Lavender can be an acquired taste. The association with laundry and dainty linen handkerchiefs starched and ironed in forgotten old drawers. But I do like lavender on its various facets: herbal, astringent, floral and sometimes sweet, and enjoy the many ways perfumers put it into good and often complex use. These are my top favorite lavender fragrances, in no particular order:
- Vero Profumo- Kiki. A deliciously naughty gourmand.
- Tauer Perfumes- Reverie au Jardin. An Alpine garden on a July afternoon.
- Serge Lutens- Fourreau Noir, Gris Clair, and Encens et Lavande. No one injects as much complexity to lavender perfumes as well as Uncle Serge. Smoke, incense, ash, wood or an oriental base, it's all there.
- Caron- Caron Pour Un Homme. An elegant musky-aromatic classic. I bought a bottle for my father recently.
- Parfums de Nicolai- Maharadjah. A spicy floral over a rich sandalwood base. They say it's a masculine, I say: whatever.
- Maxim de Paris- Maxim's pour Homme. A little known treasure of leather and aromatics.
- Diptyque- Eau d'Elide. One of the most intriguing lavender compositions. Candied orange and a Mediterranean air.
- Mona di Orio- Chamarre. Discontinued but beautiful, musky and full bodied.
- Jean Patou- Ma Liberte. Another lost treasure. Crisp and clear with the elegance of Patou.
- Guerlain- Jicky. One of those perfumes that always feel right. Hard to believe it was around in one form or another since 1889.
Honorable mention: Penhaligon- Sartorial (Bertrand Duchaufour's homage to Saville Row), CB I Hate Perfume- Lavender Tea (what it says with a side of patchouli), Molinard- Lavande (A cheap thrill if there ever was one. I use it as a linen spray).
Pat Silveri Photographs - Lavender Fields forever
Purple Fields-Gerd Ludwig
Bee on a Lavender- missbeehavenlavender.com
Serge Lutens Gric Clair via Serge Lutens Facebook page.