There are many interesting things about Switzerland, both political and cultural, but I found the history of the Givaudin company most interesting. They produced household chemicals and toiletries, and flavourings for the food industry....and I always thought the use of these chemical additives was a more modern thing!
In 1895, Leon and Xavier Givaudin opened a new headquarters in Zurich. They were expanding their company to produce bespoke "perfumes", and their recipes were top secret. Even in our modern times the Givaudin company has produced for top clients such as Calvin Klein and numerous celebrities.
Well it seems Richard has taken to heart your concerns about the amount of time we are spending in countries plagued by war. So he has brought me to the only truly neutral place he could think of "Switzerland". He chose to bring me to Zurich after receiving a mysterious letter from here, and on arrival we were escorted to the new headquarters of the Givaudin brothers. They make food flavourings, but are branching out into custom made Ladies perfumes. They presented me with an enormous bottle of something that smells of roses. Very beautiful. As we had already sent you Edelweisses, I asked if we could get you a bottle of Edelweiss perfume as a gift? The gentlemen looked quite shocked, and asked if I wanted to see you covered in flies? Leon laughed, and gave me another bottle of the rose scented one, to present to "your very special English Rose". Richard is sending it by courier, so it does not get damaged in the post.
you are such a sweetheart. The rose scented perfume will be just fine. Edelweiss(plural as singular) have an odour that is designed to attract flies in order to pollinate them. What we see as white petals are, in fact, velvety leaves. The actual flower parts to this pretty little plant are the tiny yellow dots. It would be impossible to extract a scent from such minute florets.
The letter Sir Richard received was probably notice that the fragrance he ordered for you was ready to collect. The Givaudin brothers are renowned for their desire to keep their recipes secret, and every new product is greatly sought after. So it is a very generous gift you are sending me.
Yes, I am feeling much stronger this week now that the "Frost" has PASSED, thank you. Although I have attended many funerals of both young and old alike, but the Spring heralds new life. So, like the edelweiss, we must turn our faces to the sun and smile.
your ever-loving Governess
Miss Lillian xxx
p.s. Did you know that the Edelweiss is from the same family as the Sunflower? Vary strange relations indeed!"