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Take a Fragrant Journey From the Jungle to the Lab

June 10, 2010
The jungle-like setting of Longwood's newly opened Estate House

 In this glass house, you can learn about creating perfume from nature. As you enter the room, you first experience a jungle, like the explorer going  into the depths of the forest when looking for that elusive new scent from the plant world. Here, you will find a demonstration of a head space analysis machine that is used to capture the volatile molecules that will one day hopefully lead to a new perfume.     

Head space analysis machine on display at Longwood GardensThe path leads you out of the "jungle" and into a room that contains plants that smell both good and bad. These are the semi-finalists in the quest to become a perfume ingredient. Guests are invited to get up close, touch and smell these fragrant plants. The next room features the finalists whose fragrances have proven worthy and are now used as key components in perfumes.   

Some of the fragrant plants that guest are invited to touch and smellFrom here it is on to mass production, represented by a small greenhouse filled with lavender, and then finally into a house that explores the laboratory where these scents can now be synthesized.  We invite you to visit Longwood to take this fascinating journey with many things to smell along the way.   

The scent of lavender fills the greenhouse