Treasures of Aromatic Literature- Scent of Lavender by Various

Father Gabriel had one extravagance, which was a delightfully open secret. It endeared him to many, showing him human and in so delicious a manner human. He gave full rein to his passion for the smell of lavender: old English lavender, in every form; the flower dried, in sachets; lavender soap, lavender water, lavender bath-salts. It was even said on good authority that he burned lavender stalks as incense in his room. The fragrance of lavender hung around him; and many ladies in consequence considered lavender too holy a scent for ordinary use. The odour of lavender was identical with the odour of sanctity.
Nine tales
By Hugh De Sélincourt

Evan was working in the strip of garden which ran from the front of the house, where stood the stones and monuments that were at once his sign and his stock-in-trade, to the back of it where were the yard and the shed. It was late summer and evening. There had been rain earlier in the day— the heavy rain of August that does not fall till the drops are large—and the earth smelled fresh and moist as the stonemason turned it with his spade. There were many scents in Evan's garden; the scent of the rose was one of them, of heliotrope another, of honeysuckle a third; but sweetest of all was the scent of lavender. Mrs. Radnor, when she came out to exchange a word with her husband, picked a sprig of it and crushed it between the hard finger and thumb of a hand which was yet very gentle, and held it to her nose.
"It makes me remember things," she said, and did not know that she would never again smell lavender without thinking of this evening.
Towing-path Bess and other stories
By Richard Pryce

I was at Sainte-Enimie before sunset, and there I found the air laden with the scent of lavender. True, all the hills round about were covered with a blue-gray mantle; but I had never known the plant when undisturbed give out such an aroma before. Looking down from the little bridge to the waterside, my wonder ceased. There in a line, with wood-fires blazing under them, were several stills, and behind these, upon the bank, were heaps of lavender stalks and flowers such as I had never seen even in imagination. There were enough to fill several bullock-waggons. The fragrance in the air, however, did not come so much from these mounds as from the distilled essence. It was evident that Sainte-Enimie had a considerable trade in lavender-water.
Wanderings by southern waters: Eastern Aquitaine
By Edward Harrison Barker

When Drurie recovered consciousness it was to find himself on the earthen floor of the hut. His face and left eye ached with a dull throbbing that, at the slightest movement, sprang to excruciating activity. He lifted his hand cautiously and felt that his head and face were generously bandaged in damp cloths. At the discovery, thought of the senorita, of whom the overseer had spoken, came to him. The cloths that bound head and eyes were of fine linen, and a subtle fragrance of lavender exhaled from them. An overseer would have bandaged his wounds with very different material, he reflected. Could it be that the senorita, that mysterious and merciful being, had tended him with her own hands? How strongly, sweetly familiar this scent of lavender!
A cavalier of Virginia: a romance
By Theodore Goodridge Roberts

As I have spoken of the little walnut cupboard, I must tell you something about it. It stood in a recess in our bedroom; and no one ever opened it but myself, and that was only at long intervals. When it was opened there was a scent of lavender, and of rose-leaves, and you saw nothing but white linen laid over the half-filled shelves. Underneath lay, in orderly array, a baby's first wardrobe—soft cambric and lace, and flannel, every dainty etcetera, even to the little knitted boots and hood.
Tales, sketches, and verses, by A.E.I.
By A E. I, Tales

She unlocked the oak chest, and thrust back the heavy lid. She lifted the green cloth which kept the contents from dust. A fragrance of lavender rose from within. One of the muslin bags had burst. Little bluish pellets of lavender had scattered among the packages. There were many packages. She turned them over gently, wondering why she kept them all, yet knowing that she could not burn them. She took out half a dozen packages. Opening them, one at a time, she entered again into the past, with the feeling that it was infinitely dead. There were letters from friends who had been dead for twenty years, letters from people who had been dear, letters about people who had been forgotten.
The street of to-day
By John Masefield

We watched the bee-gardener as she went to one of the neighbouring hives, subdued and opened it, drew out all the brood-combs, and brought them over in a carryingrack, with the bees clustering in thousands all about them. Then a scent-diffuser was brought into play, and the fragrance of lavender-water came over to us, as the combs of both hives were quickly sprayed with the perfume, then lowered into the hive, a frame from each stock alternately. It was the old time-honoured plan for uniting bee-colonies, by impregnating them with the same odour, and so inducing the bees to live together peaceably, where otherwise a deadly war might ensue. But the whole operation was carried through with a neat celerity, and light, dexterous handling, I had never seen equalled by any man.
The bee-master of Warrilow
By Tickner Edwardes

Geraldine Hawthorne always said that it was like going to sleep, and waking up to find one's self a child again, with no cares or responsibilities, to enter the doors of Endicot House. And something of the charm made itself felt even by Ralph Calverley. There came a soothing sensation as if he had passed through the portals into an earlier, fresher world, far removed from all the jarring fret and worry of the one where he passed his life. The long low room, with its old world fragrance of lavender and pot-pourri—the evidence of the maxim " of a place for everything, and everything in its place," being carried out in each smallest detail; and as an embodiment of the spirit of the place, Cousin Miriam seated in her arm-chair by the fireplace, with its tiles, whereon were depicted, in stirring fashion, many important acts of Old Testament history,—Cousin Miriam in her soft gray gown, muslin handkerchief, and close-fitting cap, which, despite its stiffness, seemed such a suitable setting for the soft gentle face. Even Cousin Jonathan, flitting about in his quick bustling fashion, his cheeks red as a winter apple, did not seem out of keeping with the harmony of the picture. He-fitted in somehow, perhaps because every one fitted in with Cousin Miriam. Anything discordant did not destroy her charm; she, on the contrary, seemed to bring it into her magic circle.
Geraldine Hawthorne
By Beatrice May Butt

Only a step from its canals you wander through the silvery olive orchards of Provence, or climb the sweet lavenderscented hillsides, or follow a smooth, white road past an old red-roofed farmhouse, or a dark cypress grove, or a stone-pine standing solitary, or else a thick hedge of tall, waving reeds. And even while in the town, you cannot help seeing the country as you never do in Venice. As the fishermen drew up their nets on canal-banks there would come rattling by long Provencal carts, drawn by horses that wear the blue wool collar and high-pointed horn which makes them look like some domestic species of unicorn. Or in the cool of the summer evening, after the rest during the day's heat, a shepherd, crushing a sprig of lavender between his fingers as he walked, would drive his goats and sheep over the bridges, and start out for the long night's browse on the salt marshes by the lake, or on the sparse turf of the rocky hillsides ; or in the morning, just as the white-sailed boats were coming home, he would leave his flock huddled together on the church steps or in the little square.
Play in Provence
By Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Joseph Pennell

The tall cypress-trees that in the plains spire up into the sky disappear as one ascends, and few shrubs or trees clothe the bald hillside. Wild thyme and lavender betray their presence by the fragrance of their perfume. Rabbits burrow amongst the undergrowth ; hawks hover high overhead, and with keen, penetrating vision sweep the rugged landscape in search of prey. Few other signs of life disturb the quiet of the lonely hills.
A tour through old Provence
By Archibald Stevenson Forrest


Wild lavender and thyme and yellow gorse still fringe the road a little further, with here and there an almondtree; but soon the road begins to cling to one side of a cliff, with a sheer drop on the outer edge, guarded by lines of scattered stones. Then a wild, desolate valley opens out to the east, and the guardstones of the winding road crowd close together like the battlements upon a fortress, while the steep mountain-sides burn blue and gold with countless tiny blossoms set among the scanty green. Alone and bare, and straight ahead, a gaunt crag of wind-swept limestone marks and bars the valley's end. The road, now built upon a wall, crosses over to the northern side, and the stone-carts from the quarries above begin to swing down with their first freights for the day. Quite unexpectedly the horizon opens out towards the plains of Orgon and Cavaillon on the east, and westwards to Tarascon and Beaucaire." Above the rocky amphitheatre from which the road seems to have emerged the silver line of the Rhone shows like a glittering thread in the morning sunlight, just where the elephants of Hannibal crossed it so long ago, just where Nicolete first saw Aucassin coming downwards from the castle gate. Through towering walls of white, a way
has been cut for the carriage road sheer down into the limestone, and quarries begin to gape on every side, until suddenly upon the right a little slip of green valley pushes its way into this rocky desolation, and from some hidden building in it a bell rings slowly, like the dirge for a dead world that has already turned to stone.
Old Provence
By Theodore Andrea Cook