This or That: Lavandin Grosso versus Sweet Lavandin

This or That: Lavandin Grosso versus Sweet Lavandin

Nov 16th 2023

Posted by Dr. Christoph Streicher and Chase F.

As with many beautiful things, it all started in the rolling hills of southern France or the mountain range of Pyrenees. Lavandin began as a natural hybrid of the “true” Lavender plant (Lavandula augustifolia) and Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia). It was discovered growing wild, having an aromatic profile similar to that of “true” Lavender but more pungent, sharp, and camphoraceous. Due to its exceptional hardiness, stronger scent, and higher yield of harvestable material, it quickly gained popularity for its utility as an agent in culinary flavorings, household cleaning products, air fresheners, perfumes/colognes, lotions, soaps, and more. In the post-WWII era, demand for Lavandin soared even more, as a booming Western middle-class desired more and more access to Lavender-scented products at consistently affordable prices.

As knowledge has improved regarding the distillation of essential oils, Lavandin has found itself to be quite a linchpin within the aromatherapy industry. Lavandin plants can produce up to three times the amount of essential oil as “true” Lavender which generally leads to more affordability and availability, but they also possess distinctly different chemical compositions. Furthermore, there are also multiple varieties of Lavandin, each displaying subtly different characteristics. The subtle differences between the essential oils derived from these plants, if properly understood, allow individual users to fine-tune their selections specifically to their unique needs. Let’s take a closer look at the options.

Lavandin Sweet vs. Lavandin Grosso

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that True Lavender and Spike Lavender met once upon a time and fell in love. Well as we all know: “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the carriage.” In this instance, the “baby” turned out to be Lavandin, but rather than just one child they were blessed with two, non-identical twins/siblings. Each of these Lavandin species (Sweet Lavandin and Lavandin Grosso) inherited certain characteristics from both mom and dad (True Lavender and Spike Lavender), but each is also a bit unique unto themselves. Let’s find out how!

Sweet Lavandin (Lavandula hybrida) Also known as Lavandin Super:

  • Out of the two Lavandin twins, this one takes a little more after True Lavender than its other parent, Spike Lavender. Its aroma is extremely popular within the perfume industry and is quite pleasant and floral like True Lavender, but a little sharper. Yet, Sweet Lavandin is not as sharp and camphoraceous as Lavandin Grosso or Spike Lavender. This is due in part to its uniquely balanced concentration of natural compounds.
  • Sweet Lavandin is as effective as True Lavender on a mental level for reducing anxiety, uplifting the spirit, and deterring sleep disturbances.* If you look on a physical level, it helps lower blood pressure, decongest the lungs, fights viruses and bacteria, and deters pain and inflammation.*
  • Sweet Lavandin Essential Oil is significantly more affordable than many Lavender oils on the market, due to a consistently higher yield from its plant of origin. This makes it a potential replacement within an aromatherapy toolkit, especially for True Lavender, when lower cost is a priority. However, it should be noted that Lavandin does not exhibit the same potential for healing burns as True Lavender, and you should check the purity of the oils to make sure they are not diluted or synthesized.
Click here for Sweet Lavandin     Click here for Lavandin Grosso

Lavandin Grosso (Lavandula x intermedia var. grosso):

  • Created around 1970 by renowned French botanist, Pierre Grosso, this is the hardiest and highest yielding strain of Lavandin. Thus, Lavandin Grosso Essential Oil tends to be the most affordable of all Lavandin and Lavender oils. Though its aroma is sharper than that of Sweet Lavandin, it is still quite popular in perfumery due to its fresh, woody-herbaceous undertones mixed with familiar notes of Lavender. Spike Lavender, a parent of both Lavandin variants, reveals itself slightly more in the Grosso variant than in the Sweet. Lavandin Grosso displays an aroma that is even more camphoraceous than Sweet LavandinTrue Lavender, and Spike Lavender.
  • Lavandin Grosso shares many of the same therapeutic benefits as Sweet Lavandin, but generally with slightly less potency due to its even higher content of terpenes and monoterpenes. It is not quite as sedative as Sweet Lavandin or True Lavender, but because it contains a comparable amount of linalool still exhibits the shared ability to calm the nerves and tackle sleep disruptions.*
  • Other therapeutic benefits shared by Lavandin Grosso and Sweet Lavandin include their abilities to energize the spirit, decongest the lungs, deter pain and inflammation, and fight viruses and bacteria.* The main drawback of the Grosso variant is its sharper, more pungent aromatic profile.
  • Lavandin Grosso is the most affordable choice of all the Lavandin and Lavender essential oils, thus making it a plausible alternative to True Lavender if low cost is a priority. It should be noted though that Lavandin Grosso, much like Sweet Lavandin, does not possess the same abilities as True Lavender to help heal burns.*

Which is the best choice?

There are circumstances in which there is simply no perfect substitute for Lavender. But be aware that some varieties of Lavender are not as “pure” as they claim to be. Unfortunately, many products with Lavender have become polluted with synthetic substitutes, so make sure you are procuring any and all Lavender products from a trusted source such as Amrita Aromatherapy (providing the highest quality and purity of essential oil products since 1989).

True Lavender should not be replaced by Lavandin for treatment of burns.* Also, those who crave the purest representations of Lavender’s sweet-herbal aromatic profile would be best-suited to opt for True Lavender, such as Lavender Maillette Essential Oil or Lavender Extra Essential Oil. Spike Lavender, on the other hand, has the highest camphor and 1.8 cineole contents of any oil mentioned in this article, so there may be no better substitute for relieving aches or pains associated with muscles, joints, or menstrual symptoms.*

All that being said, there are plenty of times when Sweet Lavandin Essential Oil or Lavandin Grosso Essential Oil could be a reasonable alternative for Lavender Products. If one desires an oil similar to Lavender (treatment for burns excluded), then Sweet Lavandin Essential Oil is a low-priced replacement as long as the user doesn’t mind a slightly sharper aromatic profile than that of Lavender.* Last but not least, Lavandin Grosso is the cheapest option within the Lavender / Lavandin family, but also not as therapeutically potent while displaying the least pleasant aromatic profile.

Final thoughts from the Amrita team…

It’s great to have options, even as they can sometimes lead to confusion as to which choice is best for each individual. Yes, it might seem simpler to opt for a one-size-fits-all solution, but this compromises the nuanced advantages obtained by an informed selection of the most suitable product for your specific needs and preferences. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you do just that! Discover today how Lavandin can round out your aromatherapy toolkit, or how it might even replace some other Lavender synthetic products which are too far away from being nature’s perfect solution for your symptoms.* Thanks for reading and enjoy!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.