Monday, June 30, 2008

All Things Lavender

It is Lavender season, many festivals in honor of this universally healing herb take place at this time of year. The word lavender comes from the Latin "Lavare" meaning to wash. The herb has a very rich presence in literature and is used widely in medicinal preparations, culinary delights and cosmetic preparations. The essential oil of lavender is derived from the distillation of the flowering tops of Lavandula officinalis, also referred to as Lavandula angustifolia/vera.

"I judge that the flowers of lavender quilted in a cappe and dayly worn are good for all diseases of the head that come of a cold cause and that they comfort the braine very well." Lavender and Turner (Herbal, 1545)

Here are some uses for lavender essential oil:
  • Lavender essential oil has analgesic properties. Apply a cool compress the forehead to bring some relief from a headache. Place 5 drops of lavender essential oil into two cups of cool water. Place a wash cloth on the top of the water to soak up essential oil and water. Wring out and apply to forehead, avoiding the eyes. Re-apply as needed.
  • Lavender essential oil has calmative and hypotensive properties. Place a drop of lavender essential oil on your pillow case to help you sleep at night or on a cotton ball during stress filled situations. Add 8 drops to warm bath water at night for a relaxation before bedtime.
  • Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply to wounds either neat or with a cool compress.
The aroma of lavender essential oil is considered herbaceous, fruity and sweet depending on the variety and type of extraction. In many circles it is deemed "floral", which may or may not be present...again depends on the variety. More appropriate terminology could be an herbaceous floral character. For use in aromatherapy synergies it is considered the universal oil and used extensively in almost all types of dis-ease. Its chemistry is rich in the ester: linalyl acetate the alcohol: linalol and sesquiterpenes

The magickal properties of Lavender are derived from its association with the planet Mercury and elemental air. Use it when intending clarity of the mind. References also site lavender in connection with attracting prosperity, love and the elemental Faes due to its attractive scent.
Lavender is often utilized as an offering in Mid-Summer celebrations.

The main reoccurring theme we find associated with lavender in mind, body and spirit is PEACE. Peace of mind, peace from physical distress...peace, peace, peace.

.
There's a few things I've learned in life:
always throw salt over your left shoulder,

keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck,
and fall in love whenever you can.


Lavender and Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic )

In perfume lavender essential oil tends to be classified as a top to middle note. Where as the absolute is considered a base note. In perfume we find the lavender note used in Lavender Eau de Colognes and the category of fragrance deemed Fougere, meaning fern in French. Fougere perfumes feature the combination of oakmoss with lavender.


As a botanical and natural perfumer I use Lavender as a bridge note. It is not an essence I use regularly, unless it is for a specific perfume like Vera or a custom perfume. In aromatherapy synergies and blends I use it in almost every single
preparation.

The Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington - July 18, 19 & 20th, 2008

Lavender Recipes from California Lavender website

Recipe for Lavender Gelato

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

6 comments:

AromaX said...

Thanks for a nice review of Lavender, Roxanna.
I do like lavender and use its calming energy when I put a couple of drops on my pillow.
Lavender for me is a herb that can touch the emotions and feelings (Water element) through the intellect (Air). It can balance both.
It has also something salty in the smell and much more in the taste (lavender tea).
And it's so nice furry like a tweed especially in combination with sage or armoise...

Roxana said...

Well, it seemed appropriate to honor Lavender given all the festivals. Are there any festivals happening in your part of the globe?
Yes!!! I agree with your assessment of working in both elementals, water and air. Nice observation, thank you.

Andy said...

Thank you for your post on an omnipresent oil, but one that is the more difficult to work with the more dominant/present one wants it in a composition (at least in my hands).
And there is so much artificially pumped up lavender oil out there, and synthetic bath foam things and stuff that makes us forget how good true lavender oil can be. For sure, festivals like the ones you mentioned help to raise awareness!

AromaX said...

Dear Roxana,
The idea of Lavender festival is very new to me and I am fascinated with it. Yes, it's true - lavender is worth to be honored. It was nice to browse through the Sequim Lavender Festival - thank you.
No Lavender festivals in Netherlands - there is not the best natural climate for it here. May be they have something similar in Provence, but I haven't been there yet (and I don't speak French good enough to enjoy it). But I put a Lavender Festival on my wish list ;-)

Roxana said...

Andy, Omnipresent, good word choice for Lavender. I'm glad to hear I am not the only one who finds Lavender a challenge to work with in perfumery.

Roxana said...

AromaX, unfortunate the Land of Nether is too damp for Lavender, however I bet it's real green there. Here the hillsides have turned a golden brown from lack of water. "Fire" element is strong, in more ways that one. A trip to Provence for the Lavender Festivals sounds divine. I'll just hop in my private jet and head on over.
:-)