Fusettes de Lavande

I have a friend, Mary Ann Evenhuis. A few years ago she and her husband Hans left their Johannesburg based corporate and teaching lives – which, it has to be said, were filled with a love of all things Provencal even then – for the awesome project of taking a piece of land at the top of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus, and turning it into the real-life embodiment of those loves: they are now growing lavender, olives and wine. The latter of these is a year away from coming to fruition, but their olive oil is already winning competition prizes, and the lavender is standing hip-high. Which finally leads us on to the subject of today’s blog: Mary Ann’s lavender wands. 

These beautiful wands are made from freshly harvested lavender stems. Mary Ann prefers to use the French Lavender cultivar since it has large flowers and long stems making it easier to work with. She then bends the stems back over the flowers and weaves a ribbon around the stems. This holds captive the fragrant flowers, keeping their scent for many years. The scent can be renewed by gently rolling the wand between your hands or by adding a few pure lavender oil drops.

These simple artisan objects, called fusettes de lavande or fuseaux in Provence, and now synonymous with the South of France, actually originated in the Victorian era when the ladies made them to ward off the mal odours at court. They were also made for brides for their trousseau, to scent linen cupboards, and if you watched the charming movie, A Good Year, you will know it keeps the scorpions away!

Mary Ann makes them mostly on order for promotions and weddings. Her products are available at Just Pure in Hermanus, Caramel & Co in Claremont and Story Concepts in Durbanville. You can contact her at evenhuis@iafrica.com.

"I judge that the flowers of lavender 
quilted in a cappe
and dayly worn are good for all diseases of the head
that come of a cold cause and that they comfort the braine very well." 
Lavender and Turner (Herbal, 1545)

Image credits: All photography by me

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