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Perfume Garden by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins (Sample planting plan)

Four hundred years ago, Elizabeth I ordered a perfume to be specially created for her and the Perfume Garden represents an olfactory journey through time, from that earliest of perfumes to the modern day. (Click here for a sample planting plan and full plants list)

Perfume garden - chelsea flower show 2009

The journey starts in Grasse, south east France, where Elizabeth's perfume was recreated with the help of Jean Patou, one of France's oldest and best-known perfume houses. The development of perfume through the ages is traced from the plants used in this early scent combined with more modern ingredients.

Perfume garden - chelsea flower show 2009

Clipped conifers form the backbone of the garden, which sweep up and around a stainless steel shroud. This is the perfumery, where visitors can try the recreated perfume for themselves. Delicate spires burst from its heart and hold aloft petal-like canopies disguising photovoltaic cells and rainwater harvesting systems.

Perfume garden - chelsea flower show 2009

Every plant in the garden has a function in the creation of scent. Some are familiar, like Lavandula stoechas, but there are unexpected ingredients too, like the male fern, Dryopteris felix-mas, whose rhizomes yield an oil used in earthy, masculine fougère scents.