Lavender in Focus

Lavender is a very polarising scent. When we speak to people about Lavender and its use in skincare, home fragrance products, body products and perfume, we see two responses;

“Oh, I love lavender” or, “I hate lavender!” Then, you find that there is usually a reason behind the strong negative response. Without going into too much detail here, we will save it for our journal and go into more depth about the scent response and emotional triggers.

We love Lavender, as we do many other ingredients that we use. We use Lavender in so many products it even makes a great addition to men’s scents.

So, let’s take a look at the species of Lavender. We use Lavandula angustifolia P.Miller from a local company that grows, harvests and distils the oil. Why do we buy oils? Well, the short answer is that growing, harvesting and distilling oils is a massive production on its own; there is no way we could do all of the oils that we require and make all the products that we make. Also, Tasmania is not the climate in which all plants thrive. We grow around ten species that are commercially grown, harvested and distilled.

Lavender is one of the most popular oils used globally. It has a beautiful herbaceous, sweet floral scent. Most often, when we ask people to smell our Tasmanian Lavender compared to the one they are thinking about, they seem surprised. The response is a lot more positive than the previous emotive response.

Why is Lavandula angustifolia so great? It originates in France, and the Lavender here was cultivated originally from French Lavender. Tasmania has the perfect soil and climate conditions for growing Lavender, and now it is recognised worldwide as its distinctive species, Tasmanian Lavender.

The active constituents in Lavender are linalool, linalyl acetate and trace camphor, and there are small amounts of other compounds, including a-pinene, camphene, 3-octanone, 1,8-cineole, Cis-B-ocimene, a-terpineol and lavandulol to name a few. Active constituents are essential to know as a formulator because batch variations in components may mean results may not always be the same or as expected. Obtaining high-quality oils and reading the constituent lists through the Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) is just part of the role of the formulator.

If you are wondering why these constituents are important, I will explain briefly. When people say, “Oh, I heard lavender was great for relaxation.” The actives in Lavender are the contributing factors. Linalool is a potent compound and has many benefits. In our Lavender, there is approximately 30-45% linalool in the oil. Linalool affects the serotonin receptors; it assists with feelings of anxiety and depression. As with all vital compounds, you need to look at safe dosages because too much linalool hurts the skin. 

We will write a journal soon about the dosages, potencies & synergistic blending to give you some more understanding of how things work.

There are some concerns about the potency of linalool, so it is essential to use low dosages and never use neat oils on the skin. Always dilute.

Lavender also contains 25-40% linalyl acetate. LA has some great studies done on it, and I will add the link if you are interested. Take a read.,al.%2C%202021)%20effects.

LA has some benefits as a natural analgesic, anti-spasmodic and identified as an anti-bacterial. See the article. Another great article here:

It’s easy to see why Lavender is such a versatile and well used ingredient. In perfume, it is used as a top (headlining note) or a middle (heart note), depending on how it is used in the formula. It adds depth and can be a conduit between the base (foundation notes) and the headliners. Some people can’t even smell it in perfume. Also, remember that when we blend oils, they go through another chemical reaction, and that, therefore, changes the scent.

If you would love to know more, why not drop us a line, and we can write about one of your favourite ingredients?

Until next time, stay well, stay happy, many blessings and remember that “life is Chemistry.”

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