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Weekly Scent Discussion# 23: Lavender. Oh, How I love thee

Weekly Scent Discussion# 23: Lavender. Oh, How I love thee 8 years ago
It all started with a sample of By Kilian A Taste of Heaven. This scent just sang on my skin. I loved how it wasn't girly and had a nice masculine edge that pairs well with my personality.

From there I found Caron Pour Un Homme, Serge Lutens Gris Clair, Echt Kölnisch Wasser 4711,Versace Blue Jeans and Bond No9 New Haarlem. I also started discovering that some of my favorite woman's scents had this note in it though I never realized it before. Youth Dew, Lady Vengence, John Galliano EDP, Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass and the list goes on.

What is it about this note that calls to me? Is it the versatility of it? Perhaps. I love how it's used in so many ways. Usually, in womans perfume it's to add a masculine edge to something and give it some grounding, especially when it's found in the very "girly" compositions. In mens scents It's used differently but I can't seem to vocalize how. I love how lavender is not overpowering and that it blends so beautifully with a wide range of notes. It really is a Jack-of-all-Trades.

I think my all time favorite use of this note is in either the vintage Caron Pour Un Homme or By kilian A Taste of Heaven. Both of these just sing on my skin and make me feel wonderful.

What are your favorite scents with Lavender? What have you noticed about it's versatility and how it's used? What do you consider the quintessential Lavender scents everyone should sniff?
8 years ago
You have got interesting questions about an interesting note.

Lavender is really serious and unsmiling fragrance in my opinion. In my mind it is strictly connected with monks, since in Hungary lavender is grown by monks in Tihany. They use it up in everything, in chocolate, in liqueur and soft drinks, in cakes, so after few days you get fed up.

I appreciate this note in fragrances, giving weight, giving strongness for situations, when people try to not taking you seriously.

My best lavender experiences:
- A L'Extrait d'Argousier / With Sea Buckthorn Extract (ink, eraser, lavender, paper)
- Guilty Pour Homme (lavender x lemon dance)
- Hiroko Koshino (dark, powdery, ceremonial)
- Blenheim Bouquet (again with lemon + pepper).

Other good fragrances in my opinion with lavender, but this note is not in centre:
- Lothair
- Tsar

Is it really impossible to get a really feminine perfume with lavender?
8 years ago
Prompted by your post I went through my perfumes and found that the only one I (apparently) have tried with a dominent lavender note is Tova Signature so I went ahead and tried it again and jotted down my experience of it in a short review.

I haven't shied away from lavender and indeed am always partial to a drop of lavender essential oil in my aromatherapy mixes; I use lavender, rosemary, ginger, and frankincense as a rheumatic mix for my poor aching thumbs (I find it takes a little sting out of them and has the added bonus that it smells lovely).

Lavender to me is very wearable; a grandmother of mine only ever wore a drop of lavender water on a hadkerchief which she kept in her 'going out' handbag so I associate it with exciting days of visiting family out in the country (so exciting for a towny like me, to see wide open spaces, lovely old cottages, horses, the smell of dried hay, vegetables picked fresh, and my dear, darling, Victorian/Edwardian relatives).

I grow and dry my own lavender some of which I use to make lavender bottles (pick very long stems whilst the stems are still soft, fold a few inches below the flowerheads so as to form a cage of stems around the flowers and tie them together so there is a cage of flowers and some stems below them; hang them up to dry and then use in dry flower arrangements or between winter bedding in store).

I have several lavender essential oils from the sweet French lavender (lavendula augustifolia) to the more resinous Spike lavender (lavendula latifolia) and several English lavender species growing in the garden.

Recently I made some very successful cold process soap which I scented with a mix of peppermint, lavender, and rosemary. It is a peppermint dominent smell but the lavender and rosemary make it more gentle, almost creamy. Yardley used to made thyme & lavender, and rosemary & lavender soaps - they imparted a nice delicate fragrance that was suitable for office wear. I certainly appreciate having a nice scented tablet soap in the shower.

Of perfumes with a dominent lavender note I think Sarah Jessica Parker's Covet looks interesting; plenty of bottles still sloshing around so maybe one day I will.

I haven't tried any of those mentioned by Tar but I think Blenheim Bouquet is one to sample.

Of those mentioned by Briarthorn I do have Blue Grass which isn't working for me at the moment (perhaps the perfume has turned). I very much like the older versions of Youth Dew although I haven't tried the most up to date as I was put off by the version from a couple of years ago which was, for me and mum, one reformulation too many.

So I haven't got any recommendations as I haven't tried enough lavender dominent scents but I hope to see lots of recommendations from others on this site.
8 years ago
DorothyGrace, if you have got so many things around you containing Lavender, it is completely reasonable to do not search this note in perfumes Smile I also have got a special bottle for bath, since nothing can do more for tired muscles than hot water with lavender and salt.
8 years ago
DorothyGrace, I haven't had much luck growing lavender where I live. I believe it is too hot. I love cooking and baking with lavender flowers. I have a wonderful recipe I created, quite by accident, for Lavender Tea Biscuits and I've found tossing some flowers in to many recipes works quite well. Next time you make sugar cookies toss in 1-3 tablespoons of the blossoms for a wonderful treat.

Perhaps we can arrange something where I can buy some dried blossoms from you when they are in season. I'd much rather cook with flowers from a source I know than risk buying from the shops. It'll probably be fresher that way too.

Tar, I will definitely seek out some of your suggestions. the Hiroko Koshino sounds wonderful. I've had Tsar suggested to me on more than one occasion. I think it's time I seek out some samples. Smile
8 years ago
Laverder, a plant / fragrance to relax. Grows and smells in diferent farieties in my garden. Very British and authentic "English Lavender" by Yardley. I like the Body wash. Excellenr for tired muscles. "Lavender" by Molinard, French classic.
Hungary- half Island TIHANY, really great to see and smell! thousands of thease plants.

@ Tar or someone who is able to comunicate in perfect HUNGARIAN! ( and please excuse my English! )

"Tihany Lavender" EdP ! very smooth, harmonic, sweet - nice fragrance... without box, still a hungarian adress on backside... I went to the official LAVENDER HOUSE outside the village for more information. Made in France! It was not possible to find out more about. Not enough to nominate it. Parfumo RESEARCH
8 years ago
I am really surprised more men haven't added their two cents here. I know this is a prominent note in many classic men perfumes.
7 years ago
I love Chanel Jersey, is a gorgeous lavender with vanilla perfume.
6 years ago
Briarthorn, have you tried "Caldey Island Lavender" yet? It's been compared favorably to one of the fragrances you listed, Caron Pour Un Homme, so you might enjoy it. Unfortunately, CIL is difficult to obtain because the abbey which produces it will only ship within the UK, but I believe Surrender to Chance sells samples. If you want a full bottle after trying it, you may be able to find it on eBay or in someone's souk.
6 years ago
Thank you Cryptic for the lead. I'll see if I can find it on Surrender to chance tomorrow!
6 years ago
I recommend ~Intenso~ by Dolce & Gabbana as an excellent lavender-heavy fragrance. I was ^extremely^ impressed by it when I tried it, having grabbed it opportunistically - one of those direct hits!

On a technical note, I was fascinated to read recently how the aroma of lavender is dependent on ~isolavandulal~ in small quantities - a substance that alone smells offensively as rancid sweat, but without which the smell of lavender is bland & unsanguine (or whatever).

I am perpetually fascinated by this whole matter of °pleasant° aromata depending on being °thrilled° by some skanky component. All the very best perfumes are envelope-pushers in this respect, IMO.
4 years ago
I love Mon Guerlain eau Florale, it mainly is lavender and peony, perfect for me Very Happy
4 years ago
Bogue MEM is a lavender tour de force.
I do still love Pour Un Homme, as well as Chanel Boy, Anat Fritz Classical, Sartorial, Dior Eau Noire, and Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum.
4 years ago
As you I love A taste of Heaven and Gris Clair.
You should definitely try Dior Eau Noire if you can.
Mon Guerlain EdP has a nice lavender note.
Feve delicieuse by Dior has a good lavender start, a bit fleeting though.
Well, Jicky of course
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