3 Jul 2014

Lavender… The Taste and Scent of Provence

Provence, Lavender, French Essence, Vicki Archer


Lavender another taste and scent of Provence.

I ask myself, can I take another shot of lavender?

Can I continue to wax lyrical about this purple prince?


Provence, Lavender, French Essence, Vicki Archer


I have and I am going to… I can’t help it.

Along with the scent and taste of the fig, it is the distinguishing feature of our garden in summer.


This year, the lavender is rich and vibrant… much more so than last year… it’s abundance and it’s intensity colours everywhere I look.

We have planted many small groupings in the last few years… here and there, to break up the green of the box hedges and shapes.

The large bed that we planted many years ago, continues to flourish.


As one who loves neutrals more than anything, I surprise myself.

Provence is like that… it changes you when you least expect it.


Provence, Lavender, French Essence, Vicki Archer


Lavender as a scent is one I prefer mixed with others.

When I burn the Diptyque fig candle I will also burn a lavender one from L’Occitane.

 I burn several fig candles to one lavender candle.


Have you tried this? Fusing the scents is a wonderful way to create your own fragrance ambience.

Lavender, another delicious scent from Provence… xv


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Keep the images coming please. The possibility of my visiting Provence is zero. Looking at beautiful images is very satisfying.


Utterly sublime Vicki. I love the idea of breaking up the green of the box with Lavender which then gives greater depth and enhances both textures in turn.
We love both burn Diptyque’s Fenouil Sauvage and Verveine in the summer. That Fennel and Lemon Balm combination is so refreshing on a warm evening.

Esther George

Hi Vicki I love Lavender…. I have French Lavender in a big terracotta tub it’s doing well, English Lavender in the front yard the native Australian bees love it. Would like to try English Lavender Hidcote this year looks like a really pretty blue. I confess never tried Lavender scented candles, next on my list of candle scents to try. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney.


Your garden is divine, breathtaking……it is heaven
… and I think I can take as much lavender as possible, the scent but also the colour, fields and fields of it…one of the ‘identities’ of Provence which I look forward to seeing each summer.

It must be a family thing because my parents and grandparents were the same,often driving down to France just to be able to see such things.. and your l’Occitaine candle has given me an idea for presents!

Anita Rivera

YOU are speaking about my all-time favorite. Vicki, wax lyrical all you want my friend. This is a special flower, an even more special perfume, for I agree with you that mixed with other earthy fragrances, it adds a sweetness like no other. I must try your fig candle recommendation, and we have an Occitan shop near us, so off I go to find their candle! I spritz lavender oil mixed with water onto my bed sheets and pillow every night. I used it in the hot shower so the stream carries the scent into the room. I even use lavender in my own herbal mix of Herbes de Provence and on a pizza! Is that ever good.

I too am a believer in neutrals for the home, but Provence does take you by surprise, and once in a while, we need that POP of color, preferably lavender or French blue, to mix in with our beloved grays, beige and cream.

What a fabulous post today! Anita

david terry

For Vicki and her Readers?…..

Well, there are a thousand obvious reasons to go all-besotted over lavender, but my favorite use for it is?……

….I’ve been an avid gardener for decades, but I never knew, until my partner (who’s a French epidemiologist and knows his stuff) told me, that one can deter mosquitoes and gunky-algae simply by placing a sprig or two of lavender in birdbaths, the basins beneath pots on patios, etcetera.

It WORKS. Not completely, of course….but it’s a hell of a lot better than having to replace the water every two days during the hot summers of the American South. I have a lot of pots out on the courtyard of this old house, and I have several birdbaths. I cut a sprig or two of lavender, slip them into the water……..and both mosquitoe larvae and algae are problems-of-past-days.

There’s a good reason that, however pleasant it smells, lavender and its distillations were used primarily as a disinfectant for centuries….long before anyone knew about bacteria.

So, there’s a helpful hint. Isn’t it nice when something’s both beautiful AND useful? Someday (just maybe and if we work on it), we’ll all be that…….

—-david terry


David, we live in Austin, Texas and I’ve planted lavender around our patio area for just the same reason (aside from the fact that I love it). My husband is English and mosquitoes seem to love English blood, so I do what I can to give some natural protection. Will also try the sprigs in the bird baths. Hadn’t heard that one. Thanks!


Vicki lavender is something that is infused in my life. The scent the sachets, the oil, even in the Herbs de Provence which I use all of the time!!

The Arts by Karena

Juanita in OH

Thank you for this wonderful post. To me lavender is is like a drug, I can’t get enough of it. Your garden is beautiful.


Vicki, ours is in bloom now, here in Austin. Mine isn’t nearly as flush with blooms as yours is but it makes me happy! I love my lavender baths before bed and my lavender-scented cleaners (natural scent).

I’m going to explore the lavender ice cream link that was in your newsletter today. I’m not an ice cream girl, but lavender ice cream sounds appealing. I do a chicken with Herbes de Provence including lavender marinated in lemon and olive oil. As you say in your email, it lends an unexpected flavor that keeps guests guessing!

Thanks for today’s beautiful post and photos. Never too many!


Hi Vicki, I first found your blog through pictures of your garden, and I could never complain about seeing it too much! More please! It is wonderful, more so as I sit here in a cold Melbourne winter. The wonder of it all!

Leslie in Portland, Oregon

I’m recovering from surgery, and this post and the comments about lavender have my wounds healing better already! Since our garden is too shady to grow lavender, I’ve asked my husband to buy some bundles at the farmer’ market. Thank you for the verbal infusion!

Julie Want

Hi Vicki – I have just stocked up on several bunches of fresh lavender from the Uzes market for our new apartment – it is just gorgeous – deep purple and fills the house with the scent of Provence – instant relaxation :). I know I am a long way from Sydney when the flower market is underneath my window!

Julie Want

Lavender Dreams

I always love finding a post all about lavender! What beautiful photos and a lovely blog! Enjoy your day! Hugs, Diane…the Lavender Dreamer

Nancy Ewertz

Hi Vicki, I LOVE lavender, and had the best lavender honey in Switzerland some years ago. Do you have a suggestion for a favorite of yours, and where I might buy it for shipment to the U.S. Thank You for your wonderful posts ! Nancy


I want to tell you to come and buy it in our market Nancy… they have the best lavender honey that I know of… :)

I’m not sure about shipping food to the US… perhaps a French distributor may… I see that Amazon.com have quite a few French bands… lavender honey is generally pale in colour so I would give that one a try. Delicious with soft cheese too… :)


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Read previous post:
Postcard, Provence, French Essence, Vicki Archer
Fig… The Taste And Scent Of Provence