Charlevoix is a rather small city located in Michigan that is referred to by residents and tourists alike as “Charlevoix the Beautiful.” It is nestled next to Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, which provide it with scenic, waterfront views and properties throughout most of the town. Its harbor has been labeled the best natural harbor located on all of Lake Michigan.
One of the best things about Charlevoix is that it doesn’t only look beautiful, but it has a delicious smell as well. You won’t find your nostrils plagued by the harsh scents of factories and automobiles. Instead, the winds carry a variety of enticing scents over the lake. Michigan is known for its cherry and blueberry farms that dot the countrysides. It’s not uncommon for the morning air to smell like a tasty smoothie.
Just a short distance across the water is Boyne City, which happens to be home to the largest lavender farm in Michigan. There are more than 13,000 lavender plants located on the nearby Lavender Hill Farms. When the wind blows just right, relaxing scents escape the farm and envelope the entire town of Charlevoix.
If two botanical extracts were chosen to represent Charlevoix, Michigan, they would have to be blueberries and lavender essential oil, because they are two scents you can smell on the Lake Charlevoix coastline on any given day. They also happen to be two oils with powerful health benefits.
Charlevoix and Blueberry Essential Oils
Michigan has been considered prime real estate for farming for more than 100 years. There are more than 21,000 acres of blueberries spread over 600 farms. The state tends to produce more than 100 million pounds of the berries between July and September, so it’s no surprise that they are the number one producer of blueberries in the entire country.
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Even in areas where blueberries aren’t grown, they are still used, turned into other goods, or sold. There are a number of farmers markets located in or near Charlevoix with a large supply of blueberries. Combine that with the fact that the city has several blueberry farms around the area and it explains why the scent often permeates the town.
The oil extracted from blueberries comes from the seed instead of the fruit itself. Blueberry is a very common product of cosmetics, skin care products, hair care products, and aromatherapy. There are a number of health benefits derived from the blueberry itself, which is known as a “superfood.”
The primary benefit of blueberries is its antioxidant properties. Combine the antioxidant properties with its concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and tocopherols, and you’ve got yourself a very potent skin care product. A few uses of the oil include:
Repairing damaged skin cells
Helping the skin retain moisture
Providing relief from stress and anxiety when used in aromatherapy
Treating certain skin conditions like eczema
Charlevoix and Lavender Essential Oils
Not all farms in Michigan belong to the blueberry industry. Michigan also happens to be one of the leading producers of lavender in the country. Lavender is low maintenance, has very few pests, and thrives in the Michigan climate. Michigan is host to several lavender farms, a lavender festival, and even a lavender growers’ conference.
In a similar fashion to blueberries, it’s possible to encounter lavender anywhere in Michigan even if there isn’t a farm in sight. There are plenty of places where it’s converted to soaps, oils, and other items commonly sold on the market. It’s also frequently sold at markets.
The largest source of lavender in the state is only 13 miles from Charlevoix in Boyne City, Michigan. The only way to reach Boyne City from Charlevoix is across Lake Charlevoix. That probably accounts for why the scent of lavender is always most noticeable on the lake. However, when the winds are strong, it’s an inescapable and entirely pleasant aroma that moves through the city.
Much like blueberries, lavender essential oil has many health benefits. It is one of the most commonly purchased essential oils and found in a variety of other skin care, hair care, and even household cleaning items. It’s considered a relaxing oil that can reduce anxiety and combat insomnia. A few additional uses of lavender essential oil include:
Relieve pain when applied topically to muscles
Treat acne and minor skin conditions
Repel bugs when sprayed in the air or applied to a surface
A Town of Blueberries and Lavender
“Charlevoix the Beautiful” may be the best city in all of Michigan and my personal favorite city in the world. Tourists and residents are treated to beautiful views and pleasant aromas while avoiding the day-to-day stresses of living in the big city. If you’re a fan of big lakes, lavender, flower themed festivals, or the smell of blueberries, then you’re guaranteed to love Charlevoix.
We hope you enjoyed this personal account by a fellow essential oil lover, Eduardo D. Check out more Cityscape stories here!