I’ve always believed that the scent of a space sets the tone of the environment you are walking into. My favorite tone is set by the scent of fresh flowers, or some hint of earthy spices. I’ve been known to take plant leaves and rub them on my wrists as I walk through a garden- Rosemary, lemon balm, mint- there are so many! One of my favorites, since trying desperately to grow my own in Florida, is lavender (bountifully grown in temperate climates). I thought that as the weather warms up, and as friends start leaving windows and doors open for breeze to sweep through the house; I would put together some lavender sachets to add to linen drawers, and hang in living spaces.
Unfortunately, my lavender plant is pretty measly, so I was only able to harvest about half the amount of blooms that I needed for this project. If you’re lucky, you can purchase dried lavender at a shop in your neighborhood, if not, there are plenty of places to buy from online (like I did, for the other half of my batch). Fresher is better, its impossible to preserve the potency of lavender oil in transport- but the bought versions still smell wonderful!
Method for drying your own lavender:
First thing to do is identify an area that is warm, dry, and does not receive light. If your garage doesn’t get hot, this is the best place because there is air circulation; which will aid in the flowers drying quickly. In Orlando, there is no outdoor area that isn’t hot and humid- so my best bet was a seldom-visited closet. The scent is strongest in the plant just before the blooms fully open, and when they still possess a strong purple hue. My plant was at its best for one day, so I snipped bunches just after this prime- and they still rendered lovely scent. In order to dry them, pinch off each bud and toss onto a cookie sheet (or, even better, a clean-ish removable window screen). Place in the area you want it to dry. Stir with your fingers once a day or so, and all of the flowers should dry within three to four days.
In order to present the lavender I used a few small organza bags and a personalized round hang tag in the Provencale style. I made ten sachets; using just over a cup of dried lavender blooms (3 ounces), at 4-5 teaspoons per sachet. This size is simple and elegant, hung on a doorknob, perched on a shelf, or put in every linen drawer!