A Perfumer's Garden in Grasse Chelsea Flower Show 2015

By Alex N

We can't help but love this concept.  L’Occitane is a highly scented garden designed by James Basson that reflects the upturn in fortunes of the perfume industry in Grasse, France. Historic elements are peppered throughout, with the scents coming courtesy of fig and rosemary hedges, along with Osmanthus, Iris, bergamot, lavender and thyme. L’Occitane makes the sights and scents of Grasse “the world capital of perfumery” come alive in its corner of this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

The perfume garden3The planting wafts stunning fragrances that combine  ingredients from lands near and far such as Jasmine & Bergamote, Néroli & Orchidée, Vanille & Narcisse and Thé Vert & Bigarade. Each eau de toilette in the collection is made with natural extracts, which yield the purest and clearest notes.

It looks pretty too.  The staccato poppies add joy to an otherwise muted colour pallete.

The perfume garden Chelsea Flower Show 2015

The area of Grasse unites all the know-how of perfume making in a single space: the cultivation of flowers, their transformation, extraction and composition, allowing a fragrance creator to work with an artists palette of raw materials.

Based on Basson’s first-hand experiences in Grasse where he has a home, the garden brings together the key plant species and heady Grasse scents and colours from the rich and varied landscape.

A perfumer's Garden in Grasse

Plant list

Osmanthus heterifolius
Olea europea
Cistus albidus
Cistus monospliensis
Arbutus unedo
Quercus ilex
Laurus nobilis

Perfume plants
Thymus vulgaris
Lavandula officinalis
Iris germanica
Jasminum officinalis
Peaonia officinalis
Citrus bergamia
Citrus aurantium
Citrus limon
Citrus retuculata
Rubus laciniatus

Mentha aauatica
Selaginella denticulate
Cyperus esclentus
Asplenium tricomanes
Pteris vitata
Adiantum capilus-neneris
Polypodium cambricum
Phylitis scolopendrium
Ceterach officinarum

Meadow and sub shrub
Thyus seriphellum
Thymus ciliate
Saturea montanta
Scabious atropurpurea
Sedum sediform
Silene cretica
Vicia craca craca
Muscari americanum
Brizia maxima
Poa nemoralis
Avnula bromoides
Ribies Nigrum
Rosa centifolia
Gardenia jasminoides
Polianthes tuberosa

Alex N

I'm passionate about online learning, and lucky enough to work for Learning with Experts. Most recent course: The Pie Shop with River Cottage's Tom Morrell. Next course: Container Gardening with Chris Beardshaw.

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