Keyneston Mill is a 50-acre estate nestled in the Tarrant Valley, bordered by the River Stour. The Perfume Crop Fields are reached via the The Avenue with its 120 chanticler pear trees, which also leads to the Lost Orchard where our bees are happily and productively located, and the River Meadow, a natural area and haven for wildlife which is perfect for relaxation.
The Collection is our name for the formal gardens here at Keyneston Mill, and each compartment represents a different fragrance family eg. floral, fourgere (fern), spice and citrus. Together they serve a number of purposes.
Firstly, they are here for us all to enjoy. We want them to look – and smell – wonderful.
They are also used as trial beds where we can grow hundreds of varieties of aromatic plants, and experiment with potential new perfume ingredients. We can distil the leaves or flowers in small quantities and any that produce high quality oil, may then be planted out in the fields for possible use in future perfumes.
All the plants in The Collection are related in some way to fragrance, and many have fascinating histories – the gardens help us to bring to life some of the stories behind perfume making.
The Padua Garden
The Padua Garden focuses on the Floral family of fragrances, and the design is based on the Orto Botanico, the oldest university garden in the world, founded in 1545 in Italy by the Venetian Republic. Many of the ﬂowers in this garden have scented petals eg. roses, jasmine, sweet peas, and lilies. The scent of some other plants such as Santolina and hyssop may not be apparent until you rub their leaves.
Fougere (French for “Fern”) is one of the most popular Perfume Families. Our garden represents this group of perfumes and includes some of the plants traditionally used in them including artemisia, lavender, rosemary, clary sage, and mint as well as ferns.
Our Spice Garden reﬂects the colours and scents of a contemporary spice market and comprises block planted beds in a geometric pattern inspired by the works of Kandinsky. It includes classic spices such as Bay and Fennel, and the more unusual, like Vietnamese Coriander and Perilla.
The Parterre is historically a formal garden consisting of beds of herbs planted in a symmetrical pattern. Our Parterre is a contemporary take on the historical pattern, featuring aromatic plants, irises and herbs in 84 individual square beds.
We use these beds to trial new plants and any that produce a really good quality and yield of oil might be planted in the crop fields in following years, for use in a future fragrance.