The area I talk about in my book THYME IN PROVENCE south east of Banon as you head towards Forcalquier has another claim to fame for you lovers of all things fragrant. It is the interesting site that is used by L’Occitane to gather and distill the lavender that they use in the products that grace their outlets around the world. This is quite a surprise to come across and not at all as glamorous as their stores.It is very old worldly in appearance, like an old farm in the American plains, not seeming at all to be high tech. If you stumble upon it be sure to get out of your vehicle as you get the most intense concentrated aroma of lavender that you will ever experience. There are as Niamh unfortunately discovered no free samples on offer at the site itself! There is plenty to be found by the roadside and a few small bunches can be picked as long as you do not stray into a field.
You can find lavender all over Provence but for us this area I have described in my book around Banon is the finest you will experience and you can for the most part enjoy it in solitude. It is worth a special trip in its own right.