Ojai Lavender Getaway

Love lavender? 'Tis the season in a certain sweet-smelling town.

LOVELY LAVENDER: The more fragrant herbs have their proponents -- and their opponents -- but it is rare to find the fevered fanship that lavender regularly receives. It's the herb one is most likely to find pictured on posters, stitched on tote bags, crushed in potpourri dishes, drawn on bubble bath bottles, and photographed for calendars. Maybe it is that one-of-a-kind purple hue -- you might have heard of the color, it is called "lavender" -- or maybe that pungent scent: People are obsessed. Which makes it fortunate for us Californians that Ojai is so close. Summertime is lavender season in the quaint town, and the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has a special on to celebrate its locale's most odoriferous herb.

ESSENCE OF OJAI: "Luxury accommodations" is first on the package list, as well as a lavender-scented body massage (or you can get a "body polish" if you'd prefer). There are also other lavender-y extras, like a "pampering bath amenity" from New Oak Ranch. The package is on now through Sept. 15, 2012, and starts at $528 a night. Oh, and here's a fun fact: Seven types of lavender are grown on the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa property. And just when we thought lavender was, well, lavender. Oh, purple herb, you have so much to teach us.

MORE LAVENDER LOVE: If you really want to go purple, the New Oak Ranch has opened its "U Pick Lavender" days. The U-Pick days are Saturdays and Sundays through July 28. Take some home for a vase? Take some home to hang in the kitchen? Take some home to make a bath oil? Take some home to give as gifts? Yep, lavender, you sure are versatile.

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