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Latin Binomial: Lavandula officinalis
Plant Part: Aerial Part
Extraction: Concrete
Growing Practice: Ethical
Country of Origin: France
Odor Type: FLORAL

Odor Characteristic: Violet Lavender Concrete is Lavandula officinalis v. violetta, France, 80% absolute content. Violet Lavender concrete is a prepared perfumery ingredient, extracted from non resinous or low resinous natural raw materials and is similar to resinoids. The difference is that concretes are extracted from previously live material and resinoids are extracted from plant exudations (commonly called resins or sometimes pitch). Concretes contain the hydrocarbon-soluble material, leaving out water and water-extractive material. Most concretes (including lavender) are usually solid, waxy non-crystalline masses, however they can crystallize upon standing. They contain large amounts of alcohol-soluble material known as an absolute when the concrete is extracted with alcohol. This lavender concrete is made by benzene, gasoline, petroleum ether (or other hydrocarbon solvent) extraction of freshly cut flowering herb of lavender Lavandula officinalis v. violetta. Consistency can range from waxy solid to viscous liquid.

Appearance: usually dark or bright green viscous or waxy solid.
BioChemical Class: Ester, Alcohol
CAS No: 8028-28-0

About the Plant

Scientific Name(s): Botanically, the genus Lavandula can be divided into 5 sub-generic groups. All the garden and common lavenders belong to the Stoechas and Spica groups. A number or rare species cultivated in Australia and New Zealand belong to the Pterostachys group. There are approximately 30 species. The sub-genus Spica includes L. angustifolia, L. latifolia and L. lanata, all collectively known as lavandin. True English lavender, L. angustifolia Mill, is the species from which the essential oil used in aromatherapy and perfumery is distilled. This species has also been known by the synonyms L. officinalis Chaix, L. vera DC, and L. spica L. The synonym L. officinalis indicates that this was the lavender specified for medicinal use. L. angustifolia is adapted to living in a dry climate and is native to the western half of the mediterranean, reaching altitudes of up to 1800 meters. It is also recognized as a separate type of lavender by the Welsh physicians of the thirteenth century who knew it as Llafant. Many garden lavenders are inter-specific hybrids between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia, and these hybrids are collectively known as 'lavandin', with the accepted nomenclature being L. x intermedia Emeric ex Boiseleur. This complex situation results in many incorrect names for lavandin.

Several Lavandula species have been used medicinally, including L. angustifolia Mill. (syn. L. officinalis Chaix. and L. spica, L. stoechas, L. dentata, L. latifolia and L. pubescens Decne.

Family: Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae) Sub-Family: Nepetoidae, Tribe: Lavanduleae, Genus Lavandula

Common Name(s): Aspic, lavandin (usually refers to particular hybrids), lavender, spike lavender, true lavender.

Botany: Lavender plants are aromatic evergreen sub-shrubs that grow to about 3 feet high. The plants are native to the Mediterranean region. Fresh flowering tops are collected, and the essential oil is distilled or extracted by solvent extraction.1 The plant has small blue or purple flowers, sometimes white or violet. The narrow leaves are fuzzy and gray when young and turn green as they mature. Lavender is cultivated extensively for use as a perfume, potpourri and as an ornamental.

Morphology: Lavenders are herbs and shrubs (Hyptis). Young stems are often 4-angled with leaves opposite, whorled and simple, with no stipules. Flowers are bisexual, usually 2-lipped (upper lip with 2 lobes, lower lip with 3 lobes. Four stamens, in 2 sets (didynamous), with filaments partially fused to petals (epipetalous). Two partially fused carpels, each with 2 lobes, basal style with 2 lobed stigma. Fruit 4 nutlets. Calys usually persistent with 5 fused lobes or 2-lipped. Infloresence - main stem with flowers in whorls, flowers with or without stalks (infloresence a verticillate spike or raceme, flowers +/- pedicels). Often with short-stalked epidermal glands containing essential oils.

Distribution: Most species of lavender are native to the Mediterranean coastal region, but others come from islands in the Atlantic Ocean, tropical north-east Africa (Somalia) and the Indian sub-continent.


It is likely that the Romans or Benedictine monks introduced Lavender to England before the Norman conquest, and it was first recognized as a distinct form of lavender in the twelfth century by the Abbess Hildegard (AD 1098-1180) who lived near Bingen on the Rhine. Lavender has long found a role in folk medicine. The plant has been used as an antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic and general tonic. Extracts have been used to treat conditions ranging from acne to migraines. Although the plant has been known to increase bile flow output and flow into the intestine, its greatest value is not in the treatment of biliary conditions. Lavender has been used quite extensively as an antidiabetic agent in parts of Spain and is included in some commercial herbal antidiabetic preparations. Fresh leaves and flowers, as well as the diluted essential oil are applied to the forehead to relieve headaches and to joints to treat rheumatic pain. The vapors of steamed flowers are used as a cold remedy. Chileans drink the tea to induce or increase menstrual flow.

In herbalism, Lavender is usually administered orally in the form of an infusion, decoction and is either taken internally or diluted essential oil applied topically for relief of neuralgia. Today, lavender oil and extracts are used as pharmaceutical fragrances and in cosmetics. Spike lavender oil is often used in soaps because it is inexpensive but of lower quality than true lavender oil. Lavandin oil, lavender absolute (an extract) and spike lavender oil are used in concentrations of up to 1.2% in perfumes.1 Small amounts (0.002% to 0.004%) of the oil are used to flavor food.

Lavender's versatility is seen in its various applications as a fragrance in perfumes, bath and shower products, hair care products, toiletry soaps, detergents, typical formulations, synthetic derivatives and production.

Lavender flowers contain between 1% to 3% essential oil. Lavandin hybrids contain a higher volatile oil content, but its composition is extremely variable. The oil is a complex mixture of more than 150 compounds, the most abundant of which are linaloyl acetate (30% to 55%), linalool (20% to 35%), cineole, camphor, beta-ocimene, limonene, caproic acid, caryophyllene oxide and tannins (5% to 10%).1,7 However, the relative amounts of these compounds can vary widely between species.8,9 Perillyl alcohol, a distillate of L. angustifolia has been shown to exert anticancer effects.10 Several articles on lavender are available, discussing analysis methods,11-13 enantiomeric purity and distinctiveness, 14-16 variety deviation,17-20 essential oil quality, 21,22 GC retention indices,23 and lavender content in perfumes.

Aromatherapy: Violet Lavender Concrete is not appropriate for aromatherapy skin applications, and not usually diffused or inhaled. It is a primary natural perfumery ingredient.

Perfumery: Violet Lavender Concrete is used in soap perfumes and soluble in most perfume materials, with the incumbent waxes acting as fixatives and blenders. Often found in chypres and 'tabac' perfumes, and adds forest notes, among others. Like other lavender extracts, it combines well with labdanum, oakmoss, patchouli, cedarwood, rosemary, thyme and clary sage. It can be used in either alcohol or oil based solid perfumes. It is finding its way into more natural perfume palates as indie perfumers experiment using it in both perfume alcohol and solid perfumes. It blends with most Citrus, labdanum, oakmoss, patchouli, greener notes such as rosemary and clary sage and woodier notes like cedarwood and sandalwood.

"Today I met three lavender angels, Lavender Blue, Lavender White and Lavender Violet from Samara Botane in the U.S.

My favorite is the blue (Lavandula spica var provence), the white is lovely, very fresh, like a shining arch angel. The violet is softer and shy, like a cherub. But the blue lavender concrete is like the most beautiful angel in the whole of heaven, it reminded me of delicate violets and crystal purity. I swear the stuff is holy!"

Ruth Ruane, Natures Nexus

There is little researched safety data on floral concretes and they contain trace residue of the solvent extractor, which may be harmful, especially in strong dilutions. We suggest you experiment carefully, skin testing and using lower dilutions in formulating your perfume or cosmetic products. The following references the essential oil. Most aromatherapy information touts Lavender and Lavandin as the safest essential oils in the aromatherapy palate. However, there have been instances of negative reactions recorded over the years, increasing since 1997 with the widespread use in commercial cosmetic products of both the essential oil and dried or extracted botanical. Lavandin shows no irritation or sensitization at 5% and little or no irritation to human skin was shown (BIBRA Working Group 1994), however sensitization has been caused in some individuals. Patch tests show a few allergies due to photosensitization and also pigmentation (Nakayama et al., 1976; Brando, 1986). At least one contact airborne severe allergic dermatitis through overuse by an aromatherapist is reported (Schaller and Korting, 1995). A friend and fellow aromatics products seller has been sensitized in the late 1990's.

The information provided on these pages is not a substitute for necessary medical care, nor intended as medical advice. Always keep aromatic extracts tightly closed and in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children. Never ingest aromatic extracts. Always dilute aromatic extracts when applying topically and avoid areas around eyes or mucous membranes. If redness or irritation occurs, stop using immediately and contact your health provider if necessary.