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Lovage essential oil, in addition to its many medicinal properties, creates pretty tangy notes as well as forming a famous perfume molecule: coumarin.
Lovage, a multifaceted aromatic plant
Lovage mainly used by Benedictine monks in the 9th century, was recognized in particular by Charlemagne for its multiple virtues.
In the Middle Ages, lovage was used both as an aromatic culinary condiment (still widely used in Moldovan and Bulgarian cuisine) and as a calming remedy against ulcers, boils or even renal colic More legendary, lovage was also very related to magic and, like its cousin celery, it was part of the secret composition of the famous love potions!
From the discovery of the manufacture of essential oils, lovage took its place among herbal remedies but also among the natural raw materials used by perfumers. However, it is still rarely used as such, but if we hardly know the lovage note in perfumery, we do know very well the molecule that it can compose thanks to its active ingredients: coumarin.
The use of the lovage note in perfumery
The lovage note used as such in perfumery is only explicitly named in one and only one perfume: Vetiver salt by The Different Company. Released in 2006, this original spicy woody note offers hints of lovage in the base associated with iris and vetiver. Moreover, the term vetiver salt could remind us that lovage is the raw material for creating celery salt, just like what we know less about the famous Maggi broths from our kitchens.
It would seem that lovage suffers from a total ignorance of its scent powers while in the end it is also widely used just like other aromatic plants (true lavender, Chinese cinnamon ) to create a famous note in perfumery: coumarin. Coumarin, the raw material for many fern and oriental fragrances, is a synthetic molecule which uses active ingredients present in lovage in particular to exist.
So if we do not stick to the exact designation of lovage and the possible manufacture of the coumarin note thanks to it, many perfumes could carry the lovage note hidden under the name of coumarin. Let's hope that this injustice done to the cousin of celery, will be repaired to finally enjoy the acidulous and fresh facets of this very pretty note of lovage.