It’s so lovely to receive a hand-written letter on beautiful paper, but even nicer when it has been written on scented paper or with perfumed ink. Since my post on letter-writing, I have had lots of requests to write about this, so it’s time I shared with you my scenting secrets!
I have a range of coloured ink cartridges by J. Herbin, some of which are scented, which I bought in the shop of the National Gallery London. These are small cartridges, and so do not fit my Waterman pen or my vintage Parker pen, but I just buy a selection of cheap fountain pens in WHSmith that take this size cartridge and then I have a pen for each colour.
I make my own scented ink and paper following instructions in The Fragrant Pharmacy: A Complete Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils by Valerie Ann Worwood. This book has almost been a bible to me since I bought it 20 years – so much so that I had to buy a second copy as you can see!
Making perfumed ink is easy: ‘just add to the bottle 2 drops of essential oil for each millilitre of ink.’
I like to match the scent of the ink to the colour or scent of the paper. Here are Valerie’s instructions for making perfumed paper:
‘For a one-off letter just dab a drop of [essential] oil on the corner of the paper, seal in the envelope and send. To infuse a whole box of paper and envelopes cut into small pieces a paper tissue, a cotton handkerchief, blotting paper or gauze – you only need half a dozen or so pieces about an inch square – put a drop of essential oil on each piece, and place them in different places between the sheets of paper or envelopes. Seal the box tightly, or if you don’t have a box put them in a plastic bag and seal, and leave for at least twenty-four hours. Which essential oils you use is entirely up to you. Try lemon oil on lemon- or cream-coloured paper, orange oil on peach-coloured paper, lavender on lavender paper and so forth’
Valerie also advises that ‘the aroma will henceforth be associated subconsciously not only with you, but with the nature of the news you send, so don’t send perfumed letters with bad news in them or the recipient of that letter will relive the emotions they felt on feeling that news everytime they smell the same aroma in the future. Send only good news in perfumed letters.’
Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a love letter on paper scented with rose essential oil? Well a girl can dream …Read More
Rain and a headache today meant that I postponed my plans to take the Princess out on a train journey and cycle in the country. But sometimes a rainy day at home can be just as perfect, and a time to catch up on nice things, such as writing letters.
I have loved writing (and receiving) letters ever since I was little. My aunty, who used to live with us, moved away when I was seven, and I used to write to her every day! I would rush home from school in my lunch breaks and eagerly wait for the postman, looking out from a little window at the top of the stairs where I could best see his van approach.
I can’t say I have changed much, and still love to receive post. I also love email, and social networking – for me the more ways I can communicate with my friends the better. But there is still nothing like good old-fashioned snail mail, and the delight of seeing a colourful envelope peeping out amongst the brown and white ones.
Nice writing paper is for me what shoes or chocolate are for some. I cannot resist a stationery shop, especially in Paris (Mélodies Graphiques and Papier Plus on the rue de Pont Louis Phillipe make me go weak at the knees!), but I will buy writing paper whenever I see any I like, whether I need it or not.
Today I wrote on some paper from a Martha Stewart collection, which I picked up in TKMAXX. It contains postcards, note cards and seals, writing paper and envelopes, all with illustrations taken from antique botanical prints. Perfect for me as I love gardening, and old prints. I like to write my letters with a fountain pen – my stationery fetish is such that I even have perfumed ink – after all, if you are writing a special letter, you may as well go all out!
My headache turned out to be a good thing after all then. It made me take a break from the computer and constant stream of tweets and facebook notifications, and sit down with a peppermint tea and write. There is something very relaxing about writing long-hand, and thinking carefully about what you want to say rather than dashing off a quick email. Just think of the warm glow you get when you receive a hand-written letter from a dear friend, so why not sit down and write one yourself – spread the love.Read More