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July 31, 2008 / Bo Mackison

An Old Recipe for Scented Lavender Ink

Lavender from My Backyard Garden

Lavender from My Backyard Garden

Ever need to post something to calm and refresh yourself? That is what this simple photograph of lavender is meant to do for me this evening. I imagine breathing deeply in the plants and feeling a gentle relaxation overcome me.

I have had this recipe for many years, and have never made it, but maybe this August will be a good month to give it a try. My great-grandmother made scented inks every summer using a variety of garden flowers, including heirloom roses, geraniums and her very favorite, lavender.


An ink that you scent with the flowers of the lavender plant will surely send a message of calm and enjoyment when the special recipient opens the envelope. What an added enjoyment to the message you send…

People do still write an occasional letter now and then — don’t they?

Here’s the recipe.

1/2 ounce lavender flowers, dried well
5-6 tablespoons of water (distilled if possible)
one small bottle purchased ink, black or dark blue

Crush the dried lavender flowers and simmer them in water for about 30 minutes – until there is 2 tablespoons of brown liquid left in the pan.

Strain through a piece of cheesecloth and mix with ink when fully cooled.



  1. ybonesy / Jul 31 2008 11:03 pm

    Beautiful, both the photo and the idea of writing with lavendar ink.

  2. Sumedh / Jul 31 2008 11:05 pm

    That is one gorgeous beauty of a flower…

  3. Pat Denino / Aug 1 2008 9:06 am

    How intriguing! I wonder if the flowers already dried on the stalks will do…

  4. Marcie / Aug 1 2008 11:02 am

    Thanks for the ‘recipe’. I might just give it a try.
    Love how this image fills the frame. Colors are great!

  5. Laurie / Aug 1 2008 12:40 pm

    Scented ink sounds wonderful. I have never heard of it before. Lavender is so soothing. My mom always had lavender this or that bath products. She had a gentle lightly scented splash. I wish I could remember the name of it.

    What a wonderful post and memory.

  6. bookbabie / Aug 1 2008 4:55 pm

    Very cool, I”ve never heard of lavender ink, but I do love lavender:)

  7. Robin / Aug 1 2008 4:57 pm

    I can almost smell the lavender just by looking at your photo, Bo. Lovely. 🙂

  8. Marians / Aug 3 2008 12:16 pm

    Yay! Interesting…

  9. Gandalf / Aug 5 2008 1:26 pm

    Will this idea work with e-mail?

  10. QuoinMonkey / Sep 17 2008 12:33 pm

    Bo, I love this. Thanks for the link. What better way to be a writer than to handwrite with scented ink. And how wonderful that your great grandmother made inks every summer. Fantastic.


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