· Jicky by Guerlain: I couldn’t make a post about lavender and leave Jicky out, of course. Having said that, Jicky remains a mystery to me. To me, Jicky still seems like a chameleon, ever changing colors. Sometimes its lavender scent seems long-lasting, enveloping me in its slightly camphoraceous aroma for hours. Other times I lose its trail relatively quickly, finding myself left all too soon with a slightly leathery, earthy vanilla, and struggling to detect the lavender that made it seem so controversial to my nose initially. Sometimes Jicky seems wildly animalic, making me think I must have it, but the next time I try it, it turns into sweet innocence and I find no reason to add it to my collection. Despite the mystery, Jicky does seem like a good suggestion to me, as it contains both lavender and bergamot oil.
· Lavender by Floris: Admittedly, the opening notes make this fragrance appear rather scary at first: This is an intensely herbaceous lavender with a rather sour opening. However, it soon calms down to a light, elegant and most pleasant blend of lavender with a touch of geranium and hints of rosemary. The result is very dry and aromatic giving an impression of chic simplicity. This is definitely my favorite of today’s suggestions! If you wish to treat yourself, I wholeheartedly suggest splurging on the Lavender Tranquility Set as well, and indulging your senses on the evenings you really need to relax! The Lavender Tranquility Set contains the Lavender Moisturizing Bath & Shower Gel, the Floris at Home Lavender Candle and the Patchouli & Lavender Sleep Enhancing Pillow Mist. The candle is my absolute favorite part of the set, smelling like a very sweet, gentle lavender. (It is the sweetness that gets me! – I want this translated into a body mist now please!) The shower gel is very herbaceous, smelling like true, dried lavender. I like this a lot, because it smells exactly like the lavender-filled, tiny cotton cushions my dad used to bring to me to put in my drawers when I was a little girl. The pillow mist is a dry blend of lavender and patchouli, which makes the pillow smell wonderfully fresh and crisp. Although intense at first, the scent soon becomes quite natural – I do not find myself conscious of the aroma as I fall asleep. In fact I only sense it at first when my head hits the pillow, and it is very pleasant, as though the pillowcase had just been washed. Still, make sure to test this before buying. Patchouli can be difficult and the purpose of these products is to help you relax, not keep you awake!
· Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens: I am very ambivalent about adding this one to today’s post. Let me be honest: I do not like Encens et Lavande. I certainly would not wear it myself. Still, I decided to use it as the third suggestion for a lavender fragrance to try in times of stress, if only because it is very interesting. (who knows, aside from the natural properties of lavender, perhaps the surprise element this fragrance offers will create enough a distraction to forget about stress for a while too :) But let me get to the point: Celery. This is certainly not the only Serge Lutens fragrance that has a definite celery scent, Mandarine Mandarin is another example, but surprisingly perhaps, I love it in Mandarine Mandarin – it somehow blends in perfectly with the rest of the notes. In Encens et Lavande the celery is not only extremely pronounced but very discordant as well: It antagonizes the lavender every step of the way until it (finally) disappears. For as long as it lasts (give it at least an hour or two...) it completely ruins the fragrance –for me at least. What is very interesting however, is how salty, how savory, Encens et Lavande is, and I attribute this to the dreaded celery as well. If only for this strange savory character, I do suggest you try Encens et Lavande at least once. Another interesting, but once again discordant, note in Encens et Lavande, is sage. I love sage, and the note is very true in this fragrance, but it is too pronounced for me to appreciate it. It completely overpowers the lavender for as long as it lasts. Or perhaps I can only appreciate sage in Diptique, what can I say? All is not negative however. Encens et Lavande does finally dry down to a very soothing, soft lavender a couple of hours after it is first applied. It then tends to smell like a very traditional masculine lavander cologne, with soft musky undertones. I still wouldn’t wear it just for the pleasant dry-down, but truth be told, it is pleasant. Perhaps Gris Clair would have been a better choice, but unfortunately it is one of the Lutens I consistently overlook and thus have no sample of. Is it a good lavender scent? How does it compare to Encens et Lavande? Do let me know!
Lastly, I have to admit that personally, when I am stressed I either feel like exploring something new to distract and relax myself, or I get this strong sense of being compelled to wear a specific (different every time) scent. It feels a bit as though my body is asking for the specific thing it needs when this happens. Which scents do you use when you are stressed? Do you self medicate with perfume like I do, or perhaps cannot stand scents at all in times of stress?
Images: www.freefoto.com, Author’s own and commons.wikimedia.org