Think of lavender and your mind may wander to pungent fields in hills off the Mediterranean, the Middle East, or India, vast swaths of land flush annually with purple blooms perfuming not just the air but everyone who comes in contact.
But there’s no need to travel overseas to immerse yourself in this multifunctional blossom, used for everything from scented body products to medicinal purposes as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, sleep aid, and plague-repellant—or the fleas that carried the plague, anyway. (It might even help you in love. Lore says it was the secret weapon used by Cleopatra to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.)
No, a similar scent sensation could be experienced much closer to home. Like, say, in the fields of Sequim, Washington—the “lavender capital of the US,” with its Lavender Trail of farms and gift shops and an annual festival (July 15-17). Or Sage Creations Organic Farms in Palisade, Colorado, where every summer you can pick your own fresh bundles, impressing your friends (or more likely, your mom). At Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City, Michigan you can take a guided tour and practice yoga in the fields. And at the eminent Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico you can actually sleep amongst the purple buds, in one of their luxury agriculturally-inspired Field Rooms. We would guess very, very soundly, just in time for National Fragrance Day this March 21.