Lavender can be used neat as a perfume to be dabbed on the wrist or behind the ears. It can also be used to perfume linen, paper, leather, pot-pourris or any other object – applied neat, it does not leave a greasy mark. However, the most traditional way of using lavender as a perfume is in the form of an eau-de-cologne, or blended toilet-water. ‘Lavender water’ was originally prepared by distilling freshly picked lavender flowers which had previously been immersed for a few days in alcohol. Modern lavender water, by contrast, is made by diluting the essential oil with alcohol and then blending it with other ingredients. This is different from the simple ‘lavender water’ which is produced as a by-product of the distillation process. A simple lavender water can be made as follows:
570 ml/1 pint fairly weak alcohol 125 ml/4 fl oz distilled water
10 drops lavender oil 5 drops rose oil
3 drops ylang ylang oil (in place of the traditional musk)
Mix well and keep in a sealed container for 2-3 weeks before using.
Lavender can be used as an excellent disinfectant and deodorant – with a fresh, pleasing scent.
Add 5-10 drops of lavender to a bowl of warm water and soak the feet nightly for 5 minutes.
As a quick measure, a few drops of lavender oil can be rubbed into the soles of the feet or beneath the arms in the morning. (Tea tree oil can also be used as a deodorant in the same fashion).