“One really has to be the son of a shepherd to be familiar with transhumance, or seasonal migration, a tradition that older generations have handed down, and one that forms a close connection to nature.
Of all the shepherd’s activities, there is one that has always fascinated me. It is perhaps one of the simplest and most natural traditions: the extraction of Juniper oil. Long used to treat animal wounds during the great seasonal migration, Juniper essential oil’s healing and fortifying properties were also used to protect the shepherd’s hands and face which were frequently ravaged by the mistral wind and the sun
Today, the traditional distillation of wild Juniper – or CADE in Provençal - has practically died out. But its long history, as something handed down from generation to generation, has kept the magic alive for me
Years have not erased from my memory the olfactory power of this dark, woody oil, which nips your nostrils like an entire resinous forest! However, the smell of juniper is as linked to the shepherds as lavender is linked with the washerwomen: a real distinguishing mark!
This lifestyle that combines a passion for nature with a love of freedom - a lifestyle known also to sailors - is often synonymous with solitude, but the occupation of shepherd continues to fascinate me. I reflect that it is in this age-old relationship between man, mountain and beast, that one finds the most beautiful example of how man has adapted to the natural world, in eternal harmony; a harmony which must be preserved and perpetuated forever, at all cost.”