Lavender has a long history of supposedly beneficial uses. The ancient Egyptians used it for perfume and in their mummification process.
The Romans knew of its cleansing properties, as reflected in its name which comes from the Latin lavare, to wash.
According to the German nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), a good dose of strong drink mixed with lavender is a cure for migraine headaches.
In the 17th century, a bunch of lavender round your wrist was believed to protect you from the plague, and more recently, lavender has been used as a herbal medicine to treat, among other things, muscular pains, cold sores, insect bites, head lice, halitosis and dandruff.
More specifically, Spanish churches used to burn lavender in a ritual to keep away evil spirits. Lavender has also been claimed both as a way of repelling mice and a treatment for impotence in mice.
The smell of lavender has been shown chemically to consist of well over 100 ingredients, and according to a recent study by the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago, the most sexually exciting smell for a man is lavender and pumpkin pie.