This looks so simple and yet, it’s really quite hard to explain. Parterre is a sub-division of Keynestone Mill Botanic Gardens in Dorset. It’s the largest private botanic gardens in England dedicated to aromatic and scented plants and something of a powerhouse in terms of a working estate. I’ll keep it strictly to the fragrances I have in front of me, but upcoming events at Keynestone Mill include courses and even short stays for an ‘aromatic weekend’.
I believe there are three fragrances to start with, each one comprising plants harvested and distilled on site. Run Of The River is my favourite, with bergamot mint, violet leaf and elemi up top and a heart of orange flower, lemon thyme and juniper. It’s got oak moss at the bottom which gives it an olfactory wetness and overall is a refresher that your nose will crave on a hot summer’s day. Next is Root Of All Goodness which is a relatively simple construction with top notes of bergamot, lemon and ginger, a middle of Ciste Labdanum, Clary Sage and Hyssop, while the base is vetiver, leather and amber – actually the more traditionally ‘masculine’ of the three. A Tribute To Edith (Piaff) is different altogether and rather powerful with notes of geranuim, whiskey and rhubarb as toppers with rose, yarrow and davana in the middle, followed by patchouli and sandalwood at the base. It’s way too hefty for me to be honest but if you like dramatic and embracing fragrances, you may well like this. It also seems like the odd one out – one minute we’re in the heart of the English countryside with the oak, the river and the moss, the next we’re all Je Ne Regrette Rien.
Parterre is for the perfume curious – it takes a bit of getting to know and a bit of effort to learn about it (the founders use the skill of a Grasse fragrancer) but if the idea of home grown fragrance, from seed to bottle, appeals, then it’s one to take the time on. The fragrances at full size are £95 for 50ml and are available at Fortnums HERE.
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