Lavender: Three Lavenders To Relax With


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi all

A member of an Australian perfume group on Facebook recently posted this remark:
“I just had a little stress out so I bought myself a perfume. Has this helped you before? My cupboard is full of fragrances.”

So you can imagine the answers. Yes, yes, yes – from many people, including me. (“Better for your health than alcohol or chocolate.”)
We buy perfume to de-stress, and as a little act of self-nurturing to bring beauty into what can feel like a cold, unfeeling world. You know this; I don’t have to labour the point. One member did admit: “I stress out on what to buy and wear so it’s a vicious but good circle.” I can identify with that too. I find owning too much stuff is stressful in itself.

I’m not going to rake over the issues of addiction and obsession today, though. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about what perfumes, or notes, you actually find relaxing. What helps you ride through the stress and anxiety of any given day? I’ll start.

Lavender: Three Lavenders To Relax With

Lavender is widely thought of as calming. Agree? For me it’s a maybe. If it’s very pungent I find lavender distracting and unpleasant.

Boy Chanel Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lavender, rose, lemon, grapefruit, rose geranium, orange blossom, sandalwood, heliotrope, vanilla, musk

CHANEL Boy is an exception; there it is too refined to be offensive, and interestingly a lot of lavender sceptics seem to be making allowances for Boy.

Gris Clair Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Iris, tonka bean, amber, lavender, woodsy notes, incense

And Serge Lutens’ Gris Clair, now. This! A modern classic in the lavender genre. I don’t find Gris Clair cold or ashy, as some people do. One sniff and I lift my mental gaze from daily troubles and look into the middle distance to a calmer place. Lavender-scented clean cotton drying in the sun. Grey early light over green hills, the promise of a lazy summer day. I think I do generally associate lavender with sunshine; or at least, I like lavenders that bring out this quality.

serendipty_soap LUSH CosmeticaLUSH Cosmetics

There must be countless lavender bath and body products but I’ll mention just one: Lush Serendipity Soap. Again, this is a gentle lavender, blended with chamomiles. It’s more restrained than your average Lush product but I notice that the scent does linger in the bathroom and it’s a nice way to ease into the day.

It’s the sense of space and perspective that I value in lavender. It offers thoughts of things bigger than self. Beauty in simplicity. Perfumes can relax us because we just love them. They can have this effect regardless of notes and accords. If you know a perfume well and you have written your story into it, and it into yours, it will greet you like an old friend.

So over to you – what do you reach for when you when the world crowds in on you?
Until next time, relax and keep spritzing!

20 thoughts on “Lavender: Three Lavenders To Relax With

  1. Hi there Anne-Marie,
    Boy is an excellent relax frag. I have a HUGE 300ml bottle of L’Occitane Lavande that I regularly sprinkle into a Radox bath for ultimate relaxation and I’ve just noticed that they do a lavender Bubble Bath to match. OOOOOOOOOOO
    Portia xx


    • L’O’s Lavande is lovely – I’ve just bought the liquid hand soap. I love getting a little whisp of lavender on my hands from it. I don’t care for the perfume version of it though – I detect the dreaded calone in there somewhere. 😦


    • And now I think again – you once sent me a little lavender sachet Portia and I keep it as a reminder of the scent of the real thing. This summer I’m going to buy a pot of fresh lavender. I once thought of planting it in a garden bed near the front door but then I remembered that my son has a reaction to bee stings, so I planted mint instead. And guess what – in the late summer mint flowers (of course!) and attracts bees! Still the boy did not get stung.


  2. Huge lavender lover here. Lavender sachets adorn my drawers and closets. I spray my sheets and pillowcases with Chanel Boy or Lutens Encens et Lavande gets dropped on me and the sheets after a tough day. Also love Penhaligon’s Lavandula, Chanel Jersey pure parfum (heavenly!) and Guerlain Mon Exclusif, lavender and vanilla heaven.

    I also find iris scents calming and heliotrope, too. Love flowers that are purple… Ahhhh..


    • I was just thinking that about Apres L’Ondee – it’s full of purple flowers. And lavender is so multi-facted that there is much to explore just in that one note.


  3. Hi Anne-Marie,
    We distilled our own lavender oil this year from our own lavender patch. We didn’t get much but what we have is lovely and soothing and not at all sharp. I suppose right now that is my favorite lavender…but most of the scents I use for relaxation usually have something to do with tuberose and gardenia.
    Azar xx


    • That’s interesting – well done you! I often do find the essential oil rather sharp and that’s why I have so far not bought one. But hopefully they smooth out once added to an oil burner or to the bath etc …


  4. Yeah! A lavender post! We lavender lovers are much maligned. I enjoy a lot of varied scents, ambers, orentals, but Lavender is an every day, any season LOVE.
    My faves are Gris Clair, and Burberry Brit Rhythm, SL Fourreau Noir, which is not exactly lavender only, and of close Ensens et lavande. I’ll take Yardley’s English lavender any day–or any lavender soap, and I’ll take my lavender any way: medicinal, sweet and linen, green and herbaceous, dusty potpourri, stem, flower, straight up oil. I love it. I keep it throughout the house.

    It is not a “polarizing” scent–just totally disliked on forums–but when I wear it, compliments come in. I feel sad for my pungent purple little friend, and grow it all over my property, in all its varieties.

    I do not necessarily find it relaxing, however. I use sweet rum, foody gourmands, gentle roses, and vanilla to get to sleep and relax. I think lavender is often invigorating to me even. I have to try the Boy and Lush!


    • I admit that when I wrote the post I didn’t think it would gather much interest and I was surprised to find so many comments on it when I got up this morning. A lot of people have bad associations with lavender, but there must still be plenty of us lavender lovers out there or the perfume houses would not produce so many lavender perfumes – from niche to mainstream and everything in between. I must try that Burberry, by the way. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


  5. Follow via email. I went through a thing for years when most fragrances made me feel sick, and so I wore lavender essential oil in the summer and sandalwood essential oil in the winter. and then, designing LT and TS’s PERFUMES I realized there were a lot of things i could wear without feeling ill. But I still have a great fondness for lavender, and i really regret we can’t get Caldey Island here in the States any more.


  6. Nice recommendations and will try definitely.
    Lavender as soothing herb is used to calm the stomach, mind, and skin. Lavender in the scent lowers heart rate and blood pressure, putting the wearer in a relaxed state and boost the mood. My favorite lavender based perfumes that I enjoy wearing are: YSL Rive Gauche pour Homme, Pour Un Homme de Caron, JPG Le Malle, Davidoff Cool Water, 4711 Acqua Colonia Lavender & Thyme, Prada Luna Rossa Extreme, Prada Luna Rossa and Versace Dreamer. Christian Dior Eau Noire (discontinued) is a masterpiece of all of the above I mentioned.


    • That list is a reminder of how versatile the stuff is! (There’s even a refreshing little spike in SJP Lovely, just lighten and freshen it.) What a pity about Eau Noire!


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