2011 29¢ Lavender
Issue Date: April 7, 2011
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
It was a scent so heavenly that it could only have come from the Garden of Eden. That’s one of the many legends surrounding the lavender. When Adam and Eve were banished from Eden, they brought a sprig of lavender with them.
Lavender is one of the most famous herbal scents. For thousands of years it has been a favorite addition to baths and soaps – a practice that perhaps inspired its name. “Lavender” comes from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash.” Its pleasing smell has also proven effective in relieving anxiety and depression. Queen Elizabeth I drank lavender tea to soothe her headaches. Yet while the calming properties of lavender have been applied to numerous medical concerns, the fragrance has also inspired a more romantic history.
Cleopatra reportedly used a lavender perfume to entice Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Medieval women would slip lavender under their beloved’s pillow to inspire thoughts of romance. More scientifically, a 2004 study identified a lavender and pumpkin blend as the scent that most excites passionate feelings in men.
Throughout history, lavender has relieved distress and inspired romantic joy, making it one of the most cherished herbal fragrances.