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Aug 06 • 2013 • BudsLady MarmaladeRoseRose of the WeekSpicyYear.Bushbloomsperfume

Rose Of The Week

ROSE OF THE YEAR 2014 Lady Marmalade Floribunda 3ft An exciting new floribunda which has been awarded Rose Of The Year 2014  a title which it truly deserves. The compact bush carries masses of bright tangerine blooms which appear all summer long and well into the autumn and the first frosts.

The rounded buds open into a cupped bloom with heavily reflexed petals which open to wide bright flowers with a contrasting yellow centre. The blooms arrive in large clusters which can carry up to 10 or 11 blooms in a cluster, and will keep on appearing if you dead head regularly. The breeder has given it a 5 star rating which means it will grow and perform well under most conditions. A highly recommended modern rose with lots of old world charm, plus the bonus of an excellent spicy perfume. Bred by Harkness

"Lady Marmalade" is a song released in 1974 which was a world wide hit.  The song was also featured in the film "Moulin Rouge"

Advance orders taken. Available from November / December 2013

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Jun 19 • 2013 • BlotchCentreEyesLilacPurpleRose of the WeekSummerUnusual.Bloomsfloribundaperfume

Rose Of The Week


Floribunda 2008  2ft 6ins

A lovely but very unusual rose.

A floribunda with large blooms which can be as big as 4ins across.  The colour is described as mauvy-lilac but the main eye catcher is the large purple blotch in the centre.

The huge blooms repeat all summer and really stand out in the crowd.

The foliage is very healthy with good disease resistance.

Not very tall so will grow in a container or the garden.

A bed of these eye catchers will stop the traffic.

Lovely perfume.

Bred by Peter J James. UK

Introduced by Warners Roses. Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Feb 25 • 2013 • EnglishFlowersGardenRoseRose GardensScentsSummerperfume



Nothing can compare with the sights and scents of a traditional english rose garden in full bloom throughout the summer. There is an abundance of flowers, delicate confections in pinks and whites or deeper velvety reds, each with its own rich and individual exotic perfume.

This area is planted throughout with 'English’ roses. The result of hybridising the wonderful older roses with modern repeat flowering varieties to get the best features of both. They include: 'Belle story', 'Perdita', 'Chaucer', 'Gertrude Jekyll', 'Mary Rose', 'The Countryman' and 'Wife of Bath', all in shades of pink. 'LD. Braithwaite' and 'Wenlock' in crimsons, and 'Winchester Cathedral' in white. Drink deeply of their heady perfume. Breathe in the scents of summer...

The old rose garden at Levens Hall is charmingly set in an intricate pattern of low hedges and enticing winding pathways. The tree at its centre is the Maidenhair tree Ginkgo biloba, a unique survivor. Once known only through fossil records, the species was re-discovered in China in 1758. The Levens specimen in the centre of the rose garden is about 60 years old. Unusually for a conifer, the Ginkgo is deciduous and has flat fan shaped leaves which turn a lovely yellow colour before falling in the Autumn

Opening Times & Ticket Prices

31 March - 10 October

Open Sundays to Thursdays

(Closed on Fridays and Saturdays during the Season, ALSO CLOSED SUNDAY 9th JUNE)

The Gardens

10.00am - 5.00pm

The House

Open 12 noon - 4.30pm

(Last admission 4.00 pm)


House & Gardens - £12.50

Gardens Only - £8.50

No charge for Children under 16 - accompanied by an adult (four children per adult maximum)

Free admission to the Gift Shop and Bellingham Buttery.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from. (click below)



Jan 22 • 2013 • ChandosDelightDoubleFAQFirefighterHighlyPerfumedperfume

FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions.


Q, I would like to fill my garden with highly perfumed roses.  Which varieties do you recommend. A. The choice of highly perfumed roses is immense.  Unfortunately it is one of the areas that cause the most arguments.  What one person describes as highly perfumed, another person will disagree and describe the perfume as mild.    Roses have one of the most complex, widely ranging perfumes of all flowers. The weather conditions on the day before the rose opens, the age of the flower, the season and even the time of day all influence the fragrance of an individual bloom. On our web site we have listed all the roses which we stock and are generally described as highly perfumed.  See Highly Perfumed Roses on the main menu. The varieties we can recommend are as follows. CHANDOS BEAUTY. DOUBLE DELIGHT. FIREFIGHTER. GERTRUDE JEKYLL. JUDE THE OBSCURE. MUNSTEAD WOOD. PAPA MEILLAND. SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY. THE ANNIVERSARY ROSE and WOLLERTON OLD HALL.  

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from. (click below)



Sep 02 • 2012 • ColourfulFlowersHealthyNew Roses For 2013Rosebloomsclimbingfoliageperfumeseason



Climbing Rose  10ft-12ft  2008 An attractive and colourful climber from the USA.

The blooms are a great combination of ivory yellow over pink on well formed flowers. Easy to grow and flowers right through the season.

A vigorous and healthy rose with a pleasant apple perfume. Glossy mid green foliage. A real eye catcher. Bred by Carruth. USA

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Jun 28 • 2012 • AromaticFlowerRose NewsScentSmell.Noseperfume

Rose News From Around The World



With the flower in its high season, an expert explains the proper way to take in their scent

ASK MICHAEL MARRIOTT about a rose he saw 10 years ago and he'll tell you the genus, variety and exactly what it smelled like. Considered one of the world's most knowledgeable rose noses, Mr. Marriott is senior rosarian for the prestigious English breeder David Austin Roses (2,500 of its blooms covered Queen Elizabeth's barge at the Diamond Jubilee recently). Mr. Marriott also designs beautiful private and public gardens in Russia, Bhutan, Japan, Europe and the U.S. From his home near Shropshire, England, he explained the proper way to smell a rose.

How to sniff: "Stick it up to your nose, roll it round a bit. Think about what is there, even if you can't identify it. Don't gob it down quickly like you are nervously tasting the wine at a restaurant. If the first one you try on a certain shrub doesn't smell, try another. Younger roses are generally more aromatic. The whole point of smell is to attract insects and in the older ones the pollen may have already been taken."

Optimum time to do it: "When the humidity is high, morning is usually best. The other important thing is the temperature two to three days before the flowers open. The perfume is formed then. If the weather is cold, you won't get much scent, but if it is lovely and warm you will get more fragrance."

Where does the smell come from? "In big flowers, like the old roses, it is made from three or four hundred oils in little glands on the flower petals. Three to four of them give it the overall character, but the others create the finer differences. In musk roses, with smaller flowers, it is made in the stamens, which smell clove-like. Clove is a preservative so it is thought that the scent helps preserve the stamens. Himalayan Musk is a great rose that climbs 30 feet in trees, producing tens of thousands of flowers that waft fragrance through the air."

 The Gertrude Jekyll, above, is his current favourite.

Which roses smell best? "My immediate favourite is Gertrude Jekyll, which has a strong, classic old rose fragrance, and a strong pink colour. Lady Emma Hamilton has beautiful apricoty orangy colors and smells like guavas and litchis. Creamy white Claire Austin has a wonderful myrrh fragrance and grows to a good-size shrub."

Do roses ever smell bad? "Well, I don't like Maigold. I think it smells rather like saturated fat. But then Graham Thomas, one of the greatest plantsmen ever, really liked it. A few people think the myrrh roses smell like hospital rooms but I find them delightful—an anise smell like pastis."

How to preserve a cut rose's scent: "One good thing is to mist them to keep humidity up. Use a large vase for the same reason. Don't put them too close to the air conditioner or the fireplace because that will dry them out. Change the water on a fairly regular basis, of course."

Health benefits to sniffing: "Actually they did an experiment in Japan on stressed mice—they shocked them, not very nice—and found that smelling rose oil had a very beneficial effect, even better than Diazepam."

Details of all our highly perfumed roses are available on our web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Jan 22 • 2012 • HipsHybridMuskRose Facts & TriviaRosettebloomsfloweringfoliageperfume


Three beautiful roses bred by the Rev Joseph Pemberton

And named after his daughter’s.


Delicate soft pink and cream blooms fading to almost white. Flowering is most prolific in the spring, but is a little less so in summer.   However the late summer and autumn show is quite something as the flowers are borne in huge panicles bearing the most highly coloured and longest lasting flowers of the year.  If the spent flowers are not removed, large round red hips are produced which look most attractive among the autumn flowers. Good strong disease resistant foliage. Can really brighten up a  dull autumn day. Shade tolerant and makes a good hedge Excellent Perfume.

National Rose Society Certificate of Merit 1927 Royal Horticultural Society Award Of Garden Merit  1993 Bred by th Rev Joseph Pemberton and named after one of his daughters.


This lovely old rose has been around a while but is just as popular as ever. A hybrid musk rose with the usual free flowering associated with this species of rose. The lovely rosette flowers are a rich apricot flushed pink and are borne in large arching trusses continually from summer to autumn.  A superb strong growing shrub with very few thorns plus good dark green bronze glossy foliage. Completely hardy but does best in a sunny spot out of the wind. Can be grown in the garden or large container, is shade tolerant and will cope with poorer soils. Distinct Musk Fragrance.

 Royal Horticultural Society Award Of Garden Merit 1993

Bred by the Rev Joseph Pemberton and named after one of his daughters.


This is a large, arching shrub with vigorous and disease free growth. It flowers continuously through summer and into autumn and produces a lovely show of hips in winter. The trusses of double, medium sized blooms are of a delicate light pink and apricot shades fading to white with age. 'Penelope' makes a fine specimen rose in the garden or an effective informal hedge, and is useful for growing over walls or fences and will cope with partial shade. The blooms are sweetly scented.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.




Nov 15 • 2011 • AnniversaryAwardCitrusFragranceMaroonNew Roses For 2012Summerhybrid teaperfume



Hybrid Tea.  2006.  3ft-4ft.

An award winning Hybrid Tea of infinite charm which produces masses of large dusky plum pink blooms throughout the summer. Healthy grey green maroon foliage shows the huge blooms off to perfection. Strong citrus fragrance. A superb rose for any anniversary.

Bred by Meilland in France 2006.  Introduced into the UK 2008. Also known as 'Forget-Me-Not' AWARDS Australian National Rose Trials. Most Fragrant Rose. Australian National Rose Trials. Silver Medal. Orleans National Rose Trials. Perfume prize. Hradec Králové Rose Trials. Golden Rose. Nantes Rose Trials. First Grand Prize. Le Roeulx Rose Trials. Certificatye Of Merit. Le Roeuix Rose Trials. Fragrance Award. GOLD STANDARD AWARD WINNER 2009

Details of all our roses are available on our web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Oct 29 • 2011 • BarbaraBredDelbardFranceHommageNew Roses For 2012Shrub RoseSingerperfume



Shrub Rose 1997.  4ft

A very beautiful modern shrub rose which looks sure to be a hit with rose lovers, Stunning blooms of intense deep red developing to almost black. Blooms in flushes throughout the summer and is a real head turner in the garden. Healthy matt green foliage and bushy upright growth. Not a powerful perfume but very pleasing. Don't leave it too late to order as we have limited stocks this year.

Named after a French singer who was known as just 'Barbara' Bred in France in 1997 by Delbard but introduced in France in 2004.


Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Oct 25 • 2011 • CatchersNew Roses For 2012Traffiperfume




2008 2ft 6ins

A lovely but very unusual rose.

A floribunda with large blooms which can be as big as 4ins across.  The colour is described as mauvy-lilac but the main eye catcher is the large purple blotch in the centre.

The huge blooms repeat all summer and really stand out in the crowd.

The foliage is very healthy with good disease resistance.

Not very tall so will grow in a container or the garden.

A bed of these eye catchers will stop the traffic.

Lovely perfume.

Bred by Peter J James. UK

Introduced by Warners Roses.


Details of all our roses are available on our web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Oct 02 • 2011 • DiseaseNew Roses For 2012RamblerRepeat RamblerShadenorth wallperfume



Rambling Rose. 1945.   15ft.

This lovely old Rambler has been around a while, but we have included it in our Rambler section as we have had so many requests for it as it is considered to be one of the best of the repeat ramblers. Most ramblers are only summer flowering, but this is one of the few that repeat well. It produces large clusters of creamy white blooms with attractive yellow centres, plus quite a good perfume for a rambler. Leathery glossy green foliage which has excellent disease resistance. A very versatile rose as it can be grown up trees, is shade tolerant, can be grown on any aspect including a North wall and will cope with poor soils.

Won an American Rose Society Gold Medal in 1950

Bred by Tantau. Germany 1939-1945. There are some date differences of opinion regarding this rose.


For details of all our current roses, see our extensive web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from



Sep 16 • 2011 • Rose Newscentifoliachanelperfume





(Rosa Centifolia  -  the hundred petal rose)

Grasse is truly the Mecca of the fragrance world. The pretty Provencal town nestled between the Mediterranean and the mountains is at the centre of the French flower growing region. While many companies source or synthesise their perfume ingredients elsewhere, Grasse jasmine and rose de mai are prized above all others.

These two flowers are at the heart of Chanel fragrances and to uphold its heritage the company maintains control of its own flower fields and buys a fair chunk of the area's production. It has the reputation of the world's most famous fragrance, Chanel No 5, to safeguard.

The Grasse jasmine harvest is under way now, with 7000 flowers needed to yield a kilo of jasmine.

Late spring is the northern season when the May rose is harvested at dawn. Women, some from families who have been travelling to Grasse for many generations, place the roses in hessian bags for speedy local processing. (The fragile jasmine flowers are delicately carried in baskets.)

To secure its supply of these blooms for its 90-year-old signature scent, Chanel has worked for five generations with one family of growers, the Muls.

Rose pickers bring in 50-70 tonnes of rosa centifolia blooms for processing, with 350-400 flowers yielding one kilogram of petals. Experienced pickers can gather up to 7kg of flowers an hour.

The sheltered location of Grasse and its rich mix of clay and chalk soils create an ideal hothouse for flower-growing. The town is home to many old parfumeries and it is still the training ground for the lucrative global fragrance industry's famed "noses", who must learn to distinguish many hundreds of scents.

Among the alumini are Les Nez of Chanel, Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake.

Sheldrake, an Englishman whose earliest scent memories are of early years in India and morning mist in English gardens, credits his internship in Grasse with giving him a love for "the history and unique life of each raw material".

One of his favourite smell associations, he tells Viva, is jasmine at midnight. (Grasse jasmine, introduced by the Moors, differs from that now obtained in Asia and Africa for perfumery because it is the result of jasmine grandiflorum grafted on to jasmine officinalis. It is nearly 20 times as expensive as a jasmine absolute when the concentrated essence is obtained elsewhere.)

Sheldrake first joined Chanel in 1980 for three years, leaving to work at Quest with Serge Lutens. He developed many Lutens scents and spent time in Japan. He returned to Chanel in 2005 as director of research and development and is co-credited with Polge as creator of a number of Les Exclusifs scents.

Polge has been the house's perfumer since 1978, and created Coco, Cristalle, Allure, Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, the version of Chanel No.5 known as Eau Premiere and the new No 19 Poudre. The men enjoy rare bonuses in what was once an essentially solitary craft, but is now much commercialised and generally highly moderated by marketers - they are given time to develop new scents and they have a sounding board in each other.

"It is a business that is very competitive so it is rare for a fellow perfumer to share their creative ideas," says Sheldrake.

"However, as Jacques Polge says, two noses are better than one.

"We both have our own point of view. We do not always agree with each other but having discussed the subject, we agree on a solution. We are constantly learning from each other, from each other's point of view."

Sheldrake explains to Viva how Grasse is at the centre of keeping a legend alive.

What does the original No. 5 signify to you? How would you describe it to someone who had never smelled it before?

The original No. 5 is a very refined work of art which at the same time has the advantage of not having any key ingredients which have become dated. It is also an historical event because it was certainly the first fragrance that had an abstract feel which could have been unreassuring but was the opposite. And I would just add following on in time, other fragrances were created in the same family which today no longer exist simply because Chanel is the only company who for 90 years has been able to maintain its fragrance to its optimum potential.

Chanel's approach to fragrance - keeping it in-house and owning its own perfume fields - is very different from many houses; what does this bring to your work?

Establishing a relationship with the farmers in Grasse to develop our own jasmine fields was the beginning of an activity which has become increasingly important for Chanel. It was necessary to conserve and increase the jasmine production in France which otherwise would have disappeared by now. This was necessary to maintain the quality of our icon, the Extrait de No. 5. Having the fields in Grasse opened a new aspect to our work which has encouraged perfumers to work more closely with our producers.

Today we have grown the jasmine and the rose de mai to which we added four years ago, our iris palida fields and this year a new tuberose production. To give you an idea of our commitment, by the end of this year we should have finished a two-year planting programme to add 30,000 more rose bushes.

The perfumers are involved and in control of the whole chain from the botany through to the finished product, including the responsibility of working with legislation experts on the safety of our products.

So what makes us different? We are the only fashion house that has always had its own in-house laboratory and perfumers. This gives us the opportunity to consider equally our existing fragrances and the possibility of new creations.

How do you balance being a guardian of Chanel's fragrance heritage, while being tasked with creating a vibrant fragrance future (and a sizeable chunk of the house's revenue)?

We need to know perfectly our tradition to move forward with our creations. Like the traditional fragrances, every new fragrance, every creation follows the same process or the same Chanel philosophy if you like. That is so the fragrance represents an era and not the current fashion.

Does the heritage of the house mean that you can never start with a clean slate?

We can start with a clean slate. For each project, there are many ideas between the perfumers that we dream of. And when you think that a new fragrance can take up to six years to come to fruition, in six years we have many ideas that get worked on and as we get closer to the day when we have to select "the" fragrance, one of our creations will be a more obvious fit for the project.

So the other ideas, remain in the cupboard - in our closely guarded fragrance cupboard.

What benefits has technology brought to perfume?

Since I started in perfumery there have been many advances in technology - by using technology to monitor every stage of the perfuming process can improve the quality. To give you an example, the traditional method for drying ingredients in a warehouse resulted in some portion succumbing to mould. Today, we use an industrial-size humidifier for two days, which allows the ingredients to dry out faster and more efficiently.

How much of the rose and jasmine harvest is used in No. 5? If there was, say, a crop failure what are your back-up resources?

In the case of No. 5 extrait, all the jasmine from Grasse. We have been informed by one of our suppliers that Chanel buys about a third of all production of jasmine which is absolutely unbelievable. We select and stock jasmine for our yearly needs and we always have security stock. In 2010 we had a small crop of jasmine in Grasse but had sufficient security stocks in storage.

Is it important to you to smell the roses?

Much inspiration comes from smelling natural products like the rose. It is not essential to smell the rose every harvest for the sake of inspiration but it is certainly pleasant.

What is your favourite of the fragrances you have created for Chanel and why?

I like Coromandel from Les Exclusifs range. It has a lovely patchouli note.

Surrounded as you are by scents do you wear fragrance yourself and, if so, do you have a wardrobe of options or a signature scent?

My signature scent is an ambery fragrance I have made for myself. Of course, I can only wear it on weekends. It is natural to have a fragrance wardrobe. A fragrance expresses the way we feel or what we want to communicate.

Magic mix

Chanel No 5 was launched in 1921 when Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel famously picked the bottle labelled No. 5 from among the scents Ernest Beaux was testing. The former perfumer to the court of the Tsar had been tasked with coming up with the world's first designer fragrance. In doing so, he developed what is considered the first "modern" scent.

No 5 is rich in floral notes, but with a sparkling quality from the use of synthetic aldehydes. It remains a bestseller in the prestige market. Its striking top notes are dominated by ylang-ylang from the Comoros, neroli and aldehydes. The heart opens around scents of rose and jasmine, then gives way to vibrating notes of sandalwood, trailed by lingering waves of vanilla and bourbon vetiver. (The new Eau Premiere version is lighter on the ylang ylang and adds a mellowness from vanilla.)

Once the common ingredients of jasmine and may rose are harvested in Grasse, they are placed in large stills for the extraction process. After many hours a "concrete" is obtained and this is distilled to produce flower essences. The essences are sent to the production plant in Compiegne, where Jacques Polge makes an olfactory verification to ensure all is in order. Raw materials are mixed and the fragrance left to mature before bottling, which can be for several months. Only three people know the complete No. 5 recipe.

After packaging, the final step is baudruchage - a traditional technique reserved for the No. 5 parfum. A fine membrane is placed over the neck of the bottle by hand and this is held in place by two rows of black pearl cotton thread to ensure an air and water-tight seal. The addition of a wax stamp with the Chanel double-C seal guarantees the tamper-proof quality of the bottle.

For details of all our current roses, see our extensive web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from



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