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The garden of an imaginary herbalist/alchemist theme

You can order all perfumes featured in this theme as a pack of samples.

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In this theme

A long time ago, there was little difference between medicines, skincare and perfumes, and one would purchase these multitasking products from the same apothecary establishment, often run by monks. These alchemists would grow the ingredients in their herb gardens (London’s Covent Garden and Spitalfields are actually toponymic references to this), and then add exotic elements brought by merchants from faraway lands. Gradually, these types of products went their separate ways.

However, we still have a particular perfume style (sometimes called aromatic) that refers to these times. Aromatic perfumes typically have sage, verbena, chamomile, wormwood, rosemary, lavender, geranium, bay, and more exotic and rare herbs in their formulas. Could they be descendants of some lost medicine recipes?

This selection includes scented adventure stories referring to antique herbal blends, but also formulas where perfumers have adapted the herbal aromas to work in modern perfume styles.

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Run of the River Parterre Dorset herbs from an actual ‘Parterre’ garden

Walk in the sunny fields of the Keyneston Mills farm where adventurer horticulturalists grow herbs with curious citrus twists: bergamot mint, lemon thyme and clary sage. They send the extracts of these herbs to French perfumers who then mix them with other perfume ingredients to create Run of the River, a sunny green elixir.

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Sloth Zoologist Slow-mo and calm-omile

This is an introspective and labyrinthian formula exploring the darkest shades of green: moss, bitter herbs (with a prominent chamomile note), and dry hay.

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EL Arquiste The whole alchemist/herbalist set

This perfume goes back to the times when the border between perfume, skincare and medicine was blurred, and these blends would be purchased from an alchemist/pharmacist deep in the narrow streets of 17th century City of London. EL features bay, geranium, clary sage, cinnamon leaves, and more. It’s a beautiful dark, herbaceous blend with a smoldering background, as if the herbs have acquired a smoky touch from the lab burner and fireplace.

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Exil Jardins d’Écrivains The smoky cellar of an alchemist/herbalist

Experience the ambiance of an alchemist/herbalist's smoky cellar. Mind your head - there are mysterious bitter-smelling herbs hanging from the ceiling.

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ILLA Bravanariz Unique herbs from a remote island

This blend features the extract of a rare medicinal plant that only grows in the Balearic islands (hypericum balearicum). ILLA is part of the 'olfactive digressions' trio of Bravanariz’ natural perfumery experiments, representing the sound of waves and sea breeze in the coastal grass. This is beautiful and natural aromatic chaos, as opposed to conventional perfumes which could be compared to artificially-composed tunes.

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Mysterious Shadow SweDoft A beautiful wild lavender field

This is a pensive outdoors fougère with smoky lavender and bergamot. As if a gentleman applied his morning aftershave, set off on a hunt, and then ended up siting by a campfire absentmindedly listening to the autumn forest.