Monday, 11 July 2011

Underaged Lavender Water Fan

For me, few things are more evocative of summer than the rich, spicy scent of lavender. Lavender water sits side-by-side with toothpaste and conditioner on my toiletries list as a mandatory item for my dressing table.

Without a vast income I have always settled for Boots' own lavender water. That suited me fine. It is a pleasing purple colour, smells not too strongly of chemicals and resided in a reassuringly heavy glass bottle.  The price increased over the years and more often than not, I needed a note rather than a few coins to make my purchase. I willingly coughed up-lavender water is vital to my well being. Then one day I made a lunchtime trip to Boots armed with a small list, lavender water sitting proudly at the top. I bent down to pick it up from its usual place on the shelf (always the bottom one; I suspect the only other lavender water enthusiasts are ladies in their seventies) looked different...the bottle was more cylindrical, they must have changed the shape of the bottle. As I grasped the bottle, it left the shelf with an unfamiliar cheap, lightness. Plastic! They'd replaced the glass bottle with an inferior plastic one. I put the bottle back and refused to buy it. Sometimes you just have to make a stand, against all reason and rationality.

I know I am probably being stubborn for the sake of stubbornness but as far as I'm concerned something as refined and beautiful as lavender water should never, ever be sold in a cheap plastic bottle.

I switched to lavender essential oil but we didn't get along as well. I never mastered the art of scattering a restrained few drops, instead preferring to sprinkle it liberally like my old friend lavender water. No wonder I usually sleep so well, I was probably knocked out. I decided that buying the water in the plastic bottle and decanting it into a glass bottle wasn't cheating too much. In fact, I feel somehow as if I'm rescuing the water from a sordid life in plastic. After a few failed bids on eBay for perfume bottles, I visited a shop called Merchant Chandler in Maidstone, which sells an eclectic mix of home ware. Almost straight away I spied a little collection of glass decanters and a favourite was immediately apparent.

I've carefully poured 400ml of lavender water into my new glassware and gleefully added a sprig of my dad's homegrown lavender.

Sometimes paltry, unimportant things are just important.

The sprig floating romantically

My dad's lavender

Merchant Chandler's website 

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