Instantly cooling and utterly refreshing, mint has been infused for centuries in various preparations to be taken as a herbal remedy for digestive complaints, to soothe inflamed skin and also to splash on as a tonic for the senses.
In Greek mythology, mint is seen as “the herb of hospitality“– early records show mint was strewn over floors to deodorise and freshen rooms, as stepping on the leaves helped to spread its scent through the room, masking noxious odours best left undescribed…
Correctly known by the name Mentha (also known as mint, from Greek míntha) there are many differing varieties – the species ranging from 13-18 depending on who you ask, and proving rather indistinct to categorise exactly as hybridisation between the species occurs naturally. Indeed, there are so many varieties and cross-overs (see below for a selection from Wikipedia’s extensive page), that to date, no one author has successfully categorised them all.
Highly aromatic, merely brushing against the dark green leaves releases the potent scent, all varieties of the plant have some common characteristics – mostly perennial, mint simply adores to be near water, pools and in partial shade.
Traditionally used as a medicinal herb – mostly in order to treat stomach ache and nausea – the Menthol mint essential oil (used at 40–90% concentration in compositions) has long been enjoyed for its skin-cooling and spirit-reviving properties in Colognes, perfumes and cosmetic products, and overall, mint is enjoying something of a resurgence in both male and female fragrances over the past few years.
Used by the handful for a bracing freshness or plucked by the leaf to add just a hint of breeze, mint is a favourite that’s here to stay.
Smell mint in: