By Morwenna Kearns
It's summer and that means getting outside in the sunshine. But if you're stuck indoors, there's one scent that brings the season in: lavender. Here are some of our favourite uses.
Lavender is a go-to botanical for skincare and aromatherapy thanks to its soothing, calming qualities. It's floral without being cloying – more of a summer day than a branch of Lush (not that we don't love Lush). The new line-up of natural deodorants from Schmidt's includes a Lavender Tips variety, enriched with odour-eating magnesium for a cool, dry summer.
We're not saying this floral martini is good for you, but if you make your own cocktails with proper ingredients – like fresh lavender – you'll at least avoid some of the chemical hangover. Rocks makes its Sparkling Elderflower drink with real elderflower extract, organic sugar and spring water, and this martini sounds like summer in a glass.
Seed and Bean ticks a lot of ethical boxes: the British brand hand-makes its organic, fair-trade chocolate in small batches in Nottinghamshire and wraps the bars in compostable packaging – and offers a veritable menu of flavours including Lavender.
DYK lavender relaxes clothes as well as people? According to washing machine brand Hoover, you can avoid your freshly laundered clothes getting creased by spraying them with a solution of lavender oil and water after washing. You'll also smell like a Provençal field so you probably won't care if you do look crumpled.
If you think you like lavender, insects LOVE it. Plant some in your garden or window box to attract bees and butterflies, who use the plant as a handy nectar store. The Horticultural Trades Association also recommends Buddleja, Sedum and flowering perennials like Rudbeckia and Echinacea to lure friendly creatures to your home.
Want more lavender in your life? Check this out.