Elsa Lenthal of FuseauxdeLavande.com has inspired me to make many lavender wands over the years – this tradition of encasing the flowers of the sunny lavender fields of Provence appeals on many levels. Imagine my excitement when this year she agreed to come to our house in Lacoste and give a workshop to show us all her tips and tricks. Fuseaux have been made in Provence since the 18th Century – a simple technique using ribbon to encase the flowers of freshly picked lavender for years to come.
Elsa sells her fuseaux in the markets of Provence but for those who can’t get there you can also order them on line at her website – you can choose from 20 colors of ribbon as well as two sizes.
How to Make Fuseaux de Lavande
1. Pick long stalks of lavender – preferably from a beautiful field in Provence.
2. Strip the stalks and select about 60 straight stems.
3. Tie the ribbon very tightly at the base of the flowers leaving a short strand about 12 inches long.
4. Invert the wand and fold the stalks down to cover the flowers. The stalks must be worked soon after they are picked so that they are supple enough to bend rather than break. Trim the stalks.
5. Take the longer ribbon – attached to the spool. Weave around at the top next to the fold of the stalks – the first and second row are the hardest and also the most important to get right for the rest of the wand.
6. Work around and around going over and under the stalks until all the flowers are encased.
7. Wrap the ribbon tightly around the stalks and tie in a little bow to the short strand of ribbon.
8. The wand will keep for years and fragrance can be released by gently squeezing it.