Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm in one of the hottest art capitals in the country - Chicago. The art community here is very strong, galleries everywhere. And for me, a friend who I've known since I was 11 years of age who teaches are at a local university.

Do you know how many products are packaged nicely and labeled "lavender" in downtown Chicago (or any other city) that don't have a drop of real lavender essential oil? No? Neither do I. However the fragrance industry is awash with mixtures of artificial scents combined with natural ones. There probably isn't enough lavender essential oil in the world to provide all the producers with enough to go around, so I guess we shouldn't complain. I wonder if people who have allergy problems to scents are reacting more to artificial oils or to true essential oils. Anyone know?

Did you know that lavender oil is an ingredient in varnishes that artists use on their paintings?

"It can be used as a medium to give body to the color as well as a certain amount of bite, which improves adhesion to the lower layers. It can have the effect of either increasing or decreasing dry time, depending upon the other ingredients it is mixed with. If pure, it also works as a diluent, and was widely used in the middle ages. It Dries more slowly than Turpentine, allowing the artist to work wet in wet."

People use lavender oil in overglazing when making painted ceramic tiles. It seems to be used as a drying retardant.

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