Stick Work

Visiting the Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT is like stepping back in time. Formerly a turn of the 20th century Artist Colony overlooking the Lieutenant River, the museum now houses an American Impressionist gallery.

It’s also home to The Rambles, a magnificent 21 foot tall environmental sculpture. NC artist Patrick Dougherty creates his Stickwork installations worldwide. He bends, weaves, and flexes native birch saplings into architectural wonders, with the help of a team of local volunteers.

Walking up to the Welcome Desk, we spot The Rambles through windows overlooking the back lawn.  After purchasing our admission tickets, we’re immediately drawn back outside. The maze of structures beckons our exploration. Muffled sounds, filtered light, and the scent of dried wood surround us. Viewed from different vantage points, The Rambles alternately looks like huge bird nests, or Stonehenge, or a herd of grazing elephants with long trunks and floppy ears. The beauty of The Rambles evolves with time – the sculpture erodes as the seasons change, and eventually fades back into the landscape.

Here are a few fragrances that include Birch, along with their scent notes:

Miller Harris Fleurs de BoisGalbanum, Grass, Lemon, Green Mandarin, Rosemary, Rose, Jasmine, Iris, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Myrrh and Birch

Parfumerie Generale L’Eau Rare MataleSage, White Flowers, Bergamot, Black Matale Tea, Virginia Cedar, Chinese Cedar, Vetiver, Birch, Burnt Woods, Pepper and Musk

Serge Lutens Chene - Cedar Crystals, Wood Sap, Black Thyme, Oak, Immortelle, Beeswax, Silver Birch, Rum Absolute and Tonka Bean

Il Profumo Vetiver de Java - Lavender, Vetiver, Birch, Incense, Red Rose, Cashmere Cypress, Guaiac Wood, Oak Moss

D&G 6 L’AmoureuxBergamot, Juniper Berry, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Birch Leaf, Orris Root, Musks, Woods

Bois 1920 Vento di FioriSicilian Lemon, Cardamom, Tarragon, Jasmine, Galbanum, Patchouli, Amber, Oak Moss, Musk, Siberian Birch

  • Lucyshnoosy

    K, what a beautiful summary. The Rambles is a wonderful installation in a very special place. I am really intrigued with Dougherty’s sculptures; one changes from merely viewing art to entering and then inhabiting the art, playing in it, participating with it. I’m so glad I bought the book “Stickwork” on his sculptures – I sat in my backyard yesterday afternoon completely absorbed.

    How right you are that the Florence Griswold Museum is like stepping back in time. It’s a fine collection in a setting of natural beauty. But best of all, it was *great* to catch up with you and spend the day together.

    • Karen Adams

      Thanks for your nice comment, Looosy! I’ve been enjoying my Stickwork book too. Very inspiring! And it was wonderful to spend the day with you too :)

  • Lucy Raubertas

    Lovely! We have one in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden also. When I first saw it I didn’t know what it was, and thought it was some kind of very odd/rare shrub.
    What a great theme for a perfume post.

    • Karen Adams

      Thanks, Lucy! How wonderful to have a Patrick Dougherty installation at BBG. Just looked it up and it’s woven from willow & looks like wildlife :)

  • Candice

    Great post Karen!

    • Karen Adams

      Thanks, Candice! Glad you enjoyed the post! :-)