The first time I visited a lavender field I jumped out of the car and took off running, camera swinging from my neck in anticipation of documenting this moment I had dreamt of. I stopped short of the field upon hearing a very loud, ominous BUZZ. I focused my eyes on a single plant and there saw way too many bees. I had an instant of panic, but then remembered how long I had waited for this opportunity. I decided to tip-toe into the field a short way and if any bees touched me, I'd turn the other direction and run like the wind. It didn't take long to realize that the bees were not the least bit interested in me. They were totally absorbed in the lavender. Whew! Following their lead..I too, thought like a bee and became absorbed in the lavender. What followed was indescribable. I remember wishing that everyone could experience this...even just once.
Lavender in Provence generally begins blooming mid to late June. Harvesting commences early July. Based on my experience, if you want to visit lavender fields, aim for the last week in June, first couple weeks in July. Lavender fields dot the entire Luberon, and the village of Sault is also a "must see" for some wonderful fields. There is also a lavender-coop in Sault that sells plants, seeds, and other lavender related items.
Certainly lavender is the Essence de Provence!