Fragrant. Ample. Hardy. Handsome. Aah lavenders… I do love you so. I also love that I can get away with planting lavender everywhere in the garden. My partner really wants the garden to be primarily herbs and edibles, and although I push the boundaries all of the time with resplendent coreopsis, statuesque freesia, and cheerful azaleas, I try to rationalize the beauty in the garden with some sort of purpose. it’s not hard with lavender – bees love the flowers, and lavender gives a unique flavor to the honey.
And we all are aware of the calming effects of lavender. (Lavender pillow spray anyone? Lavender eye satchel? Lavender triple-milled soap?! Mmmm. I’m getting dreamy just thinking about it all). But did you know that lavender also has a soothing effect on irritated skin? This makes lavender-infusion oil a great option for cleaning the face, or for using as a moisturizer, either alone, or in a blend. (Directions and recipes for the aforementioned coming soon).
So here it is – an easy recipe for a lavender-infused oil.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh harvested lavender flowers, young stems, and leaves (or approximately 1 cup already dried – and avoid the older, woody stems)
- 1 cup of a lightly scented oil of your choosing * I prefer almond or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 8 oz. mason jar *If you have more lavender and would like to make a larger batch, simply alter recipe as necessary – so long as the dried lavender is fully covered by oil once it is jarred
- Gather the lavender in pieces 5-6″ in length, and lay in the same direction.
- Use a rubber band or piece of string to tie the bottom of the lavender, and hang in a dry, warm area for at least two weeks. * This eliminates the chance of the lavender still retaining moisture, and the oil going rancid.
- Chop the dried lavender into smaller pieces – 1-2 inches in length, and then gently crush the flowers using clean hands, or bruise the flowers with a mortar and pestle, to help release the aroma.
- Place the lavender in a 8 oz. mason jar (or larger if you have more!).
- Pour in your oil of choosing, making sure that the oil covers your lavender by at least 1/2″.
- Cover the jar tightly with the lid and set in a sunny window to infuse for between 3 and 6 weeks, smelling periodically to reach your desired level of scent.
- Strain your oil using a fine mesh colander, into a small mason jar.
- Label your jar with the flower infusion (lavender) and the oil base (in this case, I used olive) and store away, ready to use for massages, washing your face, as a calming lotion, or to mix in with skin care recipes.