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Have you ever been in the garden or greenhouse and rubbed a lemon balm leaf between your fingers? Do you remember the surprising tang that smelled so much like lemon, alongside a deep green, herbal scent? That combination of tartness and green freshness is what makes herbal citrus scents wonderful. These herbs add a light, fresh scent to fragrances without being sharp or astringent. They are often used to compliment other scents, but if you love the unique qualities of herbal citrus scents, then here are a few fragrances to try.


Lemongrass is an aromatic grass native to Australia and Africa, but widely used and cultivated in Southeast Asia. Your first experience with it may have been as a flavouring in food, because the lemon-ginger quality of lemongrass is popular both for the taste and the fragrance. It's a refreshing, clean scent with just a hint of ginger’s spicy-sweetness, and it’s an especially prominent flavour in Thai food.

In Woodwick's Lemongrass scented candle, the herb is the star of the show, but in Glasshouse CandlesSaigon – Lemongrass product line, it adds dimension to the orange and lime in the forefront. In Lemongrass & Ginger by Ecoya, African mint is added as a compliment to the light scent of lemongrass and the sweet heat of ginger, making a refreshing, spa-worthy combination that’s available in scented candles and body products.

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena is a flowering herbal shrub with glossy leaves that release a light green citrus scent when rubbed.

Verbena by Archipelago Botanicals is a calming and beautiful scent that awakens and refreshes at the same time. In Woodwick's Lemon Verbena, the verbena adds a clean herbal scent to ripe lemons and zest; it’s a candle that will remind you of a walk through the woods after a spring rain. For a sunny fragrance, try Castelbel's Verbena, where it is combined with a woody base and lemon for a bright, clean scent. In a fruity citrus fragrance such as Glasshouse Candles’ Galapagos - Kaffir Lime and Coco Butter, it's just a note, but it adds lemony-greenness that keeps the fragrance tropical and exotic without being too sweet.

Litsea Cubeba

Litsea Cubeba, sometimes called May Chang, is an evergreen native to China. The essential oil, extracted from the leaves and tiny fruits, has a heavy lemon-like quality with a sweetness underneath. It brings to mind tangy, sweet, refreshing lemonade. Indeed, many people who love Pacifica's Malibu Lemon are connecting with the Litsea Cubeba’s lemonade aroma, which provides a note of richness to the fragrance.

Litsea Cubeba doesn't headline any of our current home fragrances at Scentiments, but it's a great note when combined with citrus, herbal and woody scents. Indulgence fragrance combines May Chang with lemongrass, lime, rose geranium and patchouli for a scent that truly indulges your senses. In Jaye Niemi's line, it's paired with lemon verbena, peaches, caraway and musk in a combination that is bursting with life.


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