Le Jardin Retrouvé is considered to be the first niche perfume house in the world. And here, I just need to take a moment to truly absorb the extraordinary feeling of awe that overwhelms me… Just thinking about this statement is enough to bring us all a true sense of admiration and gratitude for the pioneers of this fabulous perfume House.
Le Jardin Retrouvé was established in 1975, in France, by Yuri Gutsatz (born in 1914, in St. Petersburg), a famous artist who created fragrances for Carven and Estee Lauder. He was striving for originality and wanted to distance himself from the traditional perfumery making, infested by dishonest marketing practices.
Since 1935, Yuri created thousands of laboratory tests and he was the vice-president of the French Perfumers' Society. He had a long and fruitful career in perfume composition companies, such as Bertrand Dupont, in France and India.
His accomplishments are astounding and one of those major endeavors was in 1990, when he participated in the creation of the Osmothèque (Conservatory of the perfumes of the past, a so-called international library of perfumery). Yuri Gutsatz was also a very gifted poet and thanks to his wife, Arlette, we can presently enjoy an extraordinary volume of notes and poems about Russia and perfume.
The brand existed under the guidance of Yuri and his wife, Arlette, from 1975 until 2012 when Arlette passed away. But even after the company started to dwindle, it never completely closed down because they had such a strong, passionate group of followers.
In an interesting twist of fate, Yuri's father, David Gutsatz, was a chemical engineer in Saint Petersburg. David worked on many of the synthetic ingredients essential to modern perfumery and later on, Yuri learned that his father contributed to the industry in a major way, without even being aware of his contribution. Yuri and David, together, made substantial progress, one in synthetic ingredients, the other in the construction of a new vision of the art of fragrance.
In 2016, Yuri Gutsatz’s son – Michel – and his wife, Clara, relaunched this perfume house, keeping Yuri’s formulas and former suppliers. They completely revised the concept of the brand wanting to create an eco-friendly, responsible house that would honor the avant-garde represented once by Yuri Gutsatz.
Their efforts to be an eco-friendly brand are absolutely remarkable and the only option of their packaging is a refillable bottle that allows the consumer to preserve the original recipient and just repurchase the refill.
Le Jardin Retrouvé is a member of 1% for the Planet and as such donates 1% of its turnover to environmental associations. Consequently, they have opted for reforestation, which is such a huge part of their commitment to diminish the impact of damaging activities on our Planet.
Since 2016, the greatest inspiration for the perfumer who works with this brand – Maxence Moutte – are famous gardens, and therefore, almost every fragrance was named after such a garden. Maxence was a great admirer of Yuri and so he tried to stay as close as possible to his formulas and compositions. Some of the best known creations are Cuir de Russie, Jasmin Majorelle, Bois Tabac Virginia, Sandalwood Sacre, Tubereuse Trianon, Rose Trocadero, Citron Boboli, Oriental Sans Souci.
Every fragrance is built around natural ingredients, it is made in small, precious batches, and has a story or a theme behind it, that inspired the perfumer. Moreover, all of their fragrances are produced in their own lab. Today, Le Jardin Retrouvé has an incredible showroom based in the 17th arrondissement, in Paris and there, Clara and Michel are your best guides into the history of this amazing brand.
Photo courtesy: Le Jardin Retrouvé and Le Jardin Retrouvé Instagram