At London’s famous Victoria and Albert Museum, you’ll find a breath-taking exhibition opening today, 6th April and running until February 2020. Yuri was the creator of one of Mary Quant’s earliest fragrances, PM. With an AM and a PM perfume, the advert told women to “two time him” with both. Sadly, it’s now discontinued, although a collectors’ item among connoisseurs.
We were just too late to meet the call for exhibits as Le Jardin Retrouvé would have happily recreated PM from the original formula. We take a great pride on how Yuri grew his talents as a perfumer until his work reached famous fragrance houses in the USA, France, and even Swinging London! Not bad for the chemist’s son from St Petersburg.
“OhPerfumer! your name is no-one” wrote Yuri Gutsatz in 1979. When Yuri was immersed in his career, he and his fellow hard working noses, were kept out of the picture. Why? Because the couture houses who were launching fragrances encouraged a touch of mystique surrounding their scents. If that led their customers to believe their perfumes were created by couturiers and not perfumers, well, that was fine by them. But can you imagine Yuri and his contemporaries being ignored today? Germaine Cellier created Fracas, Bandit and Miss Balmain. Jean Carles created Miss Dior, Shocking and Ma Griffe. Yuri himself created what later became Chromatics for Estee Lauderand Chasse Gardée for Carven (both sadly discontinued).
Luckily in 2019, we can appreciate their genius with the gratitude and the credit that they all deserve (and this is why at Le Jardin Retrouvé we put Yuri Gutsatz’s name on the bottles – and Maxence Moutte’s name on the Mousse Mystique candle he created for us).
Perfumer, your name matters.
Yuri was born in Saint Petersburg in 1914 in a bourgeois and intellectual family of publishers. Between the ages of five and ten, he learned the value of knowledge and languages from his family, and in school, was nurtured in the idealistic precepts of the early years of the Bolshevik Revolution. These experiences gave him a lasting sense of justice, of fraternity, and a love of poetry.
In 1924, Yuri, his mother and his paternal grandparents emigrated to Berlin. His father, David, stayed in the Soviet Union to save his family. Yuri was to be enrolled in the most prestigious school in the city for which his level of knowledge was largely sufficient to be admitted. The day he was invited for an interview, Yuri saw a teacher hit a student. That was something he could not accept, and he decided to flunk the entrance exam out of integrity. He studied in a lesser-known school, but one that was better adapted to his personality and belief in the humane.
TO BE CONTINUED…