I've never felt disconnected from nature while living in the Pacific Northwest. An oft unappreciated luxury about residing here is the ability to embark on numerous outdoor adventures without having to travel any farther than two to three hours from the city. Stunning landscapes and outdoor wonders are not hard to come by here, but uncovering the truly exotic and rare requires a bit more sleuthing. Tucked away in the quiet residential side of Capitol Hill lies the Volunteer Park Conservatory, where lush greens, blooming botanicals and tropical plants not native to Washington state live in humid harmony.
Constructed in 1912 with 3,426 panes of glass, the structure alone mimics that of elegant Victorian conservatories in Europe. Each of the five fragrant rooms in the Volunteer Park Conservatory represents different environments from around the world and thus have temperatures varying from a comfortable 65 degrees to a sultry 80 degrees. It's here that I found pretty palms, jungle-worthy ferns and exotic flowers I wouldn't see unless I visited other ends of the globe.
The Palm and Fern Houses are two of my favorite sections of the entire conservatory because I felt like I was transported to a tropical paradise while walking through them. I love towering palm trees and the structural beauty they exude in an untamed nature. The Conservatory's beautiful orchid collection can be found in the Palm House as well. Everywhere I turned there was a living organism demanding my wonderment.
On the opposite side of the Fern and Bromeliad Houses are the Season Display and Cactus Houses. These dry, hot rooms house succulents, agave plants and plenty of spiky cacti. I adored the muted greens and velvet sheen of the plants in these rooms. In this menagerie of greenery, it was easy to find hues of pink, red and purple protruding from certain plants with an understated elegance.
While walking through the Conservatory, I couldn't help but think of how I could bring some of its rare and exotic atmosphere into my everyday life. Hugo Boss' BOSS The Scent embodies the exotic ambiance I was inspired by with its layers of Maninka, ginger and leather. The fragrance's top note of ginger makes an intriguing impression before revealing seductive South African Maninka fruit and ending in the warmth of masculine leather. The rare combination of all three ingredients makes for a captivating cologne that holds as much mystery and awe as the foliage I found at Volunteer Park Conservatory.