For the first time in years one of the original Estate Houses of the Conservatory is open to the public, just for our fascinating Making Scents, the Art and Passion of Fragrance exhibition. This is one of the original houses, built by Pierre S. du Pont and used to grow the amazing plants and flowers used in our indoor displays.
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.
The 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.
From 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.