Parterre is an exciting new concept in perfumery blossoming in the Dorset countryside

2017 heralded the launch of a new British perfume brand with a unique proposition. Botany and the arts have come together at Keyneston Mill - a new botanic garden in Blandford Forum, where the key ingredients of the limited edition fragrances are grown, harvested and distilled.

Parterre is the creation of David and Julia Bridger, conceived out of their passion for the arts, gardens and perfume.

Developed in collaboration with Grasse based Master Perfumer Jacques Chabert, creator of Cristalle for Chanel and Samsara for Guerlain, Parterre perfumes are crafted, literally, from seed to bottle.

Keyneston Mill itself is set within a 50-acre estate combining over 2,000 plant varieties and it’s the largest private botanic gardens in the country dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants. The Botanic Gardens lie in the Tarrant Valley, bordered by the River Stour on one side and the meandering Tarrant stream on the other.

The 18th Century Mill house is covered in a magnificent wisteria thought to be nearly as old as the mill itself. This idyllic setting is the backdrop for the 'adventures in botany' that Founders Julia and David Bridger and their assembled team of gardeners and horticultural experts are undertaking.

The central gardens, as well as the contemporary gallery, have been inspired by art, from Renaissance Italy to 21st Century and each garden compartment features plants from the principal perfume families such as floral, fougère and woody.

In these gardens, adventurous botany and unbridled creativity takes centre stage with unusual and exotic species being grown and cultivated by the skilled botanical team - all exclusively for inclusion in Parterre perfumes. The team is constantly experimenting with new plant varieties, many of which have not been used in fine fragrance before or even grown in the UK such as vetiver - an Indian grass usually grown in Indonesia or Haiti.

The estate is now open to the public and visitors are able to see first-hand how natural perfume ingredients are propagated, planted, harvested and distilled.

A variety of workshops can also be booked, offering an insight into the world of Parterre the opportunity to learn about the plants, distillation and the perfume making process.

Keyneston Mill Botanic Gardens is a unique destination with exclusive access to all aspects of the Founders' 'from seed to bottle' ethos.

As Julia and David explain: "The idea first came about when trialling various crops and horticultural options at the family property in Hampshire. We then decided to take some time out to travel in France and it was during this trip that we visited Grasse, the home of French perfumery. This was when the seed of an idea began to germinate - it took several more trips to France and lots of planning before the project really got underway.

"Parterre" means literally 'of the earth' in French. As many gardeners will know, 'parterre' is also a horticultural term used widely in the UK for a formal garden with low hedging, originally containing herbs. We chose this name as it reflected both our 'Seed to Bottle' concept of growing, harvesting and distilling the key ingredients for our perfumes at Keyneston Mill and also the new botanical gardens we are creating. It links to our connection with France, and Grasse in particular."

"When we discovered Keyneston Mill we immediately felt it was the right place for our venture. Although very run down when we first saw the property, it had been a thriving fruit farm about 25 years ago and had many valuable attributes and we could see its potential. The 18th century mill covered in wisteria at the heart of the estate was an added bonus," enthuses Julia.

David adds: "We always intended to create a community, as well as be open to the public. The original pick-your-own fruit farm had a café and shop which was central to the life of the village. We wanted to revive the estate, bring it back to life, but with a slightly different emphasis."

"The aim is to ensure that all Parterre Fragrances are very high quality, sought after, niche fragrances created from top quality unusual key ingredients which we grow at Keyneston Mill," says David.

"We want the estate to be a great place to visit, with regular events and workshops on offer which are entertaining, different and informative. It should be fun but also give visitors a fascinating insight into the world of perfume, natural ingredients and how they are grown and distilled. The Scented Botanist bistro will ensure they have the chance to sample some great food with a botanical twist."

A new Gallery and Botanical Cafe are the artistic hub of the estate. Julia and David oversee an ongoing programme of exhibitions and collaborations with local, UK and international artists and photographers. Further highlights include cocktail evenings in the Dome, open-air cinema showings, dance and other performance arts events.

Parterre Fragrances are available at Fortnum & Mason, The Conran Shop, By Appointment Only Design - Corinthia Hotel and Hoopers.