March 05 2013 Tuesday at 06:52 PM

venture forth and lavender as spirit guide

We are finally starting to get settled into our new studio and it has been so much fun to create, experiment and allow new fragrances to unfold in this space. One fragrance in the works is (currently, at least) called 'lavenderleather' (you can follow me on instagram under this name) it is exactly what it sounds like - lavender,  fig and a whisper of jasmine giving way to a soft woody musk rounded out by a soft buttery vanilla-dusted leather . Working on it has renewed and reinvigorated my love affair with Lavender and in that vein I thought it might be interesting to revisit some information about this treasured herb, why we love it and why it loves us.

 Lavender is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family. The most common species for cultivation is 'Lavendula augustifolia' which has sweet overtones,  but each species posseses unique charecteristics. We know that Lavender has been cultivated for thousands of years in health, beauty and culinary pursuits. We also know that it was one of the first plants to be grown in abundance for the very noble pursuit of smelling lovely...

                   

Lavender is generally shrub-like and quite dense and the flowers may be blue, violet,lilac or even white, dark purple or yellow and yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high quality honey. This herb can be used in many other edible ways as well as preserving meats. 

  As an herb, lavender use is documented for approximately 2500 years. It was used in the mummification of kings and queens in Egypt and also as a perfume at that time, the greeks and Romans bathed in Lavender water and Queen Elizabeth I was said to use lavender as a conserve, a perfume and a tea to ease frequent migraines. Roman women hung lavender next to their beds to incite the passions. In the middle ages, the use of lavender was mainly restricted to that of monks and nuns who copied ancient manuscripts regarding herbs and recorded the medicinal effects of various plants. Under an edict of the holy roman empire in 812 A.D they were charged with the growing of vegetables, medicinal plants, flowers and trees. Later, Lavender became immensely popular among the upper classes for everything from scenting linens, personal perfume and as a culinary addition. That is most likely why it fell out of favour in the next generation, and was considered a dated scent.

 Now, of course we embrace the scent of Lavender as well as its many benefits - it is a highly-regarded addition to gardens, dinner tables, fragrance and self-care blends. It is known to soothe headaches, burns and insect bites and treats skin conditions from acne to skin burns and any inflammatory conditions. It is an anti-depressant and a sedative and is both calming and rejuvenating - therefore it is used in many aromatherapy blends to treat anxiety, depression, grief, nervous tension and stress. Metaphysically, it promotes happiness and harmony, and offers psychic protection in the home -  clears environmental energy and neutralizes disharmonic frequencies (often used for space-clearing rituals) and is said to stimulate the conscious mind and stabilizes both the emotional and the etheric planes. Phew. That's one sweet little herb!

           

PS - New in the "baume pour les levres" series - LAVENDER and JASMINE. Your lips want to be kissed by flowers for summer, promise.