Séderon is a very important place for the area’s lavender business, as the unloading of the harvested crops took place here. It is also a very important place for Gary as the oil he smelled in the US and which convinced him to go to France was distilled here.
Before 1989, Jean-Noel work for a lavender grower and distiller. He noticed that his employer was not striving to produce high quality oils but used to adulterate them regularly. Jean-Noel therefore quit working for him and started to work with Marcel who was his neighbour at that time. In 1989, he went to a big show in LA, where the only booth with essential oils was Gary’s. Luckily, Jean-Noel had brought one of his oils with him and when Gary smelled it, he was overwhelmed by the quality.
5 months later (in Feb/March 1990), during the cypress distillation, Gary called JNL at 5pm from Paris. He arrived next day after an 8 hours’ drive only with dollars and, according to Jean-Noel, “like a cowboy”. Gary stayed in Séderon for at least a week soaking up information from JNL and Marcel who was the most experienced and he would come at least once a year for the next ten years to learn more about distillation and growing.
During these days, they used the Séderon distillery which was first built in the 1920s and then replaced with a newer one in the 50s. However, even the newer distillery was quite simple and very labour-intensive. It is now a cowboy-style restaurant/café.