This is the view from my office.
I have always loved Lavender. Living in Southern California, it is easy to grow & thanks to Sperling Nursery we grow several varieties. We have Spanish, French and English Lavender. And yes, each smells different to me.
I love to rub my fingers over the stalks and take in their fragrance. If I move on to the Rosemary and do the same one of my favorite bath blends comes to life.
Before we began to create Melange Perfume for other stores, we stocked Lavender essential oils in our previous store, Melange Apothecary. For custom blending, we usually used the French or Bulgarian varities. The French was a traditional sweet fragrance and was beautiful blended with other floral notes and warm notes, such as Sandalwood and Amber. My favorite was the Bulgarian Lavender. Bulgarian Lavender has a marvelous fresh fragrance and a earthy quality I find quite beautiful. It is beautiful blended with Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and citrus notes such as Bergamot or Mandarin. Most people who selected Lavender for blending did not use it in perfume (hence the decision not to use it for Melange Perfumes). It was most popular in Bath & Body Oil, Bath Salts and Bath & Shower Gel.
To manufacture even a small amount of Lavender essential oil requires a lot of flower buds and distillation equipment. Just for fun, I used a recipe for making Lavender Oil I found on http://www.wikihow.com/. Place your Lavender flowers in a jar of oil (I used Jojoba, though Olive Oil can also be used). Cover and place in a sunny window. After a few days, strain the oil over a bowl using a muslin cloth. Return that oil to the jar and place new flowers in the oil. I repeated this process 3 times and was very happy with my Lavender Oil. It will not be the same consistency as an essential oil, but it did not need to be diluted and was wonderful to use. You can place the oil in a nice bottle with label for a gift. I plan to try this for Mother's Day.
Back to blending. Happy Spring!
Los Angeles, CA