Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step straight into Patrick Süskind’s famous novel, Das Perfume? Rosie Khdir discovers the Belgian city of Namur and its enchanting perfumery.
In the depths of the Citadel of Namur in southern Belgium lies the perfumery of Guy Delforge, a world of unique fragrances.
The Citadel, situated within the Castle of the Counts, has been the home of Delforge’s laboratory for 20 years now and is the perfect setting for this ancient art. In 1990, after also restoring the officers’ mess to, he opened the doors to visitors who were greeted by a warm, delicate fragrance.
Visitors to the perfumery are taken on a journey through the process of creating a unique and fine perfume.
The one hour long guided tour starts with a description of the building’s history and of the plants used during the creation of the various essences.
Then visitors are taken upstairs to the laboratories and then through to the casemate where the “nose” or perfumer blends the fragrances. Here you can test the skills of you very our nose and see if you have what it takes to make the next Chanel No5.
The tour continues though the underground galleries where the hundreds of perfumes are left to mature in crystal bottles for four to six months. Lastly the tour leads you to the great exhibition hall a range of the 250 products made by Delforge are displayed to you.
This is a craft which dates back to the ancient Egyptian times and is a real delight to witness, and smell! If the tour itself doesn’t impress you, the Citadel is sure to please the eye with its delicately carved wood and natural stone decor.
Group tours operate Monday to Saturday; see the Delforge website for details.
Image credit: victoriabernal