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Lemongrass: A Versatile and Aromatic Grass in Perfumery
Despite sharing only its name and a hint of fragrance with lemons, lemongrass is a fascinating ingredient with a rich history. Originating in Sri Lanka, this slender grass has been cherished by Asians since ancient times and even recognized in ancient Egypt for its numerous medicinal properties.
Fun Fact: Lemongrass is known to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Now cultivated in many tropical countries, lemongrass is used in the West Indies to reduce fever, and in Africa, it is believed to be a potent remedy for tuberculosis and malaria. Moreover, it is an essential component of many Asian cuisines, particularly in traditional tart dishes. Surprisingly, this unique and delicate fragrance has been underutilized in perfumery, but renowned brands are now starting to showcase lemongrass in their compositions.
Some notable perfumes featuring lemongrass include Jo Malone London Lemongrass & Ginger Cologne, The Body Shop Satsuma Eau de Toilette, Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia Forte, and The 7 Virtues Grapefruit Lime Eau de Parfum.
Refreshing Citrus Scents and Lemongrass
Lemongrass has primarily been used in citrus fragrances for men since the 1990s. Its powerful and tangy essential oil adds a burst of energy to citrus notes, creating invigorating scents that are both refreshing and sophisticated. Monsieur Balmain by Balmain, created in 1990, exemplifies the use of lemongrass in male perfumery, as it combines lemongrass with various aromatic herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme, etc.) to exude warm, spicy, and ultimately woody notes.
Fun Fact: In aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is known to have a calming effect, helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
That same year, IKKS by IKKS presented a similar explosive combination of lemongrass and spices, adding marine notes for extra freshness. Later, Chaumet Homme by Chaumet daringly incorporated a few floral heart notes and white musk to the lemongrass and aromatic blend.
While it's undeniable that lemongrass has a strong connection to the male citrus fragrance family, perfumers are venturing into new territories, exploring unisex and even feminine citrus florals. With its top notes of lemongrass, Calvin Klein's Truth, a lovely citrus green floral, demonstrated to women in 2001 that lemongrass could also become one of their most cherished scents!