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27 Nov 2019

Experiencing Collections at Gladstone’s Land

Three women stand around an earthenware pot, smelling its (unseen) contents.
Photographer: Tiu Makkonen
Gladstone’s Land is always a feast for the senses but this winter it’s reaching new heights as home to one of the National Trust for Scotland’s ‘Experiencing Collections’ sensory experiments, taking place in six properties around the country.

The sense of smell is hugely evocative, and scent designer Clara Weale has been working with the team at Gladstone’s Land to create carefully researched heritage fragrances to bring the past to life. Clara is an independent perfumer, who works with both personal and environmental scent. Former occupants of Gladstone’s Land would have used a range of herbs to perfume their home, and try to disguise the rather pungent aromas from the street.

Although the painted interiors and original architecture at Gladstone’s Land have been carefully preserved, it can be hard to imagine yourself in 17th-century Edinburgh. But now’s your chance! From the spices used in cooking to tea ceremonies, musty beds and the odours wafting in from the back court, visitors can experience the property in a whole new way.

A smartly dressed lady stands in one of the rooms at Gladstone’s Land, smelling the contents of a glass beaker.
Photographer: Tiu Makkonen

The experience launches on Saturday 30 November, with Clara leading special scent tours. These can be booked online via the Events page, or places can be reserved by calling 0131 226 5856.

The scent installation runs until the end of January 2020 and is included in the entry price to Gladstone’s Land.

Three women hold a large wooden bowl. Two of them are smelling scented sticks from it. One is smiling, the other is grimacing!
Photographer: Tiu Makkonen

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