Lavandin itself has a history (dating back to the 1820s) of different species all with different compositions. The three most common being ‘Grosso’, ‘Abrialis’ and ‘Super’. In the past, the most common was Abrialis but this has evolved over time with ‘Grosso’ now being the dominant type with over 1,000 MT being produced in France alone each year.
‘Abrialis’ was the first lavandin to be cloned in the 1920s, which was a cross between lavandula angustifolia and lavandula spica. Lavandin Abrialis was the most common type of lavandin grown until it was hit by disease at which point it was replaced by another lavandin type, ‘Super’.
In the 1970s, lavender farmer Pierre Grosso developed the Lavandin Grosso, which was a more repost plant with a longer life and higher yields. Today it is ‘Grosso’ which is heavily cultivated in particular in Southern France.
Some perfumers still choose to work with the Abrialis species as they have a preference towards some of its characteristics. But as its popularity decreases along with demand, it's not the best choice to give your purchasing department an easy time - but who would want to do that anyway?
Lavandin is said to have a number of therapeutic benefits in particular antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and analgesic properties.
Read more about lavandin grosso and other lavenders in our Elementary Essential Oils section.
The output decline has been at odds with general market slowdown. With only 700 hectares of plantation remaining, it’s impossible to find new arrivals in the near future. The material is in limited supply corresponding to a weak demand. Most end users have turned to reformulations to ensure their product is not at the mercy of an oil that is facing extinction.
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