My summer herbarium, Rania J. Lavande 44

Among many different perfume brands and their fragrances that I enjoy and appreciate with my whole heart, in my life there’s always a special love-spot for independent perfumery. I admire people who are perfumers, creative-directors and visual designers in one human body. How much work and energy does it require to take care of all these important elements of creating a perfume that is about to become to appear on the market and make an impression on the audience.

Everyone of us, perfume-obsessed “freaks” can name a few of those “one-man-show” companies like Tauer Perfumes with Andy Tauer or Sonoma Scent Studio fronted by Laurie Erickson. One more madame who steers the wheel of her perfume house is Rania Jouaneh. You might have not heard about her yet… Rania comes from Jordan and currently lives in Paris. Her life wasn’t always about perfume. She was in process of developing a different career path when she realized she wanted to work with scent.

She didn’t give up on her aspirations. She studied at Cinquieme Sens and in 2013 she introduced her artisanal perfumes under Rania J. brand that year. It was made of 5 fragrances, Lavande 44 being one of them. The perfume Rania created is a top class lavender composition, it got quickly promoted to being one of my favourite lavenders. As you apply the perfume to your skin the lavender is a hidden element – it takes a while before it shows up to your nose.

The first whiff of Rania J. Lavande 44 gives me an impression of standing at noon in the middle of a field full of different herb. I can occasionally detect elements of green and crispy geranium and its mild sweetness, the refreshing vibe of basil, invigorating aroma of mint. There’s probably also a bit of clary sage if you ask me. After 30 minutes of lovely herbal festival, the lavender appears. Warmed by the sun, a little bit dry and also with many green and herbacious facets to it. It smells very crispy and realistic.

Herbal kind of lavender is my favourite way of presenting these small purple herbal flowers in perfumes. This style is also more masculine and powerful in perception but saying that Lavande 44 is a masculine composition would be an exaggeration. As the time passes lavender slowly blooms revealing some sweeter, honey-like aromas. Rania achieved some additional quality by pairing lavender with vetiver of woody kind. Thanks to it the herbal-floral accord lasts for a really long time.

Even if you try to focus on vetiver, you probably won’t be able to smell it per se. It’s unity with lavender which is actually a great thing. Later, after 1,5-2 hours of aromatic herbs the composition made by Rania Jouaneh is joined by patchouli. I think it makes the aromatic molecules to stand out even more. Here patchouli also plays a role of giving depth to the blend, making it more spacious and dimensional. Lavender is not easy to handle, it can turn plain and flat, but not here.

Up until 5th or 6th hour of perfume progression you can enjoy the combination of lavender, herbs and a little bit of woods in the background. But later you will notice how Lavande 44 warms up minute after minute, how it becomes sweeter, more dense and even more aromatic. Tonka bean does a great job in this perfume, making it a little bit more creamy on one hand but also adding a hint of spiciness on the other hand. The entire composition has a nice balance of aromas and flavors.

After I was introduced to Rania at Esxence 2014 (thanks to Neela Vermeire for that!) we started talking about creating, imagination and using different materials. Rania said that she works mostly with natural essential oils and those depend on the harvests every year. She uses small quantities of synthetic ingredients to “create bridges, smooth the edges” as she said. Most of all Rania is a very open person, I didn’t notice when we started laughing, hugging etc. We are friends now, staying in contact.

Rania J. Lavande 44 is an eau de parfum concentrated formula which comes in 50ml bottles of quite simple, yet elegant packaging. Black paper label with white and grey letters looks good to me. During my tests the perfume could last as long as 12 hours or even more. The projection is very good for a few hours and then it starts to shring. Final 2-3 hours are more of a skin scent pleasure.

[note] All pictures are my own, all rights reserved; Bottle of Lavande 44 was a gift from Rania J.

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26 thoughts on “My summer herbarium, Rania J. Lavande 44

  1. Tora says:

    Thank you so much for telling us about Rania J! I love to hear about pioneers in perfumeland who stand in good company with Laurie and Andy. Do you know where one might buy a sample? When you mentioned the tonka, I immediately thought of of our mutual birthday perfume Fourreau Noir. Thanks Lucas!!

    • lucasai says:

      You’re welcome Tora.
      Rania is a wonderful and warm person.
      At Rania J. website you can order a samples set of five 1ml samples for just 8€,

  2. Holly says:

    Thanks for another great review, Lucas! I like the sound of this one. You’re so right in saying that lavender can go flat, and I’m glad to hear that someone has given it depth and dimension. I really appreciate your thoughts on Rania J. as well, as I find it so much more enjoyable to get a sense of the brand and the creator.

    Did you happen to test any of her other stuff?

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you for reading! Rania did a great job making her Lavande 44 dimensional and entertaining.
      Yes, I się try all her other creations at Esxence. Especially liked her rose and jasmine scents. Tobacco was great too. The latter one launched this year

      • Holly says:

        My pleasure. I’m glad you mentioned that samples are available on her website which I’d just looked at: I did not find samples listed. Silly me, I thought “Echantillons” sounded like a good name for a perfume, lol, and for some reason my brain did not absorb the English word right next to it: Samples. My six years of French apparently did not stick, and now it seems my English is diminishing, too.

        • lucasai says:

          Good you checked it out! Funny that you thought echantillons is a perfume name but I like the sound of this French word

          • Holly says:

            I agree, it IS a pretty word. I didn’t even read it correctly, and autocorrected it to “Enchantillons.” You have my permission to use that for one of your future creations. 🙂

            • lucasai says:

              Thank you! Will you be buying the samples set from Rania?

            • Holly says:

              Yes! I signed up for her newsletter as well. I hope she is able to ship to the US. ..

            • lucasai says:

              Write an email to her that it was me and this review that made you curious to discover her line. I’m sure she’ll try to figure the shipping out

            • Holly says:

              Thanks, dear Lucas. I have done exactly that just now. I’ll report back to you once I get a response.

            • lucasai says:

              Please do! If it works other interested US residents could do the same

            • Holly says:

              I will certainly let everyone know. 🙂

            • lucasai says:

              Thank you Holly!

            • Holly says:

              So, to let everyone know: I just placed a sample order successfully! It seems that currently shipping to the US is free, and the total cost is $11.34 for the sample set. I’m astounded at this price and had difficulty believing it could be possible! I’ll clarify and say that my initial order did not go through, and I sent an email to contact@raniaj.com. I received a quick response which allowed me to process and pay for my order through PayPal. I hope this will be helpful to those who are interested in trying this line, and thanks again Lucas for sharing your review.

            • lucasai says:

              Thank you Holly for reporting back here. IT anyone of the US readers wishes to buy a sample set from Rania J please try placing an order and if you can’t proceed, follow Holly’s steps

      • rickyrebarco says:

        Rose, jasmine and tobacco- you had me at tobacco… I am definitely going to be trying a lot of Rania J’s scents!

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Nice review, Lucas! It made me want to seek out Rania J.’s perfume line. The notes on this one do sound like the perfume could lean masculine but I will absolutely reserve judgment until I try this myself. The packaging looks blocky but in a nice way.

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you dear!
      I don’t know if Rania J. is available in the US but I think Rania can send there. You could order get sample set to discover the line. That is very well said about judgement

  4. rickyrebarco says:

    This sounds like a wonderful scent. Lavender is one of my favorite notes in perfumery, but it’s easily ruined and it often ends smelling almost bitter in a fragrance. This sounds like lavender done right. I will definitely be trying a sample of this one. Thanks, Lucas for letting us know about this beauty.

  5. Anka says:

    Thanks for introducing Rania Jouaneh (lovely name…) and Lavande 44 to us! A herbal festival sounds calming and comforting, something I could need after a stressful day.
    I read on the First in fragrance site that it contains petitgrain, a note which can be quite difficult for me (brush or rough), did you get much of it?

    • lucasai says:

      My pleasure! Few days ago I used one spray on my pillow and it was great to call asleep feeling Lavande 44 around me. Honestly, I didn’t smell petitgrain at all

  6. Undina says:

    I like lavender in perfumes so in combination with you liking the scent I got a very favorable impression of this perfume: definitely not enough to create a lemming but enough to remember the name the next time I read about the brand somewhere. Good job! ; -)

    • lucasai says:

      Giving you a lemming would be more satisfying but I think it’s great anyway that you’ll remember this perfume name and the brand it comes from once you stumble upon reading about it.

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