Lavender scents: from Napoleon to modern niche perfumes

If there is one ingredient that even perfume newbies can recognise with their eyes closed, it’s lavender.

Even though lavender’s scent profile has so many different facets (30 different types of this plant can be used to achieve different aromatic nuances: cold and warm, floral, clean, minty, spicy or medical, liquorice-like), you can still distinguish it, even in the smallest concentration.

Most of us would connect lavender with France and dreamy fields of Provence. But did you know that this aromatic flower originated in India? Its name comes from Latin though, rooting from the word ‘lavere’ (‘to wash’) - thanks to Romans who used to perfume their famous baths with exotic lavender oil.

Maybe, it was Romans who first discovered the antibacterial properties of lavender. Long before the antibiotics were introduced, the lavender essential oil was used to prevent open wounds from infecting. During the Renaissance, citizens and doctors were using lavender to protect themselves against Plague.

When the Plague epidemic was over, lavender got a new ampluá - now as aromatic water, colognes and perfumes for the Nobility. Being a Big Thing in perfumery for more than a century, today lavender is making a triumphal comeback to the perfume Olympus.

From back then to 2020 - here are some of the classic lavender scents every perfume lover needs to know

“4711 Cologne”

Released: 1792

The first mass-produced cologne with the refreshing scent of lemon and orange blossom combined with soothing lavender and rosemary. Napoleon was rumoured to use quarts of it each month to freshen up!

“Royal Scottish Lavender” by Creed

Released: 1856

Inspired by Balmoral Castle in Scotland, this perfume offered a touch of country calm and the memory of highlands lavender surrounding the Castle.

“Jicky” by Guerlain

Released: 1889

One of the most celebrated female perfumes with lavender, still being produced and loved worldwide.

“Pour un Homme” by Caron

Released: 1934

The first fragrance designed exclusively for men.

“Mon Guerlain” by Guerlain

Released: 2017

Lavender makes its way back to the perfume market.

“Haute Provence” by Parle Moi de Perfume

Released: 2020

Lavender 2.0: fresh, juicy (lavender and watermelon? Yes, please!) and 100% unisex.


Other noble lavender perfumes everyone should try:

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