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Aixa-en-Provence: Instagram Myth Breakers In The Lavender Fields! Goodbye FOMO

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

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

A post shared by Aixa (@muchospanish) on

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.

Photo licensed for free use

Anyway, the impressionist painters like Van Gogh and Cezanne thought the fields were worth paining.

31 comments

  1. Wow.. This is such an excellent post! Loved the way you have broken away the myths – very smart!👏👏
    Btw.. I still think that the pictures are gorgeous!😍

    1. I love the pictures too! But I don’t like anyone to feel like they’re missing out on things. Thank you, Richa!

    1. I love it too! This was such a fun visit, seeing the fields and discovering the myths for myself too. Thank you, Terri!

  2. I’m not actually a fan of lavender, the scent or the plant, but visually it is beautiful. Your photos and exposé are great. And Provence is stunning if sadly overrun now.

    1. Our guide was telling us how many more people come now than when she started doing this 18 years ago. It’s Instagram. Thank you, Graham!

  3. This was such a fun read, Aixa! Don’t tell the farmers but I like the look of the fields with the wheat. Your pictures are beautiful!

    1. Haha! I liked it too but probably fewer people would tap a like… They want deep purple landscapes. Thank you, Linda!

    1. Thank you, Julie! I looked at several other people’s photos and the lavender bunches don’t match either hahaha

  4. Haha love the myths aixa. I still wanted to see them though. I also love lavenders. But I am glad you weren’t stung by the bees.

    1. I just read that if you can go around 8pm there will be fewer or no bees but you have to find a field on your own. Thank you for reading, Rhea!

  5. Bees??? Oh so scary! But knowing me I’d rather get stung just for that beautiful Instagram worthy photo! 😂 lol! Now I know where your name came from. So beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Boots! I learned later that you go between 8pm and 10pm and the bees are gone and you get the sunset too!

  6. What an interesting post! Loved your closing argument though: If Van Gogh and Cezanne found it worth it, it’s worth it 🙂

      1. That’s awesome but not surprising. It looks like such a beautiful place to live 🙂

      2. It’s very beautiful! Aix-en-Provence has those very old cobbled streets and fresh fruits and vegetables. I got my hair cut and styled there for half of what it would cost me in a mediocre place in NYC. Only problem is I don’t speak too much French.

      3. Your descriptions still sound pretty fantastic. Hope I visit this place sometime 🙂

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