Eau de Cologne and verbena from Grasse
The fragrant verbena or lemon verbena was brought from Buenos Aires by several teams of French and Spanish botanists at the end of the 18th century. If the medicinal verbena was, on the other hand, well known to French herbalists for its healing properties, its cousin from South America quickly conquered the hearts of European gardens and perfumes.
Of all the plants that Dombey [a famous French botanist] introduced us to, the most interesting is lemon-scented verbena. This shrub, which rises to 15 feet, is of all the plants that can be cultivated in Europe, the one whose foliage has the most delicious scent.  JPF Deleuze, Historical Note on Joseph Dombey, Annals of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, Levrault, Schoell et Cie, vol. fourth volume,Year xii (1804).
Indeed at the heyday of the gardens of Grasse in the 19th century, fragrant verbena, or rather its essential oil, will become one of the main raw materials used to make the famous Eau de Cologne. Alongside mint, anise or even lavender, lemon verbena will cross time and fashions to diffuse its delicate invigorating scent in the most famous of our perfumes.
The dynamism of verbena at the top of trendy perfumes!
Verbena is of course still used by the makers of the traditional Eau de Cologne, which still has many followers. However, the fascinating olfactory qualities of our powerful French aromatics (mint, anise, coriander, etc.) have been greatly optimized thanks to the secular olfactory family of hesperids.
The citrus scents are the oldest known, especially thanks to Eau de Cologne. These fragrances present several sub-families or facets: floral citrus, woody citrus, spicy citrus and finally aromatic citrus.
It is precisely the facet of the aromatic citrus that will use verbena as a top note, more rarely a heart note, to carry the perfume towards lemony and airy notes which will allow the base fragrances to have time to exhale its scents. .
Thus, male perfumes eager for powerful and intoxicating scents have widely spread since the 80s these ranges of hesperids with notes of verbena. Note, for example, the great success of Boucheron pour Homme based on a citrus-aromatic palette. Of course, new olfactory families will seize the tangy notes of verbena to create fresh and virile scents such as the famous Drakkar Noir by Laroche which is based on verbena top notes to extend its heart notes towards the fern.
The undeniable advantage of the verbena note is that it is actually much more mixed than it might appear! Indeed, the fragrant verbena was originally used for Eau de Cologne, a mixed toiletry product. Logically enough, for a few years now, verbena, like other aromatic plants with the sweet, fresh scents of our gardens, has appeared in feminine fragrances. Always (or almost) used as a top note and often in summer waters, we will currently find verbena for example in Alien Aqua Chic by Thierry Mugler. Finally, something rarer, verbena will appear in almost all summer waters of CK One CK One Summer.