The garden of perfumes and spices (Jardin Des Parfums Et des Epices ) is a beautiful botanical garden hidden on the island Reunion. It smells as good as it sounds. As the saying goes, good things are hard to find, and this garden surely takes time to get to.
Jardin Des Parfums Et des Epices
Thick verts everywhere and little water drops were the first thing we encountered on our way to the floral oasis. As we were pointlessly walking we thought to ourselves ‘Oh well, at least we’re sightseeing and breathing fresh air.’, and as soon as we were about to head back, there was the sign, finally! The best things are most likely to be unobtrusive like a clam and a pearl and this place was definitely the pearl!
As the title says, when you step into this garden it’s like you’ve stepped in a perfume factory somewhere in France. The smell is so intense you can feel it all the way from the sign, those gorgeous tropical flowers luring you more and more so by the time you see it, for the first time, your opinion and perception about flowers will absolutely change, for the better of course.
We have a habit of linking flowers to something that’s fragile and delicate but once you gaze upon these tropical plants, you’ll realize why people call them the queens among flowers, for they are mostly flowers with strong stems, large in diameter, quite magnificent and powerful to say the least.
Here are some of the flowers you’ll be able to find on this island: Ixora, Hydrangea, Azalea indica, birds of paradise, orchids and water lilies and so on.
Margouillats (green gecko) and Panther chameleon
In this garden, apart from enjoying the flora, if you’re lucky you might find a trace of fauna that’s as special as the plants they walk on. Lizards are common but also very unusual. Margouillats is a type of a green lizard (green gecko) and if you thought a lizard cannot be beautiful, you thought wrong! This one, covered in florescent green and yellow with a rare but chic orange stripe on his head is considered to be a mannequin of his kind. One more animal is a native to this island and that’s the chameleon- Panther chameleon and regarding his colors, proceed to the picture below because one picture is worth a thousand words.
Reunion is widely known for its vanilla industry, Bourbon vanilla, therefore here, vanilla is not just a plant, it is a local symbol located even on the coat of arms of the island. In the early 19th century, the island was called Bourbon Island so there is no surprise that its smell dominates this garden as well. Before you enter the garden, there is a shop that sells dry vanilla sticks and various cosmetic products of her fragrance. I myself am a huge scented candles fan and for the very first time I saw them being sold per kilo, but it was worth it, for almost a year my home smelled like vanilla which only made it comfier to live in. Another interesting thing I’ve come across on this island is a dish that connects the smell of vanilla with the taste of meat and as a result you get a specialty called ‘Canard a la vanille‘ meaning duck in vanilla.
Now, you’re in for a treat. The following photos are from the garden and they’re going to blow your mind but first, a delicate love song that I always remember whenever someone gives me flowers.
”Because of me, countless flowers die today. Countless drops of dew slop from the grass. Oh, God of flowers, don’t be angry with us for he, this morning, avouches his love for me, with flowers… Because of me a leaf dies today and a flower, broken midst its stem, uprooted; because of me, my darling thinks there’s a world where nature in whole is created for me to adorn.”
Maksimović, Desanka ”Because of me”
Build botanical gardens
This was a poetic moment for a goodbye but before I leave you, one last appeal for all the cities outhere – build botanical gardens! They are the scented museums of your surroundings. Flowers are, by nature, always beautiful no matter if they’re birds of paradise from an idyllic island or that little flower sprouting alone on a green pasture.