Warning: this is an Instagram myth breaker post. If you love your feelings of FOMO, then do not read any further.
Two years ago driving to Nice in the south of France, I saw signs for Aix-en-Provence and thought, I have to visit this town named after me! Two years later, here I am. It’s also near the home of my favorite store, L’Occitane (the full store name is L’Occitane en Provence).
The factory is here, the official company store and even a museum dedicated to the history of this company that so many women love!
Provence is such a beautiful region, full of flowers and herbs and some of the most picturesque towns you will find anywhere on earth. If you know where to drive, you will pass rolling lavender fields!
The best time to visit the lavender fields is from the last week in June to the first or second week of July. Harvest is a little earlier because of the heat.
Hundreds of people go to the fields every day to take their Instagram photos. Some go with organized day tours and others go on their own… but remember, this is private property. Even the organized day tour companies don’t get permission from the owners, although the guides make sure you don’t damage any of the lavender.
Instagram Myth Breaker No. 1
Let all of your senses feel the serenity here in the lavender fields of Provence….. Aix-en-Provence is a great place to base yourself for the region. 💕 There’s a great secret about all of us Instagrammers visiting the lavender fields! Oh, but you’ll have to read my blog ☝️😉 Link in profile ✨ #lavender #aixenprovencetourism #aixenprovence #aixenprovencecity #aixenprovencetourisme #aixenprovencefrance
Instagram is full of photos like mine, rolling purple hills of lavender fields and women with a bunch of fresh-picked lavender in one hand. They buy these lavender bunches and bring them to the fields for the photo. I didn’t think that far ahead, though, and when I saw someone else get off the bus with hers, I knew I should have put more thought into this. I walked into a row of lavender ready to be harvested, the bees buzzing all around me, and I started to pose, I saw a bunch of lavender that someone else left behind. Look at the color in the photo: it doesn’t even match! And there’s a rubber band around the stems.
Instagram Myth Breaker No. 2
If I did try to pick this lavender, I would have gotten dozens of bee stings. The lavender at the point that it’s ready to be harvested, is full of bees. None of these women there in the fields is so infatuated with the beautiful flower in the moment the photo is being taken.
Other fields have blotches of yellowish wheat mixed in and this is to make the fields less attractive to Instagrammers, like this field below.
My photo below in this mixed field is interesting because of the snails climbing on the lavender. They come after it rains.
Instagram Myth Breaker No. 3
There are two types: Lavender and lavandine. Lavender is lighter in color and has less of an aroma. Lavandine is a hybrid, has a much deeper purple color and a much stronger aroma. They serve different purposes but the point here is that those deep purple colors in your favorite Instagrammer’s photo are saturated with an app. Even lavendine isn’t hat deep a shade of purple.
So why do such a fake stunt?
Instagram has millions of photos like mine. I met a Brazilian woman named Mariani in the fields. She’s a doctor and was in Provence for a conference. She didn’t think of bringing a bunch of lavender either, so I lent her mine when I was done with my photos. We both love lavender and we’re part of the L’Occitane cult. We both wanted the chance to see some lavender fields and go home with some photos.
Anyway, the impressionist painters like Van Gogh and Cezanne thought the fields were worth paining.