In This Article
The Origin of Lilac and Its Many Symbols
Lilac is a shrub with flowers that come in various shades, including mauve, purple, or white. The most well-known species of lilac is the French lilac. Its flowers grow in clusters and thrive in mild and temperate regions. As a hardy tree, lilac is highly resistant to diseases, but it requires rich, well-drained soil and ample sunshine. Lilac is often associated with the return of sunny days as it blooms in spring. However, it also carries other symbols. For instance, "Lilac" is the title of a painting by Van Gogh, and numerous songs either include the word "lilac" in their title or reference it: Vive la Rose et le Lilas by Guy Béart (1960), Les lilas by Georges Brassens (1957), Le poinçonneur des lilas by Serge Gainsbourg (1958), From daffodils to the last lilacs by Hugues Aufray (1968), Le temps du lilas by Barbara, and La vie lilas by Serge Lama. The plant also lent its name to the Porte des Lilas in Paris, formerly known as Porte de Romainville. Additionally, "Lilac" is a revolutionary first name present in the republican calendar, reappearing in 1938 and celebrated shortly before spring arrives on April 15.
Lilac in Perfumery
In fragrances, lilac exudes a tender and delicate scent, simultaneously floral, green, and rosy. Its aroma also has slightly anise and powdery undertones. The scent alone evokes the arrival of sunny days. However, perfumers cannot extract lilac's fragrance through distillation or extraction processes. Moreover, when its flower is cut, its scent becomes heavier. As a result, lilac is reproduced synthetically or via the headspace technique, a method developed in the 1970s to reconstitute the natural scents of flowers as they exist in nature without causing damage. Lilac is frequently used in floral fragrances but rarely as a soliflore.
Consequently, lilac appears in numerous feminine fragrances designed for the summer season, such as Amour-Amour by Jean Patou, Blue Charm by Azzaro, Fleur d'Interdit by Givenchy, and Gucci Guilty by Gucci.
Fun Facts About Lilac
- Lilac is not only a beautiful flowering plant but also a popular ornamental shrub used in landscaping.
- The name "lilac" is derived from the Persian word "lilak," which means "blue."
- Lilacs have been cultivated for over 2,500 years, and they were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century.
- Some species of lilacs can live for over a century, and the oldest known lilac in the United States is believed to be more than 300 years old.