An Old Recipe for Scented Lavender Ink

Lavender from My Backyard Garden

Lavender from My Backyard Garden © 2008 Bo Mackison

Ever need to post something to calm and refresh yourself? That is what this simple photograph of lavender is meant to do for me this evening. I imagine breathing deeply in the plants and feeling a gentle relaxation overcome me.

I have had this recipe for many years, and have never made it, but maybe this August will be a good month to give it a try. My great-grandmother made scented inks every summer using a variety of garden flowers, including heirloom roses, geraniums and her very favorite, lavender.


An ink that you scent with the flowers of the lavender plant will surely send a message of calm and enjoyment when the special recipient opens the envelope. What an added enjoyment to the message you send…

People do still write an occasional letter now and then — don’t they?

Here’s the recipe.

1/2 ounce lavender flowers, dried well
5-6 tablespoons of water (distilled if possible)
one small bottle purchased ink, black or dark blue

Crush the dried lavender flowers and simmer them in water for about 30 minutes – until there is 2 tablespoons of brown liquid left in the pan.

Strain through a piece of cheesecloth and mix with ink when fully cooled.


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Beautiful, both the photo and the idea of writing with lavendar ink.

  2. That is one gorgeous beauty of a flower…

  3. How intriguing! I wonder if the flowers already dried on the stalks will do…

  4. Thanks for the ‘recipe’. I might just give it a try.
    Love how this image fills the frame. Colors are great!

  5. Scented ink sounds wonderful. I have never heard of it before. Lavender is so soothing. My mom always had lavender this or that bath products. She had a gentle lightly scented splash. I wish I could remember the name of it.

    What a wonderful post and memory.

  6. Very cool, I”ve never heard of lavender ink, but I do love lavender:)

  7. I can almost smell the lavender just by looking at your photo, Bo. Lovely. 🙂

  8. Yay! Interesting…

  9. Will this idea work with e-mail?

  10. Bo, I love this. Thanks for the link. What better way to be a writer than to handwrite with scented ink. And how wonderful that your great grandmother made inks every summer. Fantastic.

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