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L'Essence de Mastenbroek

Eau de polder 

L'Essence de Mastenbroek is the result of a quest to discover the Mastenbroek polder in its most concentrated form. The fragrance aims to evoke the various degrees of life in the Mastenbroek polder.  





The residents in the Dutch polder Mastenbroek- primarily dairy farmers who have been working in the polder for generations- volunteerd to participate in the Essence club. As members of this club they sourced the essentiel elements that would eventually make up L'Essence de Mastenbroek. 

Ingredients: Extracts of clouds, water, cattle, grass and earth.


Since its launch in 2005, the perfume has been sold across the globe. This fluid polder has travelled to far-fetched outposts of the world and mingled with global landscapes, the desires and even the memories of individuals and communities who heve never stepped foot in Mastenbroek.





The source of L'Essence can be traced to one of Mastenbroek's three waterways, resting on a hillocked foundations of an abandoned farm. Once a year the source is open to the public and anyone who has ever purchased the perfume can refill their bottles for free.*

*The residents of Mastenbroek are de guardians of the source and are responsible fot opening it to the public once a year
'The Manufactured land
A large portion of the Netherlands was created by the hands of men. The Dutch lowlands have been more or less a constant theatre of drainage and pumping since the first land reclamations of the Middle Ages. In fact, without this struggle against the elements most of the Netherlands today would be inhabitable and many of its cities never built. This technical prowess is a source of Dutch pride and often cited as the ultimate triumph of human ingenuity; taming nature to both protect against encroaching seas and, equally important, pave the way towards profit. It is not surprising then that over the years travellers, painters, poets and designers have integrated this manufactured landscape into Holland’s national cultural heritage. As a result, a number of polders enjoy protected status today. Amongst them are the Mastenbroek polders leveed hillocks.*
The Mastenbroek polder was created in 1363 when the area between the IJssel and Zwarte Water rivers was drained and reclaimed by the Bishop of Utrecht, Jan van Arkel. The reclamation took place along three waterways, from south to north through the polder. Three roads were built exactly on the top of the reclaimed land, and a church erected the middle. Thatched -roofed farms were erected atop the levees, their plots long strips in an otherwise open landscape. On a clear day you have a view over the cities Kampen and IJsselmuiden one way, and the towers of Hasselt and Zwolle the other.
Super Hay
Drainage is the polders lifeline. Not too much and not too little. Drain too much and the great becomes clay, drain too little and you’ll end up with wet feet. In the 17th century the Mastenbroek polder wetlands produced shiploads of hay destined for the ports of Amsterdam and other thriving Dutch cities. It was common knowledge that hay hailing from the IJsselmeer Delta was the best there was! The excellent grass combined with large lots and accessible location made Mastenbroek an ideal base for dairy farms. This reputation still stands today.'
*From Polders, Gedicht nederland
The Mastenbroek Polder Preservation Association


Comissioned by Provincie Overijssel, SKOR, Gemeente Zwolle en Zwartewaterland 2005-2012.

Perfume: Alessandro Gualtieri

Graphic design: Renate Boere

Printer: Albaini drukkers bv/ Den Haag

Flask: CBN Labsuppliers/Drachten en NID/Drachten

Members of the Essenceclub: Adri van Ittersum, Bert Kanis, Gerrie en Hannie Knol, Wim Kok, Egbert Meuleman, Geesje Riezenbos, Alita van der Weerd, Hennie Wup en Rie Wursten.

Polderplan Mastenbroek:  Marco van der Vegte, Hendry van Ittersum, Gerard Hendrix

Source: Familie van Ittersum. 



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