Here is a photo of my friends Jayne and Bobbi with me on the left, from a few years ago at a Lavender Festival near Athol, Idaho. It was a wonderful setting, a warm breezy day, and the sights and smells were delightful. Live bluegrass music was a great feature. Green-thumb Jayne makes lavender wands to live for, and Queen of Tchatchke Bobbi makes turns the mundane into magickal everyday, so I am in great company.
I hope you will try making Lavender-stem Incense this summer, perhaps experimenting with the stems of other herbs such as Monarda or Pineapple Sage. Some herbs, as you have probably experienced, do not smell very good burned, but the only way to find out is to try it.
The following incense recipe is very easy and similar to one found in THE BOOK OF POT-POURRI by Gail Duff. Please don’t let the kids get a hold of the potassium nitrate (also known as saltpeter).
Remove flowers from dried lavender stems and save for another use. Soak the stems in a water/potassium nitrate bath, 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon potassium nitrate, for 30 minutes. Remove from solution and dry completely on paper towels. Place the end of a stick in an incense holder or a jar of dry sand or and light. They will burn slowly like incense. Do not leave unattended.
Take all necessary precautions with any burning object, whether they are candles, herbs, or incense, and be sure to place them on flameproof dishes, perhaps on a bit of sand.
The seventh and final installment of Aroma Therapy will feature a reading list as shown in The Wild & Weedy Apothecary with a couple of new additions to the list. In the meantime, keep your sniffers happy and practice some prolonged smelling by smoochin’ your sweetie!