CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS of LAVENDER
Some 300 molecules were discovered in true lavender's essential oil, that are responsible for its fine, complex yet clear aroma - most of which are trace elements. The major constituents are (the ones in bold are the most dominant/famous ones):
Linalyl acetate (up to 40%)
Lavandulyl acetate *
Vinyl amyl carbinol
As we can see, it mostly contains terpenes, terpene alcohols and esters, and a few alcohols. According to Jeanne Rose "esters are soothing, calming, and fungicidal"; and linalool is an "antibacterial, believes discomfort, diuretic, tones without irritating, stimulates the immune system, sedating"; the latter actions similarly described as initiated by the terpene alcohols as well as toning (The Aromatherapy Book, pp. 158-160).
* Both lavandulol and lavandulyl acetate are insect pheromones, which might explain the abundance of bees observed around lavender shrubs.