Credits: Photos by Frankie Calland and Melanie Calland.


Well, I have to say, I never really liked lavender. I mean, it has a potent smell, always made me sneeze, so I couldn’t understand other people’s love of it. I was given an old bottle of lavender perfume once from the 50s and I didn’t appreciate it at all. But strangely, my mind has been changed! What has brought on my U-turn?

MOTHS! Yes, moths!

After hearing stories about my friends’ vintage collections being devastated by moth larvae, it spurred me on to try and deter them. We have had no damage so far luckily, but I wanted to take steps to ensure the least amount of deterioration to our wardrobes.

I did some research and discovered that moths don’t like lavender. Obviously, I went straight on to Amazon and ordered 60 small bags of it. I took all of my suits and jackets outside, shook them, let them air in the spring breeze and then popped a lavender bag on to each and every hanger. Now I keep my clothes in plastic zip up bags to keep the dust off.

Apparently moths don’t like the aroma – it won’t kill them, but they avoid it. This is the reason people have used lavender for centuries amongst their clothes. I had a think and wondered how they would get access to our house and my thoughts took me to the summer, when we needed to open the bedroom windows.


So, we went straight down to the nursery and bought local nursery lavender at £2 each, and we bought a cheap window box from Wilkinson’s! Frankie got the drill out and within a short while we had a lovely new addition to the front of our home – Number 43 smells lovely now and looks pretty out of the window too! It may not deter them from coming in – I’m no expert – but I do like it.

The past week we have had the window open due to the warm air and the aroma drifts in through the evening. I now adore lavender and feel empowered and protected from moth damage. We even keep a bag in the van as an air freshener! Just give it a squeeze now and again.

Lavender has influenced my fashion choices and I now enjoy wearing lavender colours. I bought this beautiful 1950s bow skirt from a friend many, years ago and didn’t wear it. Now I have a matching hat and gloves and wear it with pride! My glorious shoes are from Rocket Originals. Hat, gloves, boucle top and skirt are all original 50s. My sunglasses are from


Top tip: If you do find your clothes are being chomped by moth larvae, the best way to get rid of them is to vacuum bag your garments and freeze them for a few weeks. I have left one drawer in my freezer free for if I have any new purchases…

Go ahead! Lavish yourself in lavender, stroke its leaves and inhale its aroma. It’s quite magical and I no longer sneeze!

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Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!