Come into the garden with Parterre

When David and Julia Bridger decided to combine the ruling passions of their lives – art, gardens, travel and perfume – and gather a team of experts (literally) in their field, they set in motion a series of events that is poised to change the face of British fragrance forever. And put Parterre on the map…

Embracing the concept of ‘from seed to bottle’, David and Julia not only set out to to grow, harvest and distil many of their own ingredients – but they also had a longing to try growing crops that had never before been grown on British soil. Even including – astonishingly – vetiver.

The English-grown vetiver is key in their sublime scent, Root of All Goodness, which you can try a sample of in our Niche Collection II Discovery Box:

 

Root of All Goodness

FAMILY: Fougère
TOP NOTES: ginger, lemon, bergamot
HEART NOTES: clary sage, hyssop, blue hyssop
BASE NOTES: vetiver, leather accords, amber

Those craving warmth should look no further than Parterre’s golden elixir, an evocative blend of all things radiant. Even the top notes of bergamot and lemon have been enriched with the tingle of ginger, softly melding into the hazy heart of camphorous hyssop and herbaceous clary sage.

 

To continue the story of this garen-centric house, the work that has gone into this project is nothing short of astounding. It begins with finding and restoring Keyneston Mill in the Dorset’s Tarrant Valley, bordered by the River Stour. There, a series of botanical gardens has been designed – hence the name, ‘Parterre’ – divided into ‘The Fougère Garden’ (with its ferns, lavender and mosses), the Padua Garden (roses, jasmine, geranium), and so on.

The planting expands into surrounding fields, with crop-scale ingredients, including rose geranium, mint, yarrow and the aforementioned vetiver. (Which we can report is incredibly smooth and pure: a vetiver lover’s dream!). For Julia and David, this is about ‘reinventing perfumery by taking it back to its roots.’ Parterre‘s motto: ‘Where creative botany meets artistry and the wild spirit of adventure.’

We think you’re going to want to explore this garden of fragrances quite thoroughly… You can vist Parterre’s Keyneston Mill gardens for a small £3 entry charge, and of course explore the Root of All Goodness in your own home, – along with twelve other fragrances – in our Niche Collection II Discovery Box!

Niche Collection II Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIP Club members)

By Suzy Nightingale

Dunhill lauches Icon (in one of the most stunning male fragrance bottles we’ve ever seen)

In the wrong hands, the hefty Dunhill Icon bottle might be something of a lethal weapon. Inspired by the finish of a vintage lighter, it’s tactile and seriously expensive-feeling – but it’s the ‘juice’ inside which we’re enjoying. (And with Valentine’s Day approaching, this is a definite contender for anyone contemplating a fragrant gesture…)

The perfumer, Carlos Benaïm, breezed into town and shared his thoughts on creating Icon. (VIP Subscribers can read one of our Nose-to-nose Q+As with Carlos – whose roll-call of fragrances includes Viktor & Rolf Flowerbombhere.)

‘This was a joy for me,’ Carlos told us, eyes a-twinkling. I knew the Dunhill store from New York and I’d always found it extremely elegant – truly iconic, which made this a very apt name for a fragrance. It started with vetiver, lavender and leather; I’ve worked with leather a lot, but in this case I worked alongside Alienor Massenet, coming with an accord that has a sort of suede feeling. You don’t always start from scratch with a fragrance; often, you take accords which already have some complexity, and then piece them together, as we did here…

The iris gives a sort of violet-sweetness, and I chose it specifically to soften the vetiver. Then I built up the fragrance with spices, which were also very important: cardamom, pink pepper, a touch of juniper.

But at the point I wasn’t satisfied; it just wasn’t fresh and clear enough. So at that point, I developed a totally separate accord: mandarin, neroli, bergamot. Together they created a very beautiful citrus element; it was just an idea I had and I executed it on the spot, and it just felt right – as a perfumer you sometimes get a moment of surprise when you think, “wow, this is really something good”. At that point there was just a little bit too much neroli, but with a small adjustment, it was there.

That brightened the other elements of the fragrance – and it was what Icon needed, to become complete…’

Dunhill Icon From £58 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at: Harrods (and in selected department stores from 30th March)

Written by Jo Fairley