Huile de racine de livèche (Levisticum officinale)
With its sweet but unusual taste, this oil adds roundness and depth to fruity flavours.
Now somewhat forgotten, lovage was once popular as food and in gardens for its pretty foliage and pleasant scent. Close to celery, carrot, parsley or angelica, it is part of the same Apiaceae family. In the Whole Foods Companion book, Diane Onstaad says, “[Lovage] sometimes looks, smells and tastes more like celery than celery itself.”
Essential oils are obtained from plants by steam distillation, and this is a particularly complicated process when it comes to lovage roots. In fact, it’s as if the oils are locked in the plant’s cells, and are not easy to come by. They also have a density close to water which makes them difficult to isolate once they mix with the steam.
Lush purchase this oil from an expert Hungarian distiller who works closely with local farmers and even provides them with seeds to ensure that their lovage plants are of the highest quality.