Lavender is a popular scent for good reason — not only does it smell great, it happens to evoke a calm, happy, and a bit nostalgic emotion. In fact, a 2013 study found that lavender's effect on anxiety was comparable to taking 0.5 mg of lorazepam daily. In other words, the scent is actually good — as if you needed an excuse to spritz it on.
Of course, not everyone is a fan. But if you think of lavender as being too sweet, it might be time to expand your horizons. Lavender doesn't always have to smell sweet and floral, and there are many iterations of the scent, possessing the ability to match almost anyone's preference. We rounded up our favorites, which run the gamut from light and airy to sexy and musky. Who knows? You might just find your new favorite daily fragrance among our list below.
Here are some of the most delicious-smelling lavender fragrances to soothe your soul.
Tom Ford Lavender Extreme Eau de Parfum
The name says it all. Lavender is the overwhelming scent in this sexy fragrance by Tom Ford, and there's a whole lot of it. The scent combines lavender from Provence’s Hautes-Alpes region with amber-like lavender from the valley, plus a third lavender blended with warm tonka bean. The resulting fragrance is warm and, yes, incredibly luxe.
Heretic Dirty Lavender
This verdant fragrance combines heady notes of lavender absolute with bitter orange
oil, neroli blossoms, sacred palo santo, vetiver and sandalwood. The result is at once romantic and a tinge grassy (and, as with all Heretic scent, more than a little sexy).
Fueguia 1833 Halo Lunar
Inspired by the bright moon-lit sky, this fragrance contains notes of lavender, ambergris, and sandalwood for an earthy, herbal scent with a smooth, warm undertone. It's light enough to wear for day and, as the evening wears on, you can layer for a more intense fragrance.
Anu Essentials Sterling Botanical
This cooling (and clean, to boot) scent combines rich and heady notes of tobacco and oud with bright accents of lemon peel and white grapefruit. Lavender grounds it all into a wear-everyday, where'd-you-get-that scent that's sure to cause compliments. Even better: the slim bottle is small enough to tuck into a purse, so you can reapply as you wish.
Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne Natural Spray
The fresh floral scent of English lavender is nicely balanced with notes of vetiver and sandalwood, creating a fresh, woody aroma. Even if you live on the 5th floor walkup in New York City, this scent will have you dreaming of thick trees and rolling hills (in other words: it's transportive).
D.S. & Durga Burning Barbershop
D.S. & Druga has a story behind this curious name. In 1891, the Curling Bros. Barbershop burned down in Westlake, N.Y. All of the shaving tonics burned, emitting a blended scent of spearmint, lime, vanilla, and lavender— and they imagine this perfume smells exactly like it. You'll enjoy these notes mixed with burnt oil for a nice smoky finish that will warm you right up.
Gucci Moonlight Serenade
From the whimsical name to the delicately designed bottle, this lavender scent is all about romance. Blended with sage and tonka bean, this lavender-laced perfume is the perfect final touch to your favorite date look. Pricey? Yes, but this is one incredibly well-made potion, blended by master perfumer Alberto Morillas using a mix of eaux de parfum, perfumed oils and acque profumate ("scented waters").
Bright and zestful, this scent combines classic lavender with geranium and sandalwood, with notes of heliotrope and musk. Intentionally bold, this perfume was inspired by expressing masculine and feminine energy simultaneously — so the wearer gets the best of both worlds. Magnifique, if we do say so ourselves.
Motif Olfactif Mon Oasis
Lavender, sandalwood, florals and musks combine for a sweet, warm scent that just smells cozy (and chic enough for date night). The unique blend has an inspiring cast of characters — expect notes of yuzu, pear, vetiver, and oakmoss — that somehow combine perfectly.
This lavender scent feels classic, and will never go out of style. Blended with notes of lemon, bergamot, musk, and cedar, this scent has a depth and effortless elegance. The heavy black bottle (which is decidedly sophisticated) also happens to look great on a vanity.
Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi: 10.1155/2013/681304