Aromatic Studying for Holidays (& Lengthy Weekends): Secrets and techniques of the Lavender Women

For the Financial institution Vacation (or any travelling you is perhaps doing within the subsequent few weeks) we’d like to recommend you browse our good Aromatic Reads shelf of scent-themed tomes. There’s really one thing for each style! However this weekend we’re sitting again and enjoyable with a novel: Secrets and techniques of the Lavender Women.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the fascinating aromatic backstory behind its creation (and the true story that impressed it…)


Within the e book, creator Kate Thompson tells the story of the ladies who labored on the Yardley manufacturing facility in the course of the conflict. Nevertheless it seems a number of the tales she found throughout her analysis had been much more unimaginable…



‘I like archives and libraries,’ Kate Thompson shares on her Facebook page. ‘Fastidiously untying the cream ribbon of an outdated file and catching the scent of 80-year-old mud motes is a thrill. Greater than as soon as I’ve discovered hours can slip away leafing by yellowed newspaper stories and witness accounts from the Second World Battle within the silence of a studying room…’

Revealing her ardour for analysis, and the extraordinary tales she discovered throughout her time writing The Secrets and techniques of the Lavender Women, Kate says that ‘nothing beats what historians calls ‘Main Sources’ and what I favor as an alternative to name ‘Magnificent Ladies’.’



The totally charming novel follows the aromatic historical past of Yardley, and the outstanding tales of the ladies who labored there. Although a fictional account, Kate’s real fondness for the actual life girls she discovered (and who shared their tales along with her) really shines by.

Unravelling the tales of the real-life girls who labored at Yardley in the course of the conflict, she obtained ‘a fantastic handwritten letter within the put up.’

‘I used to be a wartime lavender lady, I examine your e book in {a magazine},’ wrote Joan Osborne. ‘Yardley was probably the most fantastic years of my life. I’m now 91.’

The letter was from Joan, who’d desperately needed to work at Yardley, telling Kate: ‘It will need to have been the glamour. I bear in mind travelling from Stratford to Ilford on the bus and the conductor opening the window so everybody might scent the lavender blowing from Yardley. Carpenters Street, or Stink Bomb Alley was well-known for its smells. Seven various kinds of air flowed down there relying on which manner the air was blowing. I can nonetheless scent the lavender,’




Kate realized Joan was despatched to work within the prime ground perfumery division the place she was given a brush to comb the ground. ‘I assumed, “I haven’t come right here to comb flooring” in order that they moved me to bottle-filling the place I used to be placing the pores and skin and caps on bottles. They had been dropping so many women to the providers I don’t assume they needed to lose anymore, in order that they stored me candy. I earned eighteen shillings and one thing per week and my clocking in quantity was 157. I’ve nonetheless acquired the cardboard.’


‘They had been harmful instances, particularly when the flying bombs began up, however being younger I didn’t assume that a lot about it. I used to be extra upset by how chilly it was within the manufacturing facility, the heating was not often on and we had been all the time freezing. They used to provide us cups of Oxo to heat us up. Least the room all the time smelt beautiful from the lavender, freesia and April violets fragrance.’



You may read more of the remarkable back-story of Joan and her fellow Yardley women in Kate Thompson’s touching reflections on researching the e book. However we can not urge you sufficient to go and buy the book itself – and even higher, learn it whereas sporting one in all Yardley’s classic fragrances (nonetheless proudly in manufacturing!) for an additional aromatic waft of historical past.



P.S: There’s a surprising FULL SIZE Yardley scent of English Rose included in our lately launched Discovery Field, The Backyard of Delights. A blooming marvellous assortment for under £23 / £19 for VIPs, which we all know you’ll additionally love exploring to profit from these final days of summer season, too…

Written by Suzy Nightingale