The family which overshadows all others in the quantity of essential oils which it puts at the disposal of the Grassois and their neighbors is that of the Labiatae. Foremost among these we have the lavender, spike, thyme, and rosemary. These are all of a vigorous and hardy nature and require no cultivation. The tops of these plants are generally distilled in situ, under contract with the Grasse manufacturer, by the villagers in the immediate vicinity. The higher the altitude at which these grow, the more esteemed the oil. The finest oil of lavender is produced by distilling the flowers only. About 100 tons of lavender, 25 of spike, 40 of thyme, and 20 of rosemary are sent out from Grasse every year.

Among the less abundant labiates of these parts is the melissa, which yields, however, a very fragrant oil.

In the same family we have the sage and the sweet or common basil, also giving up their essential oils on distillation.