Parterre Fragrances was founded by husband and wife David and Julia Bridger late last year, at Keyneston Mills, near Dorset. Wanting to re-invent perfumery in a modern way, they only use the extracts they can actually produce in their garden; meaning they have exclusive, limited editions of perfumes each year depending on the yield from their own plants (2,000 varieties actually!). They wanted to explore new ways to combine botanical, artistry and adventure. Parterre means ‘on the ground’ in French so it’s perfectly named for what David and Julia aim to do.
After 4 years in the making, they came out with three scents; Run of the River, Root of All Goodness and A Tribute to Edith. The scents are developed in Grasse (known for its extraordinary perfume creations) with the help of Jacques Chabert, who has worked for leading perfume houses like Chanel and Guerlain, and takes inspiration from Keyneston Mill’s and combines them with ingredients from other climates. Virginie Daniau is a consultant for the creations, and she’s the president of the British Society of Perfumers (BSP). The harvest period is from May to November.
A bit more about the scents:
Run of the River: Lemony, lively, fresh and invigorating. Integrated English elements to it, with the flow of the river in mind. It’s a marriage between Dorset and Positano. Lemon thyme, bergamot, frankincense and musk. For this they actually used herbs to create a lemon scent, as actual lemon trees take a long time to produce a large yield for distillation.
Root of All Goodness: Inspired by the vetiver plant. They are actually one of the first people to grow and distill vetiver, which is a very noble scent and element for perfumers. They also added ginger and bergamot for a sophisticated end-result.
A Tribute To Edith: They also wanted to create a floral scent that wasn’t too sweet or too young. It’s an elegant, sophisticated and opulent scent inspired by Edith Piath and Paris in the 30’s, created using geranium oil.
The oil for the perfumes is derived from the flowers and plants, through steam distillation mainly, and also enfleurage. Enfleurage is a centuries-old method where petals are put in vegetable fat to extract the oil.
The 500-acre gardens are open to the public and they will be holding a variety of events throughout the season, like workshops, open air cinema, cocktail bar. The restaurant and botanical cafe are will be the artistic hub of the estate. Such a great way for people to become more knowledgeable about where their perfume comes from, and how it’s all developed. Definitely keep an eye out on their website for future events.
The packaging is designed with an illustrator to complement the fragrance and scent, and each bottle is numbered, creating that fine perfumery focus that Parterre is all about, which is such a beautiful and elegant touch!