I’m in love with lavender. I’m so in love with lavender, I was once tempted to make my business solely based on all things lavender. I settled for purple as our brand coloring, but there’s no doubt you’ll see my obsession with lavender if you simply searched the term on our website. So, what exactly makes lavender the most sought-after fragrance in the bath, body, and candle market?
Lavender itself is a plant, actually part of the mint family, distinguished by small, purple flowers grown upwards in grass-like fashion. It has a gentle, floral aroma which makes it incredibly popular for uses in cosmetics and home aesthetics. It’s relatively easy to grow, as long as it has proper drainage; the lavender plant does not tolerate saturation very well. It needs a good amount of light and does well in warmer climates. If you’re in a colder environment, lavender takes well to being potted.
Dating back to the time of Ancient Rome, the origin of the word lavender comes from the Latin, “lavare,” which means to wash. The Romans would often use the lavender plant to scent their baths, and while they did so, they discovered the properties it has to create a feeling of soothing and relaxation.
According to WebMd:
Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.
Lavender’s known relaxing properties are what drove me to create the Rest Easy aromatherapy spray. A beautiful blend of lavender essential oil with Roman & German chamomile, this spray can be used in an aromatherapy necklace, as a perfume, as a linen spray, for baby, as a facial toner, as a make-up remover, and even on medium-large dogs. Lavender and chamomile are a few of the only essential oils safe for babies; however, I always recommend you check with your pediatrician first – every child is different! Also, as a warning, while lavender is generally regarded as safe (GRAS under the FDA), it is best to avoid using lavender essential oil when pregnant, while on medication that could induce drowsiness, or when undergoing anesthesia.
Regarding its fragrance, lavender is beautiful on its own but is also known for blending well with numerous scents. In perfuming and blending, lavender is considered a middle floral note, and it blends particularly well with other florals, cleans, and fruit scents, though mixing it up with sweet scents also creates a wonderful blend, such as our famous Midnight in Paris bath bomb which is a blend of lavender and chocolate. I like to also bend the rules a little by blending lavender with woodsy/musky scents, like sandalwood. Our two best-selling candles are lavender blends: Unstressed, which is lavender and chamomile (two florals), and Weekend Getaway, which is lavender and sandalwood (floral and woodsy).
While lavender is now grown all over the world, and has been grown for over 2500 years, the most coveted lavender comes from Bulgaria. Surprisingly, if you sought to purchase lavender essential oil, there are so many varieties with numerous differences in price. Market prices change drastically pending crops, but as of right now, the general going rate, per pound:
- Bulgarian Lavender – $100 – floral, sweet, choice for aromatherapists
- French Lavender – $85- simple, sweet, floral
- Lavender 40/42 (most common essential oil) – $40 – herbaceous, floral, and woodsy (main choice for soaps)
- Population Lavender – $107 – green and a little sweet
- South African Lavender – $50 – actually a hybrid, known as lavandin; the notes are fresh and sweet
- Spanish Lavender – $67 – fresh, floral herbaceous odor
One of the best sources regarding lavender is the blog written by New Directions Aromatics; an excellent read for anyone who wants to learn even more about lavender!