ADVENTURES in SCENT
OUR JOURNAL OF BOTANY, ARTISTRY, ADVENTURE
INGREDIENT: WILD CARROT, FRAGRANCE: THE HOUR OF DUSK AND GOLD
Our latest perfume, The Hour of Dusk & Gold, is inspired by the warmth of a Moroccan evening, the mix of spicy smells coming from the medina, and the rich colours of the setting sun over the sea, viewed from the roof of the L’Heure Bleue hotel in Essaouira.
A key ingredient in this dusky, warm scent, is wild Persian Carrot. Covering five acres at Keyneston Mill, our Dorset estate, this variety is the ancestor of the root vegetable we know and love. But it is very different, and quite remarkable It is in fact the seeds we are interested in as they transform into a powdery, spicy note, similar to Iris (Orris), when distilled.
What we know as “geranium” in perfumery, is in fact one of over 200 varieties of pelargonium, Pelargonium Graveolens or rose-scented geranium.
Originating from South Africa this variety has been a major success for us at Parterre. It was one of the first perfume crops we grew at Keyneston Mill, our Dorset home, and the oil we produced received a resounding 10 out of 10 from our team of perfume experts when they reviewed it. In fact, one team member suggested we grow 50 acres of geranium!
As you would expect, geranium oil has a definite rose scent, but it also has a citrussy, slightly minty freshness with additional earthiness. This gives it a contemporary edge, and is why it is frequently used by perfumers, either on its own or blended with rose absolute.
Why not try our Tribute to Edith eau de parfum, which features our home-grown geranium. It’s a rich sensuous fragrance … but with a modern twist which seems to have caught the imagination of many a perfume fan.
We love to experiment, and citrus is an area where we think there is great potential. We all know lemon, lime and bergamot, but have you heard of Buddhas hand, red lime or lemandarin?
We have thirty varieties of citrus tree which live outside in summer, and are brought indoors in winter. Our aim is to find something a bit different – a variety that produces really good essential oil that hasn’t been used before in perfume. It could be from the flower, leaf or fruit. If we are successful in finding a suitable variety, we will then propagate it so we can eventually create enough oil for use in a perfume.
Watch this space…
Hyssop is one of our more unlikely success stories. Rarely used in perfumery, it is a plant we trialled with some doubt, but it not only produced some oil which our perfumer, Jacques, had never come across before and rated highly, but it has also had some amazing side benefits!
In our perfume crop fields, it is quite something when in full flower. There are two varieties, deep blue and white, and they resemble lavender from a distance. But when you get close, you see the flowers are alive with butterflies and bees! They just love hyssop’s nectar which makes not only for wonderful honey, but also keeps our bees (we have nine hives at the moment) very happy. In turn they then help to pollinate all our other perfume crops, for which we are very grateful.
The harvested hyssop plants are taken directly for on-site distillation and the oil we produce from them has an aromatic, herby quality which works really well in woody fragrances.
Our Root of all Goodness eau de parfum features hyssop – give it a try!
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