Lavender recaptures its noble pedigree
Initially in the early 20th century, the essential oil produced was bought by manufacturers in the nearby Grasse region, a site that held a virtual monopoly in the raw materials destined for the Perfume Industry.
Since then, lavender essential oil enjoyed great popularity and was used mainly in the manufacture of “Eaux de lavande” in alcohol, simple in formula but variable as a function of the species used, percentage, etc...
Such was the case for the famous "English lavenders" including Atkinson’s "English lavender" (1910) or Yardley’s O"Old English Lavender" (1873) and many others.
In the book "Tous les parfums du monde" ("All the World’s Perfumes") by Claude and Danielle Berger, Editions Milan, there are some 70 brands, mostly French, of scented products bearing the name "lavender", especially in the first half of the 20th century.
Regarding the plant itself, French production had experienced a significant decline but holds up well today and has even increased in recent years.
Other production sites are in Bulgaria, Russia,etc...
PDO Lavender, a specific product with guarantee of origin, is of interest to the perfumer seeking a Lavender Essential Oil of well defined quality and origin.
Lavender Essential Oil, whose fragrance is described as aromatic, floral, green, fresh and diffusing, is finer and richer than the greener and especially more camphorated odor of lavandin.
* From M. Jean Kerleo, Perfumer and Président of the Osmothèque
Photo of Mr Jean Kerleo, by Laetitia Navarro
This pre-eminent symbol of Provencal heritage is consolidating its position in the world of perfume.
Some 75% of the perfume and cosmetic professionals consider lavender as perfumery’s unavoidable component...
In fact, 90% of the masculine perfumes contain some amount of lavender.
“Lavender adds touches somewhere between reason and heart, and sharp and clear. It brings comfort and freshness
and is, in the end, very reassuring.”,
explains Richard Ibanez, creator or Pure Lavender.
“Lavender is one of the most noble and marvelous components
that we have in our arsenal of essential oils”,
declares Jean Paul Guerlain, creator of Heritage and one of lavender’s fervent devotees among the great perfumers.
He is not alone :
Old English Lavender from Yardley.
Pour un homme from Caron
Moustache from Rochas
Héritage from Guerlain
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme
Arden for Men from Elizabeth Arden
L'eau de Lavande from Annick Goutal
L'eau de Lacoste
Le Mâle from Jean Paul Gaultier
"A wonderful fragrance firmly established in the current trends"
exclaims Rosine Béranger, one of the winners of the Young Perfumers’ Competition.
Its time as a somewhat dated product is indeed past, Lavender is now enjoying an important role in the courtyards of the great perfume houses.
The result – production of lavender essential oil, of which 60% is for perfume, has doubled over the last ten years.
Lavender is the most well known perfume plant and one of the most highly cultivated in France.
Through technological progress, the producers now offer the world of perfumery a product just as natural as ever and of impeccable quality.
"Lavender offers numerous attributes such as high olfactory quality, an entirely natural product that does not discolor or lose its fragrance over time. It is rich and complex with a fresh, fine, unctuous and velvety aspect.”
declared CIHEF an organization particularly active in establishing this pretty flower of Provence in tomorrow’s perfumes.
Lavender has a good future in the perfume industry as the trend is towards fresh scents!
As a natural product, it fits particularly well in today’s desire for things bio, Zen, pure and aromatherapeutic.
That is enough to restore its pedigree, provided we also know how to give it a feminine dimension too.