The Roses and Lavender of France

By Mira Herman
When people think of France, they often think of the delicious food and the excellent wines. As an organic skincare producer I think of the exquisite lavender and roses that grow in Grasse and in the Alpine mountain regions of France.


If a woman can only choose one oil to use to stay youthful, rose oil is it. Not only does rose oil have anti-aging properties that rejuvenate the skin, but a true rose oil strengthens a woman’s spirit and brings joy to a woman’s heart. It treats emotional issues such as grief, hysteria, and depression. Personally, I have found that using a true rose oil is a very joyous experience.

Although many products that say they have rose oil as an ingredient actually use synthetically produced fragrant oil in a lab. With over 300 different chemical constituents, the chemistry of rose oil is so complex that it cannot be reproduced completely in a lab.
But even when the rose oil is natural, it often is not of a very high quality. Which brings me back to the Grasse region of France; varietals such as the Rosa Centifolia, more commonly known as the Rose de Mai do in fact produce an excellent rose oil.

Actually, I prefer and look for an anti-aging cream that uses rose oil from three different countries: France, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Why? Because using a combination of ingredients guarantees the best therapeutic effect. Think of it as a varied diet, which is better than

a monotonous one. Our skin needs nourishment, and providing it with a variety of pure, natural products is the best way to feed it.


I cannot stress how important the quality of the essential oils are and what a difference it makes when you buy the best ingredients. Lavender seems to grow everywhere. We certainly have plenty of it in Sonoma which is where I live. Unfortunately, most lavender is of poor quality. This brings me back to France, which produces excellent lavender in the mountain regions. Actually France produces two wonderful types of lavender:
Lavender Maillette, best for healing emotional issues. Lavender improves sleep, lowers anxiety and stress, and in general relaxes the nervous system.
Lavender High Altitude, best for skin care, it is especially useful for oily or combination skin. Lavender has anti-bacterial properties and works well for cleansing the skin as well as preventing and healing acne.

Lavender and Geranium are ingredients I look for in a cleansing clay mask. In my opinion lavender grown in France is the most effective. This combination works miracles for people who are suffering from acne. It clears the skin, detoxes it, and calms it, without drying it out.

I produce a stem cell serum. It contains the High Altitude Lavender from France. There is no way that another type of lavender could replace it. In fact, while producing 175 bottles of the serum for an event, I ran out of High Altitude Lavender. I had nine other types of lavender that I tried using, as I was under a tight deadline, but I couldn’t stand the results. There was just was no replacement for the High Altitude Lavender. I had to order more and wait until it arrived to complete the bottles.

When consumers have high standards about products, producers cannot use ingredients from just any place. So I am grateful to France for the exceptional roses and lavender and I hope to be able to visit the regions that grow them some day. And yes, when I do, I will also enjoy the delicious food and wine.