I know that Herbes de Provence generally contains savory, fennel, basil and thyme. Unfortunately, pre-packaged mixtures in the US usually also contain lavender. I hate lavender, it smells like my grandmother's underwear drawer. I need Herbes de Provence for a recipe I'm making soon, so I'll just make my own sans lavender. So, simple question: Typically is the mixture equal amounts of the other herbs, or should I use more or less of some of the herbs?
Wiki's cited entry on Herbes de Provence is interesting. The ready-made spice blend "Herbes de Provence" did not come into existence until the 1970's, as a product marketed by the French company Ducros. If there's a standard blend ratio, it would therefore be what's in the Ducros' product - though since it is a generic term rather than a trademarked one, other manufacturers and cooks have their own recipes and interpretations.
Ducros' own blend breaks down like this, according to the "My French Cuisine" blog (who also has the McCormick blend breakdown and a home-made alternative blend sourced from a French cookbook):
- Rosemary (romarin) – 26%
- Savory (sariette) – 26%
- Oregano (origan) – 26%
- Thyme (thym) – 19%
- Basil (basilic) – 3%
And just what were you doing in your grandmothers underwear drawer??
I love the lavender in herbes de Provence, and I consider a judicious pinch of fennel seed is both authentic and enlivening. But Richard Olney who was highly authorative on Provencal cuisine, like you, hated lavender in the mix, and he also rejected rosemary and sage. His recipe is simply dried thyme, oregano, savory and marjoram, in descending proportions, preferably freshly personally collected, dried, crumbled in a food processor and then seived.
There is no single standard ratio for herbs de Provence, but you can easily google many recipes for specific interpretations.