Sweet Lavender

Don’t you just love the smell of sweet Lavender!

“Here’s your sweet lavender
sixteen sprigs a penny
that you’ll find my ladies
will smell as sweet as any”
Lavender Sellers’s Cry, London England CA 1900

The Victorian Era
Queen Victoria enthused in the use of lavender, appointing Miss Sarah Sprules ‘Purvey of Lavender Essence to the Queen’. Lavender was very fashionable amongst the ladies. They bought it from street sellers who brought the lavender up from Mitcham. Fresh lavender was dried and put into muslin bags for wardrobes, used to wash walls and furniture and for lavender bags which were stuffed between sheets in linen presses.

It was used to repel insects, treat lice, to perfume potpourri, in furniture polish and soap, as well as a cure-all in household medicine cupboards. Smaller bags were worn in the cleavage of young women in the hope of attracting a suitor. The overuse of lavender contributed to its loss of popularity in the early 20th Century, when it became associated with old ladies.

Mitcham, a London suburb, was the centre of Lavender Oil production, English lavender products becoming well known all over the world. Production almost died out because of the pressure high land values in Mitcham, Wallington and Carshalton.

Lavender Sleep Pillow

  • 3 parts lavender flowers
  • hop flowers or lemon verbena leaves
  • rosemary leaves
  • marjoram leaves
  • sweet Cicely leaves
  • 2-3 drop lavender oil

Sew the mixture into a bag made of thin material which will allow the fragrance to escape, for example, organza or muslin, silk is ideal. Make a pillow slip to contain the sleep pillow.

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