Mrs. Allerton’s cabin was the next. It was exquisitely neat, and a faint old-fashioned smell of lavender hung about it. The two men’s search was soon over. Race remarked as they left it, “Nice woman, that.”
-Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile
This passage is one that stuck with me all through Christie’s oeuvre. I should like to have a ship’s cabin that is exquisitely neat, and that smells faintly of lavender. There are problems with obtaining this goal, however. First, many lavender-scented products are not scented with real lavender oil. The imitations are either sickly-sweet, or smell of industrial disinfectant. So it’s important to find the real stuff. Then the second problem emerges, which is that real lavender oil is volatile stuff, and the smell fades very quickly.
Dried lavender stops smelling almost immediately, in my experience–you can put sachets in drawers and they will scent the other contents, but that smell disappears within a minute of pulling something out of the drawer. Pure lavender oil is only moderately better; I often mix it into my spray bottle when I’m ironing things, and it makes ironing pleasant, but has no lasting effect on the ironed.
Having suffered these disappointments, I am turning towards my next great hope: EO. My friend Anya put me onto these. They’re scented with real lavender oil, not imitation, and as a bonus they don’t have the usual harsh detergents found in most soap and shampoo. The bubblebath, used right before bedtime, is better than a sleeping pill. I’m hoping that daily use of these will eventually scent my bedroom. Faintly. With the old-fashioned smell of lavender. And inspire me to be exquisitely neat… and for a nice man like Race to think that I’m a nice woman.
The pink bowl, and three more to match it, was a present from Bryan who came to visit me today. He has grown his hair out and looks buff. I never thought I’d have such a cool-looking friend.