated the Lavender in Provence. However this new crop is looking very healthy. We rely on the rain to water our crops. Lavender like many other herbs likes dry poor soil so this land is ideal.
Jean Noel and Simon pointed out that the weeds in our YL farms crops were due to the fact that no pesticides are used on our farms. Young Living is very proud of the fact that we keep our plantations free of chemicals thus guaranteeing purity of our product.
When Terry and I later explored the area we noticed some perfect lavender fields with no weeds at all and saw them in a different light – pesticides were surely used to achieve this seeming perfection.
Later when visiting the large distillery Nicholas enlightened us on the wonderful sense of community among the farmers of this region. “All the farmers share everything here, so we don’t have to hire in help. We share the harvester, the distillery, and we help plant each others crops. It is the way we all work together here in France.
Nicolas went on to explain that many of the local farmers mainly grow lavendin, a hybrid plant with larger flowers. Lavendin is used primarily for the perfume industry, and not for therapeutic use, because it contains camphor which is toxic. It is not good for burns or relaxation.
Being a cheaper product and used mainly for its perfume, Lavendin is distilled fast with high heat and high pressure thus giving a higher yield at a cheaper price. Most people are buying lavendin not lavender in their cosmetics. A lot of the Lavender in supermarket products is synthesised and has no relation to the plant itself. Lavender is the most commonly synthesised perfume that is copied from natures garden.
Testimonial: A few years ago I was making a coffee for friends and pushed the plunger down too quickly resulting in splashing my chest with the boiling coffee. OOUCH I raced to the bathroom, stripped and ran cold water over my chest. I then applied YL lavender direct and kept reapplying regularly, gently as it was painful. WaLa no scar. I was so impressed. I have done the same for Terry when he burnt his finger on the lawnmower exhaust pipe. Lavender is amazing for burns.
In contrast, therapeutic grade Lavender must be distilled much more slowly, with low heat and low pressure and is treated differently so that the delicate chemical constituents that give distinct calming qualities are preserved.
Nicholas further explained “The distillery has to be washed out after each distilling of Lavendin before the Lavender or other plants are distilled to prevent contamination.”
We had fun with the camera crew shooting a video for Young Living distributors, and yes you may see me in this. We took several cuts as the harvester was to loud at one point then we had noise from air planes, so not sure what will be used for the final cut. It was 32 degrees and hot in the fields however we were all happy and the jokes were corny.
We loaded up the old wooden trailer with the freshly chopped aromatic lavender and headed up to the small distillery at Simiane Le Rotunde or the castle on the hill above the nearby ancient quaint stone village of Simiane, a truly majestic stone 13th-14th century landmark seen from the fields, The castle standing the testament of time is now an Aromatherapy museum with workshops and lectures for the public. There is also a beautiful concert room with a dome ceiling and wonderful acoustics. The flute would sound wonderful here. Nicolas’s mother now runs an aromatherapy shop here selling oils, books and lavender products.
Behind the entrance in the courtyard is a truly beautiful small copper distillery. See the attached pictures. This distillery is to show tourists workshops and for smaller harvests. We cleaned it out from a recent rosemary distilling and then I assisted in filling it with the freshly cut fragrant bundles of lavender flowers. I have to say I felt like a child, joyous to be a part of this wondrous work. This was filmed by ‘the team’ as we filled it to the brim with Jean Nolets instruction.
In the courtyard is a small garden with examples of the herbs grown and distilled in the area including Lavender, clary sage, thyme, rosemary. Corsican Helichrysum is being grown here as a trial and Jean Noel says it is doing really well. The local form of helichrysum grows everywhere, in the rocks and even on the stone walls however it does not have the same therapeutic qualities of the variety from Corsica.
Jean Noel explained they are growing it as a trial as he believes this climate will be perfect for the Corsican Helichrysum. This is wonderful news as it is a very valuable oil and often in short supply.
I have to share a little testimonial here, my son Jaya smashed his toe with a stool when he was about 8, it split would not stop bleeding. I tried pressure and elevation and it just keep spurting as he screamed. So I grabbed the Helichrysum and 2 drops stemmed the bleeding instantly which calmed Jaya down. I applied 3 drops applied daily and it healed amazingly well, albeit his toenail distorted. Both Jaya were impressed. Helichrysum’s delicate aroma is calming and soothing to the nervous system and uplifting to the spirit. Helichrysum is also a vital ingredient of the Young Living Panaway blend which is wonderful for Pain and bruising. Pain Away I think of it as.
When we finished at the Castle where Terry had joined us we all drove down to the larger distillery used for bulk herbs. Again shared by the local farmers it is a huge operation. The film crew took a shoot of a local land owner and we had a good look around the area, learning more from Nicolas about the area and the oils.
We were all hungry by this time and the sun was hot. We travelled off to the nearby village of Apt and had a delicious late lunch together with many laughs. It was siesta time for us and the YL team was back to work.
I love being a part of such a wonderful company and my visit to Simiane was such fun. The next morning Terry and looked around the village quaint village of Simiane then headed off for yet another adventure exploring the south of France on our way back to London.
I feel so blessed. My joy filled soul purpose work includes all the aspects of life I love, aroma, nature, music, sharing, writing, teaching and traveling and all with the love of my life Terry.
We are Independent Young Living Essential Oils Distributors number 540882.
You can join our team and share the love of natures droplets of pure energy. See Below
Young Livings Essential Oils, personal care and health products in my mind are wholesome, pure and the best I have ever used. If you are after organic sustainable products of therapeutic value then you may be interested in using these products in your home &/or building a home Local or Global business to boost your income or as a second income stream.
Below is a brief synopsis of how to join our “Young Living Family” from the Uk or Europe or Globally and enjoy these wonderful products. If so here is how to easily join up and shop.
Go to the Young Living Website PLEASE check you tick the country of sign up as Young Living is a Global Company.
If your interested to join our team – click “Sign UP”.
choose between becoming a distributor or retail customer
A distributor is wholesale price 24% off retail and as I said there is no commitment to buy more unless you want to go on autoship ( a monthly purchase). This is a choice.
Fill out the form online and use my details for your Sponsor and Enroller.
my details are 540882 Global Spirit Records (Soraya Saraswati)
Then you can choose to purchase a kit to begin your journey.
You may for instance choose the Everyday OIls kit, which has 9 different oils in it which is a great way to get started, or the start living kit is a lesser option where you get lots of information about the company, dvds, cd’s, samples + a lavender 5ml and peppermint 5mls.
When you wish to begin to sign people up and get commissions yourself you are required to be on Autoship by joining the essential rewards program.
Essential Rewards: As a distributor, you are eligible to enroll in the Essential Rewards program and earn as much as 20 percent of each order in Essential Rewards points.
For those just wanting to buy the products – As long as you purchase within a year again you remain a member and can order whenever you wish.
As your Young Living sponsor and enroller, I am happy to answer all your queries if you wish also see my website
www.sorayasaraswati.com – I have oils information pages and blogs free to read with lots of information.
Soraya Saraswati & Terry Oldfield (Global Spirit Records) are Young Living Independent Distributors: 540882