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Le Château du Bois - A precious heritage dating back to 1890

A precious heritage dating back to 1890

This is the story of the Lincelé family who has been growing lavender officinalis since 1890.  It is a story of passion for a flower which is magnificent, virtuous, elegant, confidential, rare, beneficial, colourful and perfumed. 

 

History

1626

The name

The name
The name Château du Bois seems to be of very ancient origin. In a location that offered no natural defence, it was necessary to protect oneself from wild animals and prowlers. From Roman times until the Middle Ages two types of forts were built: the castle raised on a clot of earth, which would become the Motte Castle, and the more sophisticated wooden castle, featuring a wooden surround that protected the wooden houses or other constructions. This would later become the Fortified Castle. Finding out the exact date of when the castle was built would only be possible with archaeological digs, although the result would still be uncertain as wooden constructions leave very few traces. As this estate, like the commune of Lagarde d’Apt, was part of the County of Sault and therefore the Provence Adjacent Lands, we can only find precise information starting from the Tenure Act (« acte d’albergement ») of 1626. The remarkable personality of Salomon de Durand (Salomon de Durand de la Châtre de Trièvres) is the first identified owner of the « Château du Bois ». Very active during this period of the County of Sault’s history, his motto was « Moderata Durant » or “ things used in moderation endure”
1686

Revocation

Following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Salomon de Durand, of protestant faith, sold the Château du Bois to Mr du Blosset on 6 August 1686. Mr de Blosset then had the windmill built. His neighbour to the north was Mr Thomé de Gordes, a barrister to be succeeded by Gudin de Thomé, jurist, a passionate royalist and active counter-revolutionary who went on to become the Mayor of Lagarde d’Apt under the First Empire.

1794

The windwill

 Revolutionary Government in the Vaucluse
The windwill is mentioned in an inventory: « Revolutionary Government in the Vaucluse, Inventory of flour mills of the Apt district, 30 Pluviôse year II, Lagarde, 1 windmill, in a bad state, one hour away from the main road, is only used to mill rye and maslin ; produces 10 quintals of mediocre flour when the wind is good, often delayed and stopped in calm weather. Forced stop for repairs during 12 days.» Even if it is « one hour from the main road », this mill meets local needs. But it is hard to understand why it was milling wheat in 1626 and then only rye and maslin in 1794. One may guess that the owner wished to minimise the importance of his mill in order to avoid the revolutionary requisitions. This mill remained in operation until 1914. At the heart of Château du Bois lavender, this mill is today the emblem of its fine lavender fields. Research into a possible restoration of the windmill is currently being undertaken by the Lincelé family.
1820

Reconstruction

Reconstruction
Reconstruction of the building « Le Château du Bois » which was in quite a bad state. This date is still engraved on the main door.
1873

Venance ARNAUD

Venance ARNAUD
Birth of Venance ARNAUD in Monieux en Provence (1873-1953). He leaves his village to go and study in Marseille. Upon his return to Apt he starts a family and sets up an almond business.
1890

First distillations

First distillations
Like many people from Apt, he spends the summer period in the lavender area. He is the first in the family to become a lavender producer and distiller. His first distillations take place next to the “Château du Bois” estate on the farm « La Sigoyère ».
1903

Marius Lincelé

Marius Lincelé
Birth of Marius LINCELE in Apt en Provence (1903-1964). He marries Marcelle ARNAUD, born Venance, and they have five children. He distils fine lavender with his father-in-law Venance and passes on his passion to his eldest son Georges.
1927

Georges Lincelé

Georges Lincelé
Birth of Georges LINCELE in Apt en Provence (1927-2013). From a very early age, accompanied by his sister Marie-Antoinette, he roams around the lavender-covered hills. This is the time when the lavender cutters, employed by his grandfather Venance, cut the lavender with sickles and fill up their bags. Following the distillations, the brother and sister fill the little bottles of fine lavender essential oil.
1970

First lavender fields

First lavender fields
At the time when fine lavender was harvested with a sickle in wild areas called « baïassières » (after the local name for lavender, baïasse), the first lavender fields began to appear at “Le Château du Bois”. At the instigation of Georges Lincelé, the Château du Bois estate develops from a few hectares to 80 hectaures of cultivated fine lavender. Restoration begins on the main part of the building.
1972

Jack Lincelé

Jack Lincelé
Birth of Jack Lincelé, son of Georges. At a very young age he is immersed in the lavender-growing activity of the Château du Bois. His apprenticeship begins during the lavender cutting season on a high-clearance tractor. Like all the men in the family, he fell into the craft when still small.
1978

Alembic

Collection of lavender stills
Georges begins to bring together his fabulous collection of lavender stills. His research rapidly becomes a necessity for this rapidly disappearing heritage to be conserved.
1982

AOC certification

AOC certification is created for fine lavender. Up until now, fine lavender is the only plant whose essential oil is labelled, controlled and protected. In this way it is the only lavender to guarantee quality for customers and to be authenticated by an AOP certificate (awarded by French administration).

1988

Distinction

Lavender Commander
Georges Lincelé receives the distinction of “Lavender Commander” (« Commandeur de la Lavande »). This is awarded each year to honour an emblematic personality in the world of lavender.
1989

A.O.C.

A.O.C.
The first bottles containing fine lavender AOC essential oil are produced under the brand « Le Château du Bois ». It is now time “to regain prestige for fine lavender”, rants Georges Lincelé. “Too many synthetic products and cloned lavenders and lavandins are claiming to be lavender using the image of Provence. We are now not just producers and distillers, but defenders of true quality, true lavender!”
1991

Inauguration

Inauguration of the Lavender Museum
Inauguration of the Lavender Museum at Coustellet. This cultural space entirely dedicated to fine lavender is a first. The lavender-growing saga from 1626 to present time is staged with the exceptional collection of stills, historic photos, perfume bottles, sickles and unusual objects from the daily life of lavender growers. It took Georges Lincelé nearly twenty years to bring together these objects. « Lavender, symbolic flower of Provence finally has its own museum!»
1992

Tonic Gel

Tonic Gel
Creation of the Tonic Gel for legs. After more than twenty years of success, the product’s reputation is confirmed. Copied but never equalled, it remains the symbolic skincare product of the brand « Le Château du Bois ».
1996

Passation

Lavender Museum
Jack Lincelé takes over the Lavender Museum. This cultural site quickly earns a place in the top ten most visited places in the popular tourist area of the Vaucluse, which boasts among other sites the Papal Palace in Avignon, the Bridge of Avignon and the Roman Arena in Orange.
1997

The development

The development of cosmetic products
The development of cosmetic products based on fine lavender AOC essential oil continues with an orientation towards skincare and wellness products.
2001

Descendance

Max Lincelé
Birth of Max LINCELE and in 2005 Marilou LINCELE. They have also fallen into the craft at a very young age, but will they seize the heritage of their forebears? Too early to say, although Max, as a full member, already participated in the distillation process during the 2014 harvest.
2008

The first boutique

The first boutique Le Château Du bois
The first boutique opens in the historical heart of Avignon with the full range of« Le Château du Bois » products. This is the opportunity to share the brand’s know-how and take customers on a journey of discovery.
2010

Second boutique

Opening of the second boutique
– Opening of the second boutique in Arles, opposite the Arlaten Museum. Same idea, same concept, and a joy of sharing with customers the reasons why fine lavender is so exceptional. It is by testing and feeling the products that customers will believe in them.
2014

Parfumerie

LAVENDER FOR MEN
The first fine fragrance creation with « Le Château du Bois » fine lavender carries the name LAVENDER FOR MEN, a homage to Georges Lincelé who departed before being able to experience this treasure.
2015

SPA

Opening of the first SPA
Opening of the first SPA Le Château du Bois in Hongkong, the LCDB SPA by Le Château du Bois®.