ADVENTURES in SCENT
OUR JOURNAL OF BOTANY, ARTISTRY, ADVENTURE
PETRA DUKOVA: INSPIRED WATERCOLOURS
The beautiful illustrations on our fragrance wraps and boxes are created using the aquarelle technique by Petra Dufkova. We are so pleased to be working with Petra, a talented artist based in Munich who has created illustrations for Vanity Fair, Cartier and Hermes among others.
Julia and David invited Petra to visit Keyneston Mill and be inspired by the botanic gardens of Parterre. The result is a set of abstracts in rich colours, each based on aspects of Keyneston Mill: The circular pattern and pink-purple shades of our Padua Garden for A Tribute to Edith. The flowing nature and greens of the River Meadow for Run of the River. Rich amber and earthy browns for Root of All Goodness.
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.
FRAGRANCE WRAPS AND SUSTAINABLE PAPER
Each of our EDP fragrances are wrapped in a rich textured paper on which the beautiful illustrations are printed. We source this paper from Frogmore Paper Mill. This Mill was the first in the world to use a mechanised paper machine. Called a Fourdrinier, it was first installed in 1803, and our paper is still made on the same machine.
We use a selection of papers at Parterre, including Meadow Grass amd Summers Blossom. One day we aspire to have petals from Parterre’s own botanic gardens in the paper we use.
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…
When looking for an amber scent in perfumery, Ciste Labdanum serves as an exceptional ingredient. Rich in history and complex on the nose, we highly recommend you experience the fragrant plant in it’s raw state as well as within perfume. Labdanum impresses a sweet, animalic, leathery and resinous aroma.
It is said Labdanum holds a wealth of well-being properties; enhancing optimism, awareness and positive thinking. We showcase Ciste Labdanum in The Root of all Goodness; revolving around Hyssop and Clary Sage; all grown on our botanical estate.
A strong and heavenly result.
We are delighted to be nurturing a beautiful collection of Tuberose as part of Parterre’s future fragrance development, especially as a prized and luxurious ingredient in the world of fragrance.
Originating from Mexico and belonging to the floral family in perfumery, this evocative botanic displays an elegant long stem, star shape flower with velvet petals and a truly captivating scent reminiscent of honey and jasmine.
When it comes to harvesting this ingredient; we must pick the flowers by hand one by one, carefully prising away from the stem. It takes time, patience and know-how.
Sweet Vernal Grass evokes the warmth of Summer with herbaceous hay notes softened with the scent of vanilla. It is this fragrance that we love in perfumery and forms part of our experimental perfume beds for future fragrance development. Often found in South West England, and France, where the essence is known as Flouve.
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!
Vetiver is an Indian grass that can grow up to 150cm tall, with roots that can grow down three or four metres. It has a wide range of uses from fragrance to stabilising river banks.
We are the first to grow and distil Vetiver for our fragrance at Keyneston Mill, in the UK; harvesting the plants in Autumn/Winter. Vetiver oil is produced by steam distillation of the roots. The scent is one that contains green, earthy and woody notes. A mix of freshly cut grass, soil and perfumed hay. There are different types of Vetiver scent depending on the origin from Java to Dorset!
A very popular ingredient for contemporary male and female fragrances, it was first used in a major fragrance “Vetiver” – by Guerlain in 1959.
Discover the unique Dorset-grown Vetiver in Root of all Goodness eau de parfum.
A perennial by nature yarrow produces a succession of flowers over a long period.
We harvest the flower heads when they are in full bloom. The oil produced has a fresh, green, sweet herbaceous, slightly camphoraceous odour. Yarrow features in the heart notes of A Tribute to Edith eau de parfum.