Lavender is an aromatic blue/purple flowering plant that is a member of the mint family. It is widely cultivated across Europe and in southwest Asia and India.
The use of lavender can be traced back to the Egyptian era, where it was used as a perfume and as part of the mummification process. The root of its name is the Latin word ‘lavare’ meaning to wash and was used as an infusion in bathing water. The Romans prized lavender not only for its perfume, but as a food additive and insect repellent. In medieval times lavender stems and ribbons were made into lavender ‘bottles’ and placed in amongst the linens to deter moths. This continues today with lavender bags often a customary gift to be used to keep moths out of drawers and wardrobes. On a slightly larger scale the stuffing of cushions with lavender gives the same aromatic protection.
By medieval times the disinfectant properties of the plant were recognised as it was used to cover floors and mats. It was also being used for medicinal purposes to ward off infection, no more so than during the 17th century plague years where lavender was tied to the wrists to protect against the disease and to cover the smell of death.
The demand for lavender had another boost at the end of the 19th century when Queen Victoria appointed an official purveyor to the Queen for lavender. Naturally society women followed suit and street side lavender vendor sprung up.
By distilling the flowers lavender oil is produced, an important part of perfume manufacture. Here again its medical properties were used as a disinfectant to wipe down hospital walls and floors in WW1.
Finally, lavender has culinary uses in salads or as a dressing. The flowers can be candied for cake decoration and it adds flavour to many desserts, especially where chocolate is used.
If you wish to add some lavender to your dolls house we can offer a range of lavender items:
1:12th scale lavender bottle and lavender was available as a kit from our web shop