This week, we spoke to Nir Guy, perfume writer, fragrance connoisseur and owner/founder of the Perfumology perfumery in Philadelphia, USA. We are very excited that he will be shortly be making shelf room for Le Jardin Retrouve and will be our first USA retail stockist.
What perfume question do you get asked most often?
“What’s new?” has to be the most frequent question I hear. Two types of people ask it: regulars who visit every few weeks, and new customers in a room full of fragrances they’ve never smelled before. The best part about this question is that the answer is never the same. The brands we carry keep us on our toes with a constant flow of new launches. But my mission is to bring rare, incredible fragrances to our discerning customers regardless of how new it may be. Gin Fizz is a perfect example, one of our best selling perfumes that was originally launched in 1955.
What’s your first scent memory?
Playing in the yard when I was a little kid, specifically the smell of dirt and grass in autumn. Thinking about it invokes several memories. Several with my friends playing with action figures, or seasonal sports while the air cooled in the fall, and gardening with my parents in the spring. The smelling a full year of the earth going into hibernation or coming to life every year. Now I’m an adult who doesn’t spend nearly enough time playing in the grass anymore.
What was the first fragrance you bought?
My first fragrance was Fragonard Concerto when I was fourteen, an easy citrus with a light floral heart that I remember well. I spent a day in Grasse on a tour of Europe with my family when I was in high school, one day of which we spent learning about perfume. The museum gift shop where I got to pick one to take home was the best part, and Concerto was my favorite. My wife and I enjoyed a trip to France last year and Grasse looked exactly as I remember it. This time I chose the Musée International de la Parfumerie, which was much more rewarding as an adult.
How did you discover Le Jardin Retrouvé?
We share a brilliant customer who raved about Le Jardin Retrouvé when she visited one of our events. Le Jardin Retrouvé stood out in our conversation. She truly understood good perfume, and she knew that I’m naturally drawn to family owned perfumeries. Michel and Clara invited me to their boutique when I was in Paris where they really blew me away.
Their fragrances are fantastic on the skin. The cool part about visiting was Clara’s experience behind the lab, which transported me to a magical garden. I expected a fairy to fly in the room to spray the perfume instead of using blotter strips. Their actual perfume delivery system is brilliant and does not involve blotters. I recommend people take the time to visit them and see it for themselves.
What does fragrance mean to you?
Crossing borders. Making great perfume requires a global network of suppliers. Our brands and their perfumers are from all over the world, and they each look for the best materials our planet has to offer. Together they make olfactory art. Looking back, I discovered most of my first fragrances in Duty Free when traveling, the brands were almost always European, and they reminded me of summer trips when I wore them. I still believe fully in acting locally. Perfumology perfumes and boxes are currently made about half an hour drive from the boutique.
What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?
I’d like to see more efforts towards diversity and sustainability. I think our industry can do a lot better and I do what I can. We carry diverse brands at our shop and make recyclable packaging for perfumes. It helps to see others like Le Jardin Retrouvé making an effort as well with their company. Small steps that will lead to great strides.