Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lavender Blues

I have always been extremely fond of lavender, and have enjoyed it in various bath products for most of my life, even before I was officially old enough to wear perfume. As a junior Francophile as a kid, I associated it with France and loved it even more. The summer my family spent a month in the south of France is completely lavender-scented in my memory. I also associate it with Yardley's English Lavender Soap, which my mother bought me.

However, I hadn't been that wild about it as a note in perfumes until I came across BPAL's TKO, which is a sleep blend. It doesn't have listed notes, but it's clearly got a heavy vanilla base and there is sweetness that I suspect comes from dragon's blood resin, which is a scent I generally don't like in any other blend. TKO goes on sharply lavender with a strong sweetness that leads many people to describe it as lavender-marshmallow, but which smells to me more like lavender-flavored frosting. I have trained myself to feel intensely sleepy within minutes of applying it, and tend to sleep like a log thereafter. I use it every night even though my husband isn't wild about it. By morning, it has faded to delicious rich vanilla, especially where it clings to silk or cotton, so I apply it not just to my skin but to the inside of my nightgown too.

I have been growing lavender in my garden for years, but only this year did it really finally take hold and start producing much volume of flowers. Today I thought it would be fun to make one of those lavender wands they sell at craft fairs, so I found this excellent blog post on how to do it.

Despite the crystal-clear instructions and beautiful pictures, my attempt was an unmitigated disaster. Maybe my ribbon was too wide, maybe my lavender stalks were too bunchy, or maybe I'm just completely inept, but the results (left) were piss-poor. It does smell good, though, and I have a little dish of all the blossoms and leaves that fell off that I'll use as a little fresh potpourri, perish the thought.

I do think I'll try again with a different plant that might be more svelte and some narrower ribbon, but I don't hold out a lot of hope.

Oh, and in honor of unofficial Lavender Day, today I am wearing emerald green cropped jeans and a violet tank top. I look like a lavender stalk!

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