Any of a variety of plants of the genus Lavandula, such as Lavandula latifolia or the Lavandula angustifolia. The clusters of small purple flowers produce an essential oil, called lavender oil, that is used in perfumes. Lavender is also used for fumigating and is placed in sachets in closets as a moth repellent. A related nondrying oil expressed from the plant leaves is called spike oil and has been used as a retardant and thinner in oil paints (Mayer 1969). Both oils are powerful solvents and can make oil paints and varnishes sticky.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Lavandula angustifolia; Lavandula latifolia; lavanda (Esp.); lavande (Fr.); lavanda (It); lavender oil; lavander (sp); lavendar (sp)
R. Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row, New York, 1969.
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry # 5403
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 587
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
- Website address 1 Comment: "Violin Varnish Glossary" at www.violins.on.ca/luthier.vargloss.html - gives plant name as Lavendula latifolia