ilting , uplifting lavender . Love it or leave it , lavender is the basis for the family of fragrances known as fougere , along with what has been termed "fern " , although fern has no strong scent of it's own !
I don't think it gets enough respect , it actually has such a split personality - very cold and medicinal and yet spicy and refreshing . The absolute is much more interesting than the oil , both blending well with almost any other notes especially patchouli and labdanum .
Native to the stony foothills of the Alps in Provence , Lavendula vera has a long history in perfumery . Considered a universal oil good for headaches , rashes and insomnia , lavender is also sedative and anti- inflammatory . The name lavender comes frome the Latin word lavare , to bathe , and was used by the Romans as a mouthwash for the gums and breath , and for soothing sore muscles .
The English take great pride in their lavender crop , lavender having been introduced there in the mid-1800's where it flourished . I would love to hear from someone who visited the lavender fields during sniffapalooza last year ! I planted some under my jasmine bush , but it doesn't really like the heat here in Florida .
When harvesting the flowers , most of the tall stalk should be cut , but then trimmed before placing the flower heads in the still . A wide , shallow still is best for lavender distillation , the flower heads in contact with the water bath , where the oils are freed quickly and evaporate into the condenser before prolonged contact with heat , which deteriorates the odor quickly . Fresh oil has a distinct herbal odor , but upon aging , while loosely covered , this greener odor will mellow and mature within three months .
constituents of lavender :
Monoterpenes , sequesterpines , non-terpine alcohol , linalyl acetate ( the main odor constituent ), coumarines
Some great lavender fragrances :
Vero Kern KIKI
By Kilian Taste of Heaven
Laura Tonatto Albi
Guerlain Sous le Vent
Andy Tauer Reverie au Jardin