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Flavor and Scent Profile of Lavender by Color

The flavor and scent profiles of English lavender can vary just as much as different varieties of blueberries or tomatoes. Many people ask about the specific flavor and scent when selecting lavender plants, but the truth is that these attributes are not always easily generalized by the same flavor and scent profiles.

While it’s common to make broad assumptions that English lavender has a certain aroma or taste, the reality is that there are exceptions to the rule. Just like the diversity within the English language, the nuances of lavender’s sensory profiles can differ between variety colors, growing conditions, and even individual plants.

Experienced lavender growers and enthusiasts know that exploring the unique flavor and scent of various English lavender varieties is part of the joy of working with this versatile herb. It is like a mother of identical twins ability to distinguish the differences between her babies. By approaching lavender selection with an open mind, lavender growers can discover new favorite varieties that may defy traditional categorizations. The rich complexity of English lavender is part of what makes it such a captivating and worthwhile plant to grow and enjoy.

Lavender vs Lavandin for Culinary Use

Before selecting a variety of lavender for culinary use, it is important to distinguish the flavor profile between Lavender and Lavandin. Lavandin contains high amounts of camphor which will make your culinary creations “taste like soap.” Some exceptions may be “Gros Bleu” or “Provence” varieties as they are lower in camphor than “Grosso” or “Phenomenal.”

Selecting Plants

When you are selecting English lavender plants to purchase for culinary use, you will want to work with a lavender grower who understands your end goals. An expert lavender grower will be familiar with: Flavor/Scent Profile, Color, USDA Hardiness Zone, Growth Habits/Size to assist with the best selection for your needs.

Purple Lavender Flavor Notes: Herbal/Peppery

Purple lavender varieties tend to have an herbal or “peppery” taste and scent. This makes it a perfect choice for incorporating into herbes de provence, sous vide meats, wood plank fish, broth bases or soups/stews.

Violet or Blue Lavender Flavor Notes: Floral/Citrus

Violet or Blue lavender varieties lend an intoxicating floral taste to recipes. It is the perfect choice for “blending” multiple types of lavender into infusions, such as a lavender syrup recipe, or may be used in both sweet or savory dishes.

White and Pink Lavender Flavor Notes: Sweet Like Candy

Pink or White lavender varieties tend to espouse a very sweet taste. This general flavor profile makes the white and pink varieties perfect to incorporate into cakes or cookies.

Lavender Culinary Infusion

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing! Tossing copious amounts of culinary English lavender dried buds into a dish will still make it taste like soap, even if it is not lavandin: dried buds and stems should be used as a garnish, not for flavoring.

There is even an NIH study about Lavender Aroma Profiles in regards to extracts and infusions. Highly recommended read about achieving lavender flavor in culinary applications.

For our lavender culinary infusions, we personally love to blend these three varieties: Vera, Munstead and Hidcote Blue. The infusion ends up with a perfect balance of herbal, floral and citrus notes.

Happy experimenting during your lavender culinary adventures!

Lavender Farmer | Aromatherapist | Yoga Instructor at Twin Flame Lavender Farm | Vibe Aroma LLC

Renee started out as an avid real estate blogger in 2006. Opting for a less stressful life, Paul and Renee moved to Michigan in 2018 and started a lavender farm in 2019.

There are very few resources available to aspiring lavender farmers for growing lavender, lavender aromatherapy and lavender culinary infusion.

Renee hopes to change and shake up the world of lavender by sharing her knowledge and experience she has gained by being a lavender farmer and aromatherapist with lavender lovers all over the world.

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