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Cheapside Hoard bejewelled scent bottle inspires a 17th century perfume

In collaboration with master perfumer Roja Dove, the Museum of London rediscovers the fragrance of Jacobean London as part of its Cheapside Hoard exhibition.

27 August 2013

By Daisy Tinker

In anticipation of their forthcoming exhibition, The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels, The Museum of London has commissioned British Master Perfumer Roja Dove to create a scent that recalls Elizabethan and Early Stuart London. 

Inspired by one of the 500 items found in the Cheapside Hoard, a gold, enamel, diamond and opal-set scent bottle, the fragrance aims to create an evocative sensory experience. It will be displayed as part of the exhibition, and so the museum hopes to transport visitors back to the original time of the jewellery, when scents like this were used in hair as well as on skin.

The fragrance will feature ingredients popular in the 17th century including a unique blend of geranium, rose, lavender and patchouli with earthier scents of clove, sage and cedarwood. Beeswax, frankincense and spices as well as the vanillic odour of benzoin will also be incorporated. It will be shown alongside the bejewelled scent bottle as well as the five hundred other jewels.

Roja Dove said of the fragrance, "The idea that scent can re-connect moments in time with one drop and one breath utterly captivates me. The result of blending the intoxicating fragrance of tonka bean with that of rose and lavender and rich spices has formed an extremely distinctive, spicy and warm creation fit for the dazzling treasure trove that is the Cheapside Hoard." 

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