One of the most important botanic gardens in the world, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden occupies a sprawling 30 hectares (74 acres), and boasts enviable views sweeping from the Domain all the way to Sydney Harbour. Whether you’re visiting a botanical exhibition in The Calyx, meandering along the garden paths or simply sitting on the lawns with a book, it truly is an oasis of calm in the middle of the city. And then, of course, there is the most heavenly scent that emanates from every nook and corner.
For LUMIRA founder and creative director Almira Armstrong, the Gardens have long been a source of joy.
“Some of my earliest memories of the Gardens are of having picnics there as a child with my family. But one of my most memorable Garden experiences was seeing a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream there – it was spectacular to see it while being completely surrounded by plants.”
— recalls Almira Armstrong
Inspired by her love for the Gardens, Armstrong has created Florescence, an exclusive new scent with notes of tangerine and clove, elevated by a bouquet of white blossoms – magnolia, jasmine, gardenia, neroli. At its base: an earthy arrangement of patchouli, sandalwood and amber.
A year in production, the process of making Florescence began with a necessary honing of the Garden’s 30,000-plus species of flowers, herbs and spices. To approach this somewhat daunting task, Armstrong met with the Garden’s director of horticultural management, Jimmy Turner, and his team. “We walked the gardens to experience the botanicals from their eyes, and I got an understanding of what scent really means to them.” In doing this, she says, “two things captured me immediately: the lush tropical greens and the florals, particularly the beautiful white florals. I also loved including some herb notes to give it that spicy twist.”
Alongside the Garden’s olfactory inspiration, Armstrong was also moved by its ongoing commitment to science, the environment and conservation work. “The Garden spends so much time, money and energy on preserving the genetic diversity of our flora and restoring our damaged ecosystems. They continually research and contribute to the global bank of knowledge, for today and for generations to come. While working with the Gardens on Florescence, I was astounded to learn that they have a PlantBank that stores more than 50% of NSW’s threatened flora seeds, 5,300 Australian species and a total of 10,400 individual seed packets.”
While she hopes that Florescence “will allow people to take a little bit of the garden – and of Sydney – home with them”, Armstrong is also thrilled to donate all proceeds from the sale of this candle to supporting the Garden and worldwide research.
Interested in exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens? Our guide to where to stay and play nearby is below…
Located directly across Macquarie Street, some of the InterContinental’s rooms even have a view across to the Garden’s northern end.
The Garden’s own program of events spans everything from guided walks to nights spent stargazing, and even cocktails among the plants.
When you’re ready to take a break from the Garden, the nearby Art Gallery of NSW is one of Australia’s finest public art museums.