One of the very nicest B&B’s I found while on a hiking vacation in New Zealand had a wonderful sparkling clean bathroom with a huge multi-jet shower, a whirlpool tub, warm towels, and two sinks. But the best thing about the bathroom was the lavender amenities – local products of very good quality that smelled heavenly. The unusual part was that they were regular-sized bottles, not the little hotel size one usually finds. And I realized that this was a way to minimize the amount of plastic being produced and thrown away while still providing a very luxurious stay. I found this idea very appealing.
The word lavender is said to have come from the French and Latin words “to wash” and the fragrance of the lavender flower is said to be calming and make for a better night’s sleep. In a B&B, what could possibly be better than that! Maybe nothing except that at the same time, it’s less negative impact on the environment. I grow lavender in the little herb garden in front of the house. When I first moved to Vermont, I was worried that I would not be able to grow it here in such a cold climate. I was happy to find that it is very happy here in the sandy soil of Hyde Park Village, but since I have just enough to make lavender bottles at the Jane Austen summer character weekend, I went searching for a local lavender product that would fill the bill.
I am very pleased to have hunted down some exceptionally good lavender products for the Governor’s House. And it is local – with a little twist. It comes from just across the Canadian border at Blue Levande so I have to go across and bring it back. They have a pretty farm with a gift shop and offer lunch or a massage with a view of the fields. Besides shampoo, shower gel, foaming bath, and body lotion for the rooms, I have stocked my little shop with everything from essential oil to drawer lining paper and my favorite product, hand sanitizer which smells like lavender instead of alcohol. This makes me the only retail outlet in the US to carry these great products. I have also found nice small-size lavender oatmeal soap from the Vermont Soap Company which comes wrapped in a simple recyclable cardboard cover. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but so far it has been a success.
Every once in a while I get a whif of lavender which makes me smile. Maybe that’s because the products in the shop are disappearing fast or because I like doing something better for the environment or because the lavender is having its calming effect, but I think it’s just because it smells so nice.