Understanding the Different Varieties of Lavender and Their Fragrance Profiles

With its soothing scent and versatile uses, lavender has long been appreciated for its aromatic qualities. However, not all lavender varieties are created equal when it comes to fragrance. The distinct scents of different lavender species and cultivars can vary significantly, ranging from sweet and floral to herbal and medicinal. In this article, we will explore some of the most fragrant lavender varieties and discuss their unique aromatic profiles.

The classic Lavandula angustifolia: A Timeless Fragrance

Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as English lavender or true lavender, is arguably the most popular and widely recognized variety of lavender. Known for its exceptional fragrance, Lavandula angustifolia has a sweet, floral aroma with subtle hints of fruitiness. This variety of lavender is often described as having a calming and relaxing scent, making it a popular choice for perfumes, bath products and aromatherapy applications.
One of the most popular varieties of Lavandula angustifolia is ‘Hidcote’, known for its intense fragrance and compact growth. Hidcote’ lavender produces deep purple flowers and exudes a rich, sweet fragrance that is highly prized in the perfume industry. Another notable cultivar is ‘Munstead’, which offers a similar fragrance profile but with a slightly lighter and more delicate aroma.

The Exquisite Lavandula x intermedia: Aromatic and versatile

Lavandula x intermedia, also known as lavandin, is a hybrid lavender created by crossing Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. This lavender variety is known for its vigorous growth and abundant flowering, as well as its diverse fragrance profiles. Lavandula x intermedia lavenders often have a more herbaceous and camphorous scent compared to Lavandula angustifolia.

An exceptional lavandin cultivar is ‘Grosso’, known for its strong fragrance and high essential oil content. Grosso lavender has a strong, sweet aroma with a hint of spice, making it a popular choice for both perfumery and culinary purposes. Another notable variety of lavender is ‘Provence’, which offers a softer, more floral fragrance with subtle sweetness and a hint of herbal undertones.

The aromatic Lavandula stoechas: A Unique and Distinctive Fragrance

Lavandula stoechas, commonly known as French lavender or butterfly lavender, is distinguished from other lavender varieties by its distinctive appearance and fragrance. Unlike the traditional spike-like lavender flowers, Lavandula stoechas has flowers with bright bracts that resemble butterfly wings. The fragrance of Lavandula stoechas is often described as more pungent and resinous than other lavenders.

A notable cultivar of Lavandula stoechas is ‘Anouk’, which features deep purple flowers and a captivating fragrance. Anouk lavender has a strong, sweet scent with a slight spicy undertone, making it a popular choice for perfumes and potpourri blends. Another popular variety is ‘Fairy Wings’, which offers a lighter, more delicate fragrance with subtle herbal and citrus notes.

Exploring lesser-known lavender varieties with unique fragrance profiles

While Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula x intermedia, and Lavandula stoechas are the most well-known lavender varieties, there are several other lesser-known lavender species and cultivars that have intriguing scent profiles. For example, Lavandula dentata, commonly known as fringed lavender, has a sweet, resinous scent with hints of citrus and spice. This variety of lavender is often used in perfumes and potpourri blends for its unique scent.

Another notable lavender variety is Lavandula x chaytorae, a cross between Lavandula dentata and Lavandula lanata. This hybrid lavender offers a distinctive fragrance characterized by its woody and earthy undertones, complemented by subtle floral notes. Lavandula x chaytorae is highly valued by perfumers for its unusual and captivating scent.

Choosing the most fragrant lavender for your perfume or fragrance blends

When selecting the most fragrant lavender for perfume or fragrance blends, it is important to consider your desired aroma profile and the specific characteristics of each lavender variety. Lavandula angustifolia cultivars such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are excellent choices for those seeking a sweet and floral fragrance with a calming effect. Lavandula x intermedia cultivars, such as ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’, offer a more robust and herbaceous fragrance that can add depth and complexity to perfumes. Lavandula stoechas cultivars such as ‘Anouk’ and ‘Fairy Wings’ offer a unique and resinous aroma with hints of spice.

For those looking to explore lesser known lavender varieties, Lavandula dentata and Lavandula x chaytorae offer distinct and captivating fragrances. Lavandula dentata’s sweet and resinous scent with citrus and spicy undertones can add a touch of complexity to fragrance blends. On the other hand, Lavandula x chaytorae’s woody and earthy scent, complemented by subtle floral notes, can add a unique and intriguing character to fragrances.
Ultimately, the choice of the most fragrant lavender for your perfume or fragrance blends depends on your personal preferences and the desired scent profile. Experimenting with different lavender varieties and their unique fragrance profiles can lead to the discovery of captivating and enchanting aromatic combinations, allowing you to create truly exceptional and memorable scents.


What is the most fragrant lavender?

The most fragrant lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as English lavender or true lavender. It is prized for its strong and sweet aroma, with floral and herbal notes.

Are there different varieties of Lavandula angustifolia?

Yes, there are several varieties of Lavandula angustifolia, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include ‘Hidcote’, ‘Munstead’, and ‘Royal Velvet’. They all have highly fragrant flowers, but the intensity of the scent may vary slightly.

Can I grow fragrant lavender in my garden?

Absolutely! Fragrant lavender, such as Lavandula angustifolia, can be grown in many gardens. It prefers well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Make sure to provide adequate space for the plant to grow and prune it regularly to maintain its shape and promote healthy growth.

How do I harvest and preserve the fragrance of lavender?

To harvest lavender, wait until the flowers have fully bloomed but before they start to wither. Cut the stems just above the foliage and gather them in bundles. Hang the bundles upside down in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area until the flowers are completely dry. Once dry, you can remove the flowers from the stems and store them in airtight containers to preserve their fragrance.

Can I use fragrant lavender for culinary purposes?

Yes, fragrant lavender can be used in cooking and baking, but it should be used sparingly due to its strong flavor. The flowers can be added to desserts, teas, and savory dishes to impart a unique floral and herbal taste. It’s important to use culinary lavender specifically labeled for consumption to ensure it is free from pesticides or other contaminants.