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  1. #1

    Default What does lavender smell like?

    Lavandula angustifolia and lavandula officinalis seem to be 2 varities of lavender plant.
    I have a Holland and Barrett Lavender pure essential oil (officinalis) and a 'Spirit of Nature' pure essential oil (angustifolia) and I have a 1kg pack of dried french lavender.

    They seem to be totally different. My favourite is the Holland and Barrett Lavender pure essential oil. This seems to be like 2 intertwined snakes. 1 snake is a smoky note and the other note is a sweet smoky floral. These 2 seem to move in and out, around and around.

    Now that seems to be totally different to the dried french lavender. The dried french lavender is slightly smoky but more vegetal (of course the oil hasn't been extracted).

    They are all different, but why are they called 'lavender'. They seem to subtly change as I smell them.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What does lavender smell like?

    There are actually many varieties of lavender. We have one out here in the Arizona desert that looks like you'd expect (if a bit on the spindly side), but smells more like sage and cannabis buds than anything. Other varieties have little or no smell at all.

    Lavender is really more of a spectrum of smells.

  3. #3
    sfmedusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    in a recliner

    Default Re: What does lavender smell like?

    Not only are there lots of different varieties of lavender, which all smell different, but there are also hundreds of different molecules responsible for the overall scent, each of which smell different and the relative concentration of which vary within each lavender variety based upon the temperature, humidity, UV levels and soil minerals where the individual plant was grown. Then there's more variety added in by how long the flowers were left on the plant to dry and how they were treated to further dry them or extract the oil further down the process.

    If you think of lavender in the same terms as many people think of tea, which should theoretically be more uniform because it's all one variety of camellia, you can see quite how much variation can come in the same plant purely because of the conditions of the plant and how they're treated.

    I'm not that experienced in smell, but I can taste the different yearly vintages of my favourite tea apart from each other and pick out my favourites from the rest, so if that's true of processed camellia cinensis, then it's also true of lavender, for those who have a good sense of smell.
    Last edited by sfmedusa; 15th June 2009 at 09:07 PM.
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  4. #4
    Sokkou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Empire State

    Default Re: What does lavender smell like?

    Overaaaaall, I find lavender to have a somewhat minty-herbal-fresh-clean-smoky-purple smell. Yeah.
    Last edited by Sokkou; 16th June 2009 at 02:56 PM.

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