1) Xavier Lelevé, owner of Meung sur Loire castle near Orléans, talks to us about this surprising place, the scene of his professional and family project:
The Meung sur Loire’s castle is one of the oldest castles of the Loire Valley. Residence of several Orléans’ bishops, it welcomed famous historic personalities such as the king Louis XI, Jeanne d’Arc, François 1er, or François Villon.
We call it the castle in two faces because of its facades from the XII and XVIII century.
We also have been charmed by its authenticity. It is a castle called “function” in which we find origin living spaces such as the bathrooms, the herbal room, the comedy room, the powder, etc.
This castle is open to public (families, groups, associations, etc.), but also to professionals since we provide 2 rooms reserved for particular events.
2) What kind of typical route do your visitors make?
When you arrive at the Meung sur Loire’s castle you’ve the possibility to visit first the gardens or the castle.
During its visit, the visitor will discover the life that led people at this time. Then he will go through many rooms such as the kitchen, the chapel, the library, the prison, the subterranean where we project a historic movie on the castle’s walls, etc.
We also provide some “what boxes”. They’re historical items exposed in the castle whose original functions the visitor supposed to recognize. In the same mind, we also disposed anachronistic items that kids have to find during their visit.
When you come to Meung sur Loire’s castle you don’t make an ordinary visit, you discover the 13th century’s life…
3) How did you get the idea about the smells’route?
Above all, what we wish in this castle is to make to visitors live a unique experience, by immersing them in places of time. To do that we appeal to the five senses, as a supplement to the furniture, and items exposed (there are over 2000 presented), we diffuse music but also perfumes during their passage.
The smells’ route is a very interesting complementarity to the scenography, which allow us to touch the visitor, to touch its emotional memory in a new way to be in the heart of castle life.
This smell’s route is mentioned in our advertising but we let the surprise to visitors. And it’s a real success because at this time we’ve a very good feedback on this subject, through the questionnaire we distribute. Indeed, it turns out that what visitors like most of all are the smell’s route and the video projected in the saddler.
4) Which perfumes do you diffuse? Why did you choose these perfumes?
We diffuse various perfumes depending on the room that you visit. For example, in the medieval kitchen you can smell a wood fire odor, or wax in the hall. In the laundry room we decided to diffuse a clean smell, especially composed of lavender. But also incense in the chapel, and Hungary water in bathrooms.
Hungary water exists since 1370, and was used at various ages. Among other this of the king Charles V, or Louis XIV. The Hungary water is a medicalized water that we traced in the castle inventories.
So we can say that each diffused perfume has a direct link with history, and immerses visitors in this past atmosphere.
5) Why did you choose Natarom ?
We work with Natarom now for 7 years. What we like in this company is the “simplicity” of their products. In fact, they are practical and easy to use, once the concept explained, everyone can use the diffusers and the refills.
We also found that their materials and perfumes fit very well suited into the castle!
6) What is in your point of view the main benefit of this collaboration with Natarom?
First of all it’s the choice of the perfumes that seduced us. It’s not always easy to select a fragrance, especially in a place like this one, it depends a lot on the atmosphere you want to create.
With Natarom we had the chance to smell and try some samples we chose that helped us in our approach.
We can add to this that the team is reactive and listening when we have a question.