INGREDIENT

Lavender Flower Infusion

Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender oil
Calming, soothing and balancing
9
Products with this ingredient

Lavender is used for it’s balancing and soothing qualities making it ideal for irritated skin and scalps, it is also great at calming the mind and aiding a restful sleep.

Description

Description

There are about 25-30 different species of lavender belonging to the Labiatae family. French lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) comes from Provence. Lavender is a perennial, shrub-like plant that's part of the mint family. There are many variations of it, but lavender oil is perhaps the most versatile of them all. It's obtained from the flowering tops of the plants through steam distillation. Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a early 20th century French chemist, discovered the soothing qualities of Lavender by once accidentally burning his arm and dunking his arm into lavender oil, which he thought was cold water. As a result, Maurice became extremely interested in the properties of essential oils and studied the topic more deeply. He is credited as the father of modern aromatherapy.

At a glance

At a glance

Benefit
Lavender is thought to have a calming effect on the mind and skin, and is said to relieve muscle pain.
Time of harvest
July - August
Origin
France
Lavender Flower Infusion can be found in these products
9
Products with this ingredient
Lavender Flower Infusion can be found in these products
Moisturiser
Gorgeous skin reigns supreme
£16.95
45g
Gone, not forgotten
Conditioner
Veg out
£5.50
100g
Sleepy body lotion
Body Lotion
Zzz...
£15.95
215g
Only Available In Gift
The Twilight shower gel shown outside its packaging
Shower Gel
Dreamy lathers
£9.95
250g

FEATURED

Lavender: under French skies

July in France’s Provence region is unmissable. Or at least it would seem that way.

Vast numbers of tourists descend on the undulating countryside each year to breathe in (and likely capture for Instagram) the stretching lines of lavender and lavendin. During the June to August season, beekeepers - hoping to maximise yields of lavender honey - transport their hives nearby too, so bees can be seen foraging freely from flower to flower.

The deeply calming scent that rises from the purple fields is almost soporific, making both lavender and lavendin popular ingredients in cosmetics products. From bubble bars and soaps to shampoo bars and fine fragrance, the sweet florals are beloved for their abilities to help bathers unwind, aid in restful sleep and improve the condition of the skin and scalp.

Lavendin is a natural hybrid created from lavender (lavendula angustifolia) and lavender spike (lavendula latifolia) and it’s easier to tell apart from lavender than the names suggest. Lavendin’s scent is slightly more pungent and it’s stems tend to grow taller, up to 50-60cm compared to the average 30-40cm height of lavender. Each stem also boasts three flowers, unlike lavender’s characteristic one.

What it’s clear they have in common is a penchant for sunshine. They thrive in the dry climate of the Mediterranean with over 4,000 hectares of lavender and 17,000 hectares of lavendin planted around 3 main areas in France: Drome, Alpes de Haute Provence and Vaucluse. In total, France produces around 1,200 tonnes of lavender and lavendin oil each year.

These figures might seem vast, but one hectare of land is required to produce just 100 kg of lavendin oil. And this figure shrinks to a mere 40 kg when obtaining lavender oil.

When every hectare counts towards creating the finest essential oil, you have to get smart.

Visiting in July 2016, buyer Emilia and Jordan from quality control travelled - via Avignon - deep into the landscape of Provence to explore Lush’s source of lavender and lavendin oils. Heading away from the crowds (but into the midst of the bees) they met a supplier who has perfected his growing and distillation methods over more than 100 years of business.

Planting begins after March and April each year, when the risk of frosts is over and distilling takes place from late-July to mid-August. Each plantation will remain in place for roughly a decade before a period of three years gives the soil time to regenerate fully.

Many of the traditions - such as the fireplace fueled with lavender straw - continue as they always did, but today the harvest is completed by machine not sickle. What once was a time-consuming, labour-intensive process has been revolutionised, so Lush's supplier is now able to obtain 500 tonnes of high-quality lavender and lavendin oil each year. Some of these exquisite oils head over to Poole to be added straight into your products.

You won’t need a ticket to experience Provence this year, A French Kiss will do...