It was a scent I associated with elderly Victorian ladies when I was a patchouli and musk type of person. Out at discos, wearing platform shoes, loon trousers, and flashing a mood gem ring. Lavender was satisfying in floor and furniture polish, making the home smell fresh and clean, but it wasn’t a cool smell back then. I’ll leave you to guess when?

These days, no worthy essential oil box would be complete without a bottle of lavender oil, with its green spicy notes that blend well with orange and geranium. It’s a personal favourite, and the aroma’s relaxing properties often wafts around our place from a diffuser.

Garden centres and supermarkets sell lavender plants most of the year, and our garden is a profusion of purple and silver. July, it’s at its best. Each year, I intend picking the fronds to make fragrant bags for putting in drawers and wardrobes, but can never bring myself to steal the gorgeous flowers from the bees who love to feast on them. I can hear them buzzing outside the window as I write.

The shrubs are growing in a sunny patch, so I wait until evening’s coolness to sit by them on the patio when the perfume is heavenly. Crushing the spikes between finger and thumb is irresistible and emits a richer potency.

I sometimes find myself humming ‘Lavender’s Blue Dilly Dilly,’ an old English folk song and nursery rhyme that most are familiar with. The protagonist in my crime mystery novel that I’m in the throes of finishing, sings the lyrics throughout the story. And, I’ve discovered a lot about lavender since I embarked on my ‘Lavender’s Green,’ writing journey.

A big part of the process was going to a lavender farm, and at the end of the visit, which was enthralling, we tucked into some crumbly lavender-flavoured shortcake. Scrumptious. And all in the name of research!  

The herbs history is fascinating, as is its role in medicines and remedies. There are tens of varieties as well, all belonging to the mint family, just like patchouli. A strange coincidence, and a surprise, as they don’t smell similar at all.

Until next time,
Sue. X