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Learn the Fascinating History of Lavender's Scented Use

Within towering monuments of intricate designs, while the civilization outside continues to unfold, calming fragrances from small flowers with a soft, powdery purple shade permeate the humid air to ease the ladies and gentlemen who were destined to create and witness history.

Into the ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean regions, the wonders brought about by lavenders, previously called by the Greeks as ‘Nardus’ or ‘Nard,’ were realized, and easily integrated into the peoples’ lives. Records have shown that its first use was of medicinal nature.[1] Ancient Greek naturalist Dioscorides had believed lavender would help relieve certain ailments such as headaches, indigestion, and sore throats.[2]

Meanwhile, the plant was more popular among ancient Romans and Carthaginians for its fragrance. They have infused it into their cooking, bathing, grooming, and washing—in fact, this was how the word ‘lavender’ was coined during the Middle Ages. It came from the Latin word lavare, which means ‘to wash.’[3]

As one of the more progressive civilizations centuries back, the Egyptians were some of the first to initiate the creation of essential oils, and in effect, the use of lavender in essential oils. The extraction process included steam distillation, where the plants were soaked in boiling water for several days to release its aromatic properties and turn them into vapor. These oils were then used in religious ceremonies, as well as in hygienic and cosmetic products.[4]

Eventually, these influential civilizations have spread the fascinating effects of lavender across different lands and cultures through the help of early travelers.[1]


Lavender in Different Cultures
Lavender in Different Cultures

Though native to the Mediterranean parts, lavender can be cultivated in areas with warmer and milder climates such as the North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. [5]

During the Medieval and Renaissance periods, the fragrance of lavender was simply loved by European royals. Bouquets of fresh lavender were delivered daily to Queen Elizabeth I of England, lavender was frequently added to Louis XIV’s bath, Queen Victoria loved its scent on her skin, and Charles VI of France had pillows with lavender. Also, washerwomen in northern England used to be called “lavenders” for scenting washed fabrics with it the herb.[6]

In Asia, particularly in China, lavender is a common ingredient in a famous medicinal oil dubbed as White Flower Oil, which is widely used in the continent.[7]

Aside from medicinal and vanity purposes, lavender’s scented use was also a common occurrence in culinary. The floral and sweet flavor it adds to the herb combination, Herbs de Province, will immerse one into experiencing the bright and sunny land of southern France.[6]


Lavender flower with an essential oil bottle
Lavender of today

In the modern age, lavender has become a popular choice for aromatherapy, a form of therapy that uses scents to improve one’s mood.[8] Lavender also has dozens of species and hybrids. This has caused the blooming of varieties in essential oils that may greatly or slightly differ in particular features.[9] But, the distinctive sweet aroma of lavandula angustifolia is the one popularly featured in the essential oils available in the market.[10]

Generally called the “true lavender,” lavandula angustifolia is notable for producing lighter and sweeter fragrance among the other types of lavender. You may encounter a lot of its other names as well such as the Himalayan lavender, French lavender, English lavender, Lavender Maillette, and more. They are the same in essence, just grown in different places.[10]

As explained in the study, Lavender and the Nervous System, by Koulivand, Ghadiri, and Gorji.“Lavender improved associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints and had a beneficial influence on general well-being and quality of life.”[9] And Jane Ehrman, MEd, a behavioral health specialist, suggested bringing home the immersive experience of aromatherapy.[8]

There are many ways to create a soothing home atmosphere using the fresh and gentle fragrance of lavender. Try dipping in a lavender scent-filled bath before going to bed to gain a sense of serenity. You may also mix it with water and spray it on your sheets which will help easily lull you to sleep at night.

Keep your home smelling fresh when you sprinkle in some lavender oil in your laundry. Lastly, you can fill your space with its calming aroma using your essential oil diffuser to find peace in your mind and body.

Over the years, the special aroma of lavender continues to be an essential part of our lives. Now, you may also indulge and wrap your home in its relaxing scent with our Essence et Sérénité lavender, which is 100% natural and comes from France.

No information provided in this article is to treat, cure or prevent any kinds of illnesses.

Please read our full DISCLAIMER.


Posted February 4, 2022, in ESSENTIAL OILS by Essence et Sérénité

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