When it comes to lavender, probably the most common product that we will have come across is the humble lavender bag. Often tucked away in our sock or undies draw, placed amongst sheets or rugs, under our pillow when trying to sleep: hidden away, but most definitely there for you to “discover” occasionally. For some, they simply remind us of a past age, of grandmother, of Victorian England, of a day when life was simpler. For some, today, they very much have their purpose in a modern home.
So what are the uses of the humble lavender bag? The main one would have to be as a deterrent to moths, to dissuade them from chewing holes in your silk scarves, woollen jumpers etc. Lavender, particularly the species L. x intermedia (otherwise known as Lavandin or sometimes Lavandula Hybrida) contains camphor in its oil. Camphor is a naturally occurring chemical that is well known to deter moths. In fact, a couple of decades ago you could walk into the hardware store and buy camphor mothballs. Unfortunately, camphor in it’s purer form can cause skin problems so camphor mothballs are no longer available. The best substitute is therefore a lavender bag containing plenty of fragrant lavandin flowers.
The other use for a lavender bag, moths or no moths, is just to make your clothes, sheets or smalls smell nice. What nicer way of giving them a fresh, clean fragrance than a hint of lavender in the wardrobe or drawers? Maybe this is why lavender is so widely used in perfumery in laundry detergent and fabric softener fragrances. For many the smell of the Lavandula angustifolia, otherwise known as lavande, “English” lavender or “True” lavender, is the softer, more pleasant, more floral lavender fragrance.
Another use of a lavender bag is to help get a good night’s sleep. Lavender, the Lavandula angustifolia, is well known for it’s calming, relaxing and de-stressing properties. Many people will simply pop a lavender bag under their pillow when trying to get to sleep, and then swear that the soft vapours work their magic to ensure that they drop-off into a blissful slumber in no time at all.
The final use of a lavender bag is for decoration. These days we fill our homes with all sorts of “accessories”. If the lavender bag is made from attractive material, or is an interesting shape, they are frequently to be found hanging from door handles, on a window sill or mantelpiece…. all the time giving out their soft lavender fragrance as well.
We are often asked how long a lavender bag lasts for. The answer is really, many years. If you have an older lavender bag in the home and it doesn’t smell of much, give it a bit of a gentle squish. You’ll usually find that in doing so you will release more fresh lavender aroma. The lavender oil is locked up in tiny oil glands on the lavender flower buds, so that, a bit like “scratch-and-sniff”, you have to physically break the glands to release the scent. Eventually, of course the fragrance will wear out. At this point you have two options. One is to refill the lavender bag or you can “refresh” it temporarily using lavender oil.
All Jersey Lavender’s lavender bags are designed to be refilled. They either have a draw-string closure or contain a refillable pouch. All you need do is purchase some of our dried lavender from our Jersey Lavender website and refill your lavender bag – as simple as that. The other option is to purchase some of our pure lavender oil and empty out the contents of your lavender bag into a bowl and add a few drops of oil to the dried lavender flowers to “refresh” the fragrance. Depending on the use of your lavender bag you can choose from the moth-repelling L. x intermedia “Grosso” oil with the high camphor level, or the softer, relaxing “English” lavender oil. Be aware that the lavender oil is volatile so refreshing the fragrance of your lavender bag in this way will not last as long as refilling it with fresh, dried lavender flowers.