In Greek and Roman times, heroes were garlanded by laurel – another name for bay – as a symbol of victory. Today, we can garland ourselves with bay through the use of fragrance: it’s a green, herbal note, maybe giving whispers of oregano and thyme, if you smell carefully, with subtle sweet hints of flowers. Bay laurel is evergreen (where would our gardens be without it?), and originally native to the Mediterranean. Like quite a few perfume ingredients, this is one that’s invaluable in cooking, too: a sprig in a casserole, or a sauce, adds a wonderful aroma. Contrary to myth, laurel is no relation to the bay used in the traditional spicy West Indian aftershave, Bay Rum – though it can be found in plenty of masculine fragrances, as well as feminine chypres.
Smell bay leaf in:
Jo Malone London Blackberry & Bay