The History of Lavender
Lavender has been cultivated throughout history. While its popularity has fluctuated over the years, it has undoubtedly made a huge impact on the world.
One of the earliest uses of lavender was in Ancient Egypt. An early species was used for embalming and cosmetics by royalty and the extremely wealthy. Later, Dioscorides, a Greek military physician under the Roman Emperor, Nero, collected medicinal plants and listed lavender with medicinal uses.
In the Middle Ages in Europe, lavender was usually only used by monks and nuns. Monastery gardens grew various vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Lavender was grown at Merton Abbey, which was later the heart of lavender production in Mitcham, London. In the Renaissance, French lavender was considered a protection against infection in the 16th century. In the 17th century, lavender was considered a cure-all in England.
In the 1800s, Queen Victoria loved lavender and it was considered fashionable at the time. Mitcham, London became the center of English lavender production. English lavender became known all over the world and was used in multiple products from potpourri to furniture polish. Due to its excessive popularity, it lost some popularity during the early 20th century by being associated with old ladies.
Lavender has only made a comeback in recent decades, with the popularity of essential oils, fragrances, and cleaning products. There is barely a cleaning brand that doesn’t offer at least one lavender-scented product. A good synopsis of the resurgence of lavender can be read in this New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/style/lavender.html