The Orto Botanico di Brera (Brera Botanical Garden) is probably one of the best kept secrets in Milan, to the extent that no-one knows it exists or even if they have heard of it, it's simply slipped their mind.This little green oasis in the heart of Milan, next door to the exclusive Bulgari hotel, is truly a little gem. Before you get too excited however, it's not Kew Gardens - the English mecca for all things green and plantlike; the Orto Botanico does, however, have a fabulous old wisteria covered in blossom during spring as well as two ginko biloba trees which are amongst the oldest in Europe. This spring, "Be Open" foundation has chosen this wonderful location for its exhibition "The Garden of Wonders - a Journey Through Scents" whose central theme is perfume. On until 24th May, 'A Journey Through Scents' narrates the history of perfume as well as its production and ingredients as they have evolved over time. This mini museum submerged in semi darkness concentrates on the artisanal nature of perfume, exhibiting large glass flasks and bottles as well as giant atomisers which ingeniously release bursts of different scents without creating a sickly combination. On the far side of the garden the 'Houses of Wonder' - eight 'casette' have been created by various designers to revive and interpret long-forgotten perfume brands. Among the designers looking back at defunct luxury labels are Tord Boontje, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Dimore Studio, Front, Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Jean-Marie Massaud and Nendo. For the the third and final part of the project, 'A Vision in a Box', a golden cube-like display holds the bottles of ten designers who were asked to take on the challenge of imagining bottles for the fragrance of the future.The Garden of Wonders will be open from 10am to 10pm until 24 May. For those of you who are interested in visiting the Orto Botanico, it is divided into three sections: two of which have narrow flower-beds with a water basin at the centre while the third houses a lawn surrounded by trees. At the north side of the garden there used to be a greenhouse which was destroyed and rebuilt as a classroom of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. The garden is currently home to several hundred species and you can wander along the beds and admire medicinal plants, sages, spring bulbs, vegetables, perennials and peonies as well as the golden Laviani animal statues dotted around the garden.
Via Fratelli Gabba, 10
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 18:26