Le Jardin Retrouvé

Le Jardin Retrouvé was born from a desire to provide perfumes that used the finest quality ingredients but sold at a price that made luxury fragrance attainable for all.

Perfumer and founder Yuri Gutsatz longed for a return to artisanal creation, with the focus on excellence in quality rather than marketing-led. So in 1975 he founded what many now consider to the first ‘niche’ fragrance brand, Le Jardin Retrouvé. His story – and the history of the house itself – reads like something from a spy novel : running from despotic régimes, a family torn apart but united in their fragrant desires – and ultimately, the creation of a beautiful perfume house…

Born in Saint Petersburg in 1914, the son of a chemist (David Gutsatz), Yuri  left for Berlin when he was only ten years old following the Russian Revolution. This would be the last time that he saw his father – and family conjecture presumes some deal had been struck, meaning Yuri and his mother could leave Russia if David agreed to stay.

In 1933 Yuri was on the move once more, the rise of the Nazis meaning he had to leave Berlin for Paris on a journey that would eventually see him become a perfumer. Extraordinarily – a case of spooky scent symbiosis if ever there were one – without the family knowing, Yuri’s father went on to have a parallel career in in the field of perfumery, researching synthetics. Two generations seemingly working together but completely independently, connected by blood and fragrance alone – a fact only uncovered years later…

Having already survived great hardship, Yuri arrived in Paris to work for the legendary Parfums Mury, renowned for their Narcisse Bleu – a step further toward his dream of being an acclaimed nose in his own right. Then he packed his travelling bag yet again to make a home in Bombay, living with his family there for six years and setting up the perfume factory for his then employer, the fragrance house Roure Bertrand Fils. This company would eventually be merged with Givaudan –which (in another case of poetic symbiosis) in 2016 would help realise the revival of Le Jardin Retrouvé.

After Yuri returned from India, he was hungry to create his own perfume house in an effort to put the ‘artistry back into the industry’. In his mind, the fragrance business had altered unrecognisably, and his answer was to launch Le Jardin Retrouvé

The company never stopped making fragrances, right through to Yuri’s death in 2005 and beyond. His philosophy of not compromising quality for price meant that Le Jardin Retrouvé claimed a place in many a perfume-lover’s heart. But it was in October 2016 that Michel Gutsatz, Yuri’s son, decided that the time was right to re-launch this perfume house for modern times – and alongside his wife, Clara Feder, sold the family home to finance Le Jardin Retrouvé.

A truly joint venture, Clara has taken over the role of Creative Director, designing the strikingly colourful and eye-catching packaging and botanically-inspired imagery. Together, with the help of perfumer Maxence Moutte from Givaudan, Le Jardin Retrouvé has now recreated seven of the original perfumes, making tiny adjustments to ensure they are compliant with current legislation while keeping the artistic philosophy and ethos of the founder intact. If you find yourself in Paris, we can’t recommend too highly that you make a perfumed pilgrimage to their boutique, meanwhile –

With such a globetrotting heritage, it’s no wonder the Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances encompass a whole world of possibilities – from the zesty waves of Italian lemon in Citron Boboli, through the Parisian, effortless chicness of Rose Trocadéro. Sandalwood Sacré references Hindu temples on the banks of the river Nerboudda, while Yuri’s Russian roots are kept alive in the softly swathed leather of Cuir de Russie.

Despite its fascinating past, it’s to Le Jardin Parfumé’s fragrant future we now look – and sniff! And we’re convinced you’ll want to join us in the journey of discovery…

lejardinretrouve.com

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