Tit for Tat: Lavender Soliflores Disappear

La Liz was her secret violet eyes or lavnder oil?

La Liz was her secret violet eyes or lavnder oil?

You may have noticed the disappearance of lavender soliflores.  In fact you may have noticed the disappearance of lavender essential oil from perfumes and soaps and other such products with some vague fake floralcy substituted for lavender.  Why has this happened?

The explanation may be related to the findings  in 2006 of Derek Henley and Edward Reiter of the National Institute of Environmental Health and Science concerning the strange cases of five young boys and “idiopathic prepubertal gynecomastia”.  Translated into the demotic, these five boys had begun to sprout breasts when using otc tea tree and lavender oil containing soaps and shampoos. The effect went away when the boys changed products.

The authors publicized their findings as the first time essential oils were associated with gynecomastia, and  attempted to culture female cancer cells with the eos and claimed to have found “estrogenic” effects, but as the writers at Cropwatch in newsletter No4 suggested, this may have been a bit of a stretch: “Lavender Oil Goes Tits Up”.  Hm.

I of course live with lavender, in season lavender vinegar and lavender flowers and Moment Supreme the lavender Jean Patou. Alas  my bra size has not increased at all. In fact it is a good inch and a half less than in my salad or lavender days.  Had I only known all this perhaps I might have cultivated a taste for more lavender perfumes.  Good old Blue Grass say, or Yardley’s Lavender.

Is this the Pour un Homme Effect ?

Is this the Pour un Homme Effect ?

Then there is the vexed question of men’s lavender soliflores.  There once was a steady population of those, and no doubt a large number of men who used them without ill effects.  Consider Atkinson’s, and Agua Lavanda, or Shiseido’s MG5.  What happened to those guys?  Were they reduced to wearing bros or manssieres? More idle speculation on my part, did the Pino Silvestre dudes or worst of all the Pour Un Homme consumers experience side effects?

I certainly hope not and frankly as I said, I’ve been fond of lavender for ages and nothing’s doing in my neck of the woods.  If lavender could be reliably documented to work without harmful side effects I can well imagine quite an increase in customers for certain

Or is this?

Or is this?

perfumes.  Unfortunately I am skeptical of this finding. Five boys with a temporary condition do not a trend make, nor do they really implicate an essential oil used for centuries, possibly millennia.

Maybe some further testing will be done because of all the essential oils I can think of lavender has surely been  one of the most benign,used the most often for aroma therapy and even in babies’ oinments and powders.  I remember a Johnson & Johnson baby wash scented with lavender that was designed to send the babies off to sleep and let Mom take a break.  Now I’m guessing this product along with a raft of others is reformulated with something that does not smell of lavender and will do nothing to help a baby to shuffle off the coil of infantile insomnia.

Hey though maybe it will turn out to have other uses.   In the meantime, I still grow lavender. I’m not expecting to have Jayne’s results, but you never know, and anyway I can still use my Moment Supreme and live in hope.

Did Jayne know about lavender oil?

Did Jayne know about lavender oil?

 

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15 thoughts on “Tit for Tat: Lavender Soliflores Disappear

    • Looks like it, and all from a little lavender perfume :-).

      Sadly I am still waiting for it the Lavender Bust Fairy to hit town.

  1. I had not, in fact, noticed that lavender soliflores were disappearing, much less the reason why… Sometime in my 20s I did notice that lavender – even flowering – could give me horrendous headaches from time to time, and avoided it from that time.

    It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized the lavender was probably one reason I never bothered to steal my grandmother’s perfume. She wore Blue Grass (back when it smelled nice wafted in the air, not that i could manage it on my skin), which is chock-full of lavender, and Avon Cotillion, which falls along that dusty-patchouli-heavy-balsam-oriental line I hate so much. Oh, and Jergens lotion, she wore that too.

    My sister, after some years of Dune and some of CkOne, went heavily into lavender-vanilla. She loves the combination in whatever form: candles, essential oils, fragrance, what-have-you. But I’m fairly certain she has seen no bosom enhancing qualities from her lavender.

    Not sure how old Liz is in that pic, but she seems tanned within an inch of her life! My goodness, she was utterly stunning when young. (And that photo of Jayne and Sophia is PRICELESS. It’s always amused me.)

  2. Has your sister ever tried Pour Un Homme? It’s all lavender and vanilla, and wears quite well on women too.

    Sorry to hear about the lavender allergy. I find the stuff fairly benign and put it into a big vat of white vinegar for baths (turns the vinegar an engaging shade of pink actually).
    IFRA I think only restricts it (though i may be wrong about this) the reason being that linalool is listed as an allergen and is in lavender, one site says 35% of lavender is linalool, and in neroli too which IFRA also restricts to low levels for the same linalool reason I reckon.

    Yes Liz was the gal wasn’t she? Shocking when she did Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf!

  3. Oh that darned lavender baby wash by Johnson & Johnson! I got sucked into buying it for my son when he was newborn. He regarded sleep as a waste of time then, although he’s making up for it now (he’s 16). Made not a blind bit of difference in either the breast or the sleep department, although it certainly smells nice and I enjoyed it. Actually, I might sneak a sniff of it when next I’m at the supermarket.

    I’m fond of Lush’s Twilight shower gel, which is lavender and tonka. There is something very enticing about the cool/warm, or sharp/soft combination, much like the lavender and vanilla concept that Mals mentions. We have Jicky to thank for that, don’t we?

  4. Your son sounds like my daughter as a baby. Ladies would come up to us to admire her and I would ask them desperately, “When do they start SLEEPING??” The answer of course is “When they hit adolescence.”

    Where would Jicky be without lavender? Hope all the lavender is still there is J’s top notes… I like the sound of Lush’s Twilight as well. Actually, they’ve impressed me ever since I discovered that their Lust was almost as good as A la Nuit !

    • You’ve reminded me that I have a solid of Lust but it is really too sweet and dense for me. Love the shower gel version, Flying Fox, though. I’ve heard that A La Nuit is not very long-lived and that puts me off sampling it (I would have to purchase a sample). It gets a lot of love, I know.

    • I actually guess a lot of people don’t like lavender now, that’s the trend I think.

      Maybe lavender will come back sometime- particularly if it increases bust measurements :-)

  5. I love lavender and actually contemplating the purchase of Krigler’s Lieber Gustav 14 because of that note.
    But your article made me smile – so thank you for this tidbit of trivia.

    • Lieber Gustav is beautiful, one of the best Kriglers for sure..

      This was an unexpected facet of lavender use wasn’t it? Makes me wonder if my step grandmother had more than one reason for wearing Yardley’s…

  6. Hehe, this was hilarious. I have some lavender E.O. in the cabinet, and since my hubby seems to love lavender, maybe it’ll be a win-win for him, haha! Also, perhaps I should try some lavender scented stuff to sooth my 10 month old baby that also hates sleep. The problem is I just don’t seem to like lavender. :( Maybe I just haven’t tried the right one yet.

    • If you can find some of the real stuff for your baby that might help them getting off to sleep. And you certainly have my sympathy – that first sleep deprived year is one of the fun parts of parenting!

      On the lavender front there’s always Lieber Gustav :-)

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