Spike oil

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Lavender plant (Lavandula latifolia)


Oil extracted from the leaves of lavender plants (Lavandula latifolia or Lavandula spica) from the mint family. Spike lavender oil is a Nondrying oil that was first used as a Retardant and Thinner in oil paints in the 16th century (Mayer 1969). Although similar to turpentine, spike oil evaporates slower and can become gummy. It is a powerful Solvent that can make oil paints and varnishes sticky.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Lavandula latifolia; Lavandula spica; spike lavender oil; esencia de espliego (Esp.); olio di lavanda (It); oil of spike

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Yellowish to greenish color with strong odor.
  • Boiling Point = 170-200 C

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994
  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 589
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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