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Embracing the concept of ‘from seed to bottle’, the brand owners of Parterre, David and Julia Bridger, not only set out to grow, harvest and distil many of their own ingredients – but they also had an ambition to try growing crops that had never been grown before on British soil, including Vetiver.
The work that has gone into this project is simply incredible. It begins with finding and restoring Keyneston Mill in the Dorset’s Tarrant Valley, bordered by the River Stour. A series of botanical gardens has been designed in there - 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 vetiver. For Julia and David, this is about ‘reinventing perfumery by taking it back to its roots.’ Parterre’s motto is “Where creative botany meets artistry and the wild spirit of adventure”.
A dozen of Parterre’s perfume ingredients are extracted on the premises, in a state-of-the-art still, but the exquisite compositions themselves are the work of Jacques Chabert – one of the world’s leading perfumers.
Debuting with a trio of scents, Parterre’s perfumes are limited edition - each bottle is numbered, since each year’s harvest produces a limited amount of the oils that form the key notes – and that dictates the quantities of the production.