In the Search for the Perfect Lavender, Take II

It’s not exactly true: I think I found my perfect lavender perfume – Lieber Gustav 14 by Krigler. Since I published that Take I post, I finished the decant of Serge Lutens Gris Clair and bought a bottle of it. And I’m still contemplating getting Fourreau Noir if I ever get somewhere where I don’t have to pay $300+ for the bell jar. Maybe I should go for a travel spray.

    

Rusty and Lieber Gustav

 

But lavender is still on my mind, and I seek it in many different forms. Earlier today, for example, I had a cocktail with lavender syrup. It was probably the best part of the dinner.

For the recent 3-4 years I kept planning to go to a lavender festival. But every year I was either traveling somewhere else at that time or would remember about it only when I saw some lavender at a store – and it was already too late for that year: the main flowering time would be over.

Before I proceed with my story, I want to remind you (if you haven’t read it before and/or didn’t follow the link I shared above) that lavender came into my life relatively late, so I wasn’t really familiar with many aspects that probably would be obvious to those of you who grew up in countries where it was widely used.

 

Lavender

 

A couple of years ago I bought a lavender bunch at a local farmers market and, as I do with other flowers, put it into a vase with water. It smelled nice but a week later it started dropping buds and, what was even worse, the stems were rotting. I cut off everything that was in water, fasten the remaining stems with a blue rubber band, and put that improvised lavender sachet into my linen closet. Unlike it happened with Le Labo’s Rose 31 (if you weren’t around 5 years ago, see my post Know-how [not to]: Freshen up a linen closet), this haven’t fended me off lavender, though, as it was drying, it kept losing its petals, which made it a little messy… But I put it on some napkin and kept moving that napkin from place to place when I needed to take something out of the closet or put in.

 

Rusty and Lavender

 

The next year, when I got another lavender bunch, I was smarter: I hanged it to dry in the spare bathroom and then, once it was dry, I used one of a bigger organza bags that I’ve got either with a purchase of something else or from a swap with a perfumista friend to put the bunch in to prevent a mess.

 

Lavender Sachet

 

You can’t imagine how proud I was coming up with that novel idea! What’s more, my vSO was very impressed with what I’ve done. I was (and still am) using it in our bed putting it between pillows during the day. By now I have probably half of it just bouncing in the bag loose, but it still smells nice though very faint. I bet Rusty can still smell it strong.

 

Rusty and Lavender Sachet

 

And then one day Robin from the NST posted in her Daily Lemmings this:

 

Diptyque Lavandier Wand 2018

 

I was gobsmacked: it was so beautiful, so elegant, so… in a different league compared to my creation. I don’t remember if it was still available when Robin posted it, but by the time I thought of getting it, it was sold out. And since it usually means that it isn’t coming back, after researching it online and discovering that, even though there were many similar products offered, nobody does it exactly the way Diptyque did, I started planning on trying to make one myself next time I get a lavender bunch.

I studied instructions, found ribbons to use (2 different sizes and colors!), and was waiting for the lavender season… It must have happened this summer, right? Every weekend I was on a lookout for the main ingredient for my DIY project – without much success. I don’t know how but I managed to miss it again. I blame my work schedule. I should try again next year.

Meanwhile, I keep adding from time to time a drop or two of lavender oil into my sachet. And I also found and was enjoying Lavender Lip Mask from Bite Beauty – a brand that makes my favorite Agave Lip Balm.

 

Lavender Bite Lip Mask

 

Images: all but Diptyque’s wand – my own

30 thoughts on “In the Search for the Perfect Lavender, Take II

  1. When I was a little girl I had a bottle of Yardley’s lavender perfume that I carried everywhere with me so that I could keep sniffing it; back then it was a deeper, mellower scent, with a sort of muskiness and probably so not suitable for a child!

    And I still like lavender, even though I tied bows round hundreds and hundreds of bunches for friends of mine who ran a business selling dried floral arrangements. The smell of these piles of lavender was amazing.

    I sometimes add a little grinding of the flowers to my shortbread biscuit mixture, and also to a marinade with orange, thyme, honey, mustard and garlic for chicken. Lavender seems to satisfy all senses.

    Rusty seems to like it!

    • I want your shortbread recipe! :)

      Piles of lavender… Mmmm… I would love to get that summer job. I think it’s amazing how fragrant this plant is.

      I don’t think I’ve ever tried any of Yardley’s perfumes: I see them online and quite inexpensive but since I don’t do blind buys, and these are not sold in stores around here, our paths don’t cross.

  2. I adore lavender. One day I will make a trip to a lavender field. My holy Grail lavender was Yardleys English Lavender which I wore in the late 1979s. It’s been reformulated and I haven’t smelled it in years. In the small village I go to for the farmers market there is a lavender store. They sell lavender scones, lavender shortbread cookies and lavender honey….all delicious. I use an herb mixture with dried lavender in it. And now I really want that lavender lip balm !!

  3. My folks drove each year to visit, so they could fill the car with goodies for us and the kids. Mum would bring roses out of the garden, wrapped in wet paper to keep them fresh, and a huge bunch of lavender, English of course. And yes, it smells different to French or Austrian lavender. It would always make me cry. The smell of home.
    I must try both of those Lutens ….. I‘m onto it starting now.
    I love the lavender in Boy, the Kiki trio of course, and I now have a desperate need for a new one. Thanks to you. 💜

    • I’m curious to smell different types of lavender (but first I’ll have to figure out which one is which :) ).
      I like Kiki as well. Boy is not bad but too fleeting on me. If you get a chance, try Darley from Parfums de Marley as well. But Lutens is a must try (and there is one more lavender in the line that I haven’t tried yet Ensens et Lavender).

  4. I have that lavender lip balm too, love it! You can get the Fourreau Noir travel sprays on Fragrancenet.com quite cheaply. I love it and have stocked up.

    Ironically today my husband and I are driving out to our local lavender farm here in Québec for the closing weekend. I’m hoping they still have some nice honey left. :-)

  5. Lavender is one of my favorite scents and it was also one of the first smells I was looking for when I got interested in perfumery, niche or regular.
    Years ago my family used to spend vacation in Croatia or Bulgaria where lavender grows almost like a weed. While there we would buy lavender sachets but unlike yours – where you put entire thing in a bag, the one we were buying was already “plucked” and had only flowers without a stem.

    My favorite comfort lavender is 1725 from Histoires de Parfums but when it comes to a realistic, herbaceous lavender, Lavande 44 by Rania J. is my fave. I don’t know your favorite lavender so I’d love to give it a go too!

    • I glad we share love to this note. I’ll send you a sample of my favorite – though, with their prices it’s cruel to do: what if you like it as much as I do?

      I’m not sure whether I tried any of your two lavenders. I should remember to look for those.

      When I was googling that wand, I found all types of sachets so I know what you’re talking about, but when I was making mine, I didn’t even think of those “plucked” ones.

      I want to see a lavender field even more now after your “almost like weed” comment :)

      • Thank you my dear. I will try to not fall in love. If you’d like to test 1725 or Lavande 44 I’m happy to share since I have samples of both.

        Because lavender doesn’t grow well in Poland all those dried flower sachets are pretty expensive here.

        Lavender field is a wonderful experience. The smell in the air is green, herbal and floral. If it’s spring or summer There are lots of bees buzzing around.

  6. I adore lavender and fulfilled my lifetime wish when I visited the lavender fields in Provence last year. It was just as great as I had imagined. There are plenty of lavender fields here in Texas however, and I have yet to visit any of those. I did a post on lavender perfumes last year but still have not settled on which is my favorite. I have never tried the Krieger. I do like Gris Clair, but I think I like SL Encens en Lavende better. Lavender has a certain solemnity (is that a word?) to me. And I think using those little bags we perfumers seem to have laying around as a sachet was brilliant!

    • I remember envying your experience when I read your travelogue. I still haven’t tried Encens et Lavender but I hope I will soon.
      I think it’s ironic that we cannot find time/occasion to visit places close to where we live but travel over the ocean :)

  7. I am afraid I dislike lavender in all but colour, though it isn’t one I can wear, sadly. Oh, and also apart from that pretty wand! Not surprised you fancied making one, even if work overtook you.

    Regardless of the note you are showcasing, I am always up for photos of Rusty cavorting with objects of any kind. ;)

    • It looks like we’re almost completely the opposite when it comes to appreciating lavender: I wear that color as well (“almost” is due to my obvious liking of it too – otherwise it would have been strange fo me to wear it ;) ).
      I genuinely think that most things are better represented with our cats in the picture: since we’re not professional photographers, and most pictures are done for illustrative purposes, adding a cat or two only improve comprehension ;)

  8. Thank you! Can’t believe that the idea with the bag never occurred to me! It’s so simple!
    I feel stupid now. :D But at least now no more lavender all over the place. :D

    • Ha! I’m glad I’m not alone in that “late thinking” :)
      As Lucas mentioned above, you can go for “plucking,” and then you could use even smallest perfume bags!

  9. I like lavender as a flower, not so much in perfume. The two lavender perfumes I really like are Fourreau Noir and SJP Covet. I have the Caron PUH, but the lavender in combo with vanilla is not my thing. I like Jicky, but the lavender note is not so strong on me.

    • I love Jicky extrait but it was some time before I realized that I smelled lavender in it. I haven’t tried either SJP or Caron perfume that you mentioned – maybe one day.

  10. That Diptyque wand is a thing of beauty! I wonder if ther’e’s a vetiver version?

    As to lavender, I don’t normally seek it out as a note and in fact, it’s a turn off sometimes. I do like the lavender in the LUSH Twilight Body Spray, Aftelier Lavender Face Elixir and Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hans Sanitizer. I need to find my decant of Caron Pour Un Homme as I understand that has a nice lavender note. And how can I forget Nicolai Amber Oud which is primarily lavender and no oud to my nose!

    • At this stage I would take that wand in almost any scent :)

      You sent me a sample of Aftelier face elixir. While I cannot say I disliked it, it smelled a little more herbal and less floral than I prefer my lavender.

      Lush stores scare me (together with BBW and Body Shop (? – not 100% sure of the name)): the smell from it is so strong that so I never dare to go in.

  11. There is a fair bit of lavender where I live now and I’ve just got a large pot for my balcony that I’m going to put a lavender plant into. I’m then going to copy that fantastic idea with the gauze bag. As perfume people, we can all find at least one of those hanging around :)

    • One?! What are you doing with them? :) even though I try to use them whenever I do any friendly perfume exchange, they seem to be multiplying on their own!

      What type of lavender are you going to have? English, French or Austrian? (Thanks to Val I now know that the latter exists)

      • Yes many more than one. That’s what I hoped the smiley indicated! Wow you’ve got me thinking now about the variety. I don’t think I mind. My parents are going to pick one up for me. I assume it will be English but will wait and see.

        • I knew you were joking – I just played it out further. I suspect that it might be a case of intonation missed in writing (or maybe even in translation: some dialogues might be less obvious in English than in my head in my native language).

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