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Lavender Essential Oil: Grades and Regions
Lavender has been prized by human kind since recorded history, for it’s herbal, floral aroma and it’s purifying , healing effect on the skin. Lavender’s name is derived from the Latin term “lavandarius” which means “to wash”, a nod to it’s importance to the Ancients.
Since the lavender plant has been kept and cultivated for centuries very distinctive types, and regions have developed through this selective growing. Below is a guide for those looking for more information on these different types of lavender essential oils available on the market.
Lavender 40/42: Although the therapeutic benefits of this type of lavender are lower than others strains, this oil is valued for it’s consistently floral aroma. Lavender 40/42 is a term for the standardized aroma content, and is made by blending several different lavender oils together to create a consistent balance of 40-42% aroma esters.
Lavender Population: is a premium, highly therapeutic type of lavender grown at high altitudes of over 3,000 feet. The aroma of this essential oil tempered by long days of sunshine and a dry climate is referred to as sweet, mellow and herbal.
Lavender Mont Blanc- Grown in the Alps of Western Europe, Lavender Mont Blanc comes from the highest peak in this region, at an altitude of 15,000 feet. Although similar to Lavender Population, this lavender is reputed to have a higher therapeutic value and a more full bodied, earthy aroma.
Lavender Maillette- A persistently blue hybrid of lavender grown in the regions of Eastern Europe. Aroma therapists utilize Lavender Maillette to promote healing, reduce the pain of burns and in massage therapy. Lavender Mailette’s aroma is described as freshly herbaceous and floral.
Lavender French- is a popular choice among aroma therapists. This lavender is produced mainly in the Provence region of France. It is both therapeutic and pleasantly floral.
Lavender Croatian- is a strong, deep and long lasting variety of lavender. Comparable in therapeutic value to Lavender Population, Croatian Lavender is produced from lavender sown and harvested by hand. The primary center for Croatia’s lavender production is the island of Hvar.
Lavender Bulgarian- is prized for it’s therapeutic benefit and floral lavender scent. It is said that Bulgarian Lavender’s scent is the closest to that of fresh lavender.
Lavender Barreme- considered the most relaxing of all lavenders. Grown in the chalky soils and dry climate of the Barreme region of France, this lavender has a superior floral aroma with high therapeutic benefit. With a content of over 50% aroma esters naturally occurring this lavender maintains a crisp, floral aroma. Valued as one of the finest quality lavender’s available on the market.
Lavender Spanish- this lavender species has similar medicinal properties to common lavender, yet is considered inferior. Spanish lavender has a fresh, floral aroma, and is less expensive than varieties of L. august folia (common lavender).
Lavandin- An aromatic shrub with similar properties to lavender. Lavandin is almost exclusively used for it’s scent, which is similar to lavender with a dominating green, camphorous note.