Verbena smells herbal with citrus undertones. Its similarity to lemon smell has given its lemon verbena nickname. Verbena harvested in the spring smells more citrusy while verbena harvested in autumn is sweeter.
Verbena is one of the most pleasant citruses smells that doesn’t come from citruses. Similar to lemon, it has a herbal-floral profile which makes it ideal as a fragrant essential oil used in perfumes, aromatherapy, and even religious rituals.
What is Verbena?
Verbena (Verbena officinalis) and Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) are a type of the same herbal flower that grows in Africa, North America, South America, and Europe. The flower has been cultivated for its decorative purposes in arid climates due to its drought resistance.
The flower’s incredible smell has been associated with mystical powers in Ancient Egypt. Today, it’s widely used in perfumes, particularly green perfumes. However, good supplies of verbena are scarce.
What Does Verbena Smell like?
Verbena is a herbaceous flower with a lemon-like scent. Its green aroma is accompanied by nerol, citral, and verbascoside (caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside). These compounds make it smell herbal-citrusy.
Verbena smells herbal
Verbena first smells herbal. This green nuance of its smell is what differentiates it from other soft florals such as hibiscus or aromatic flowers such as lavender. Verbena smells similar to grass, but a bit spicier and more citrusy. Its green facet is what makes its odor ideal as a headnote in perfumes.
The herbal smell is characteristic of perfumes that are worn in spring and summer. Its greenness is ideal for almost any warm day even if some verbena flowers are picked in the fall.
Verbena smells citrusy
Verbena smells both herbal and citrusy. The citrus nuance of the herbal smell is intense. This is what makes many people associate lemon verbena with the verbena genus in general. This is one of the most pleasant citrus notes without bitterness or sourness.
Verbena smells floral
Verbena flowers can smell a bit different. This is why verbena’s scent can smell slightly different depending on the flowers it comes from. However, the scent is somewhat linear from one sub-species to another, offering a classic floral scent particular to flowers that grow in shrubs.
Verbena scent is dominating green perfumes
The dominating green accord of verbena is what recommends it for green perfumes and pine perfumes. These are scents of certain freshness. Verbena is one of the classic notes in the best colognes. It has that fresh vibe to it which is invigorating.
Verbena smell is energizing
Caffeoyl is a compound associated with verbena oil. It’s found in some shrub-green flowers. Verbena is packed with antioxidants which have a revitalizing role. In its scent, verbena feels energizing, just like most green scents such as lemongrass and mint (although verbena is not a type of mint).
Verbana vs lemon verbena?
Verbena and lemon verbena are often confused, even if they are part of the same family. However, they can sometimes substitute each other in perfumes as they have a similar scent. Verbena is more herbal while lemon verbena is more citrusy.
What scent goes well with verbena?
Lemon verbena perfumes show use what verbena goes best with. When the perfume is green, verbena goes best with lemongrass and lavender. When the perfume is floral, verbena goes well with jasmine, hibiscus, lilac, ylang-ylang, and elderflower. When the perfume is sweet, verbena goes well with quince, cardamom, bergamot, and even frankincense. Floral perfumes such as the best lily of the valley perfumes show us how verbena morphs into almost one scent with white florals.
Is verbena a flower?
Verbena is a herbaceous flowering plant. It has small flowers with just a few petals which can be red, pink, white, yellow, or green. Verbena flowers smell herbal, floral, and citrusy.
Is verbena a good scent?
Verbena is an excellent scent in men’s colognes. It has a masculine scent. Verbena is also used in the best perfumes for women. However, it’s known as one of the original headnotes in the best colognes for men which makes it an almost vintage-like scent. It’s hard to pull off a modern-smelling verbena perfume today for almost all perfumers.
What does verbena symbolize?
Verbena has been initially used as a flower with protective attributes against evil. It was later used as a decorative flower. Today, it’s used as a happy scent with an element of surprise in perfumery.
Happiness is associated with almost all citrus smells, even if they are floral-like verbena. It’s hard not to feel happy when you smell green citruses, which are always clean and refreshing.
The element of surprise accompanies verbena. This is often associated with its lemon-like smell. The surprise of a flower can come in different forms. In this case, it’s a positive surprise.
Verbena was first used as a protective flower from evil spirits thousands of years ago. This protective role offers a special place to the flower which was never mixed with other ‘ordinary’ flowers. It always had a special place. This is why true verbena perfumes should feel like species. Just look at Creed Irish Tweed. Does verbena ever get to smell any better?
Verbena has a complex green scent with plenty of citrus and sufficient herbal undertones to be classified both as a green scent and as a floral scent. It has been used from early days in history in all types of rituals.
People have recognized it as a special flower with a special smell. Some of this appreciation has been lost in perfumery, however. Still, it’s time to make verbena great again as it was a bad year for this scent. I only know of a handful of verbena perfumes released in 2021 (Xerjoff Torino21?). It’s a scent worth revisiting every year.