Made In France: Authentically Yours
Which single country comes to mind when you think of perfume?
If you answered France, then you’ll be in the company of thousands of others. From the origins of perfume as we know it today in the eighteenth century Versailles, to the vast lavender and jasmine fields of Grasse in Provence, to the historic streets and boutiques of Paris, only one country is the spiritual home of perfumery, and that is where you’ll find Le Jardin Retrouvé, in the city of Paris where it was founded in 1975.
For decades, French perfume from Paris had, and still has, a unique cachet. With Grasse being home to all the major fragrance and flavour institutes, such as the Le Musée International du Parfum (International Museum of Perfume) and with Paris being a pilgrimage for perfumistas, no other country in the world can compete with France when it comes to fragrance.
Le Jardin Retrouvé prides itself on being authentically French in every way possible. From their base in Paris, to their Limoges candle and diffuser holders, they are as French as French can be. The reasons?
- To remain faithful to their roots: Le Jardin Retrouvé is a French fragrance brand
- France is THE country of fragrances: by heritage, culture and reputation.
- To support independent artisans and craftsmanship.
- Because it’s environmentally friendly to shop “local”.
“Classic French fragrances never go out of style”
– Anna Mos, instagram
The Le Jardin Retrouvé ethos takes you on a real Tour de France!
It’s not just the fragrances that are truly French. All the scented products, from conception to completion, are made in the “country of Molière”. The Scented Candles and the Scented Stems holders are made of the finest Limoges porcelain. Their lids are made of beechwood from Jura. The candles are hand poured by craftsmen in Grasse.
All the packaging is manufactured in Provence, the labels are printed near Orléans and even the organic alcohol we use in our fragrances is produced in France.
All of the fragrances macerated in alcohol are bottled near Chartres and Orléans, with modern safety compliances firmly in place.
Perhaps it’s time you explored France more deeply through Le Jardin Retrouvé’s collections ?
Born in Paris
The founder of Le Jardin Retrouvé, Yuri Gutsatz, began the first niche perfume house at his home in Paris. On a street named after a flower, rue Jasmin, he and his wife Arlette lived in a mews, Cour Jasmin, and raised three boys and a business, with a perfume lab in the house.
During his illustrious career, Yuri Gutsatz had been Chief Perfumer at Roure Bertrand Fils et Justin Dupont (now merged with Givaudan) and wrote an iconoclastic article entitled “Perfumer, your name is no-one.” This was a reaction against the fact that perfumers were never named, acknowledged and sometimes, not even invited to the launch of the fragrance they had created.
It was this sense of injustice that drove Yuri Gutsatz and his wife Arlette, to establish the world’s first niche perfume house in 1975, with L’Artisan Parfumeur following in 1976. Since Yuri’s first bold step, the niche perfumery industry has snowballed, earning recognition and a fanbase around the world. And it all began in Paris.
“These are scents to savour for their quality, craftsmanship and creativity.”
– Rich Goller, Fragroom.
Haute Parfumerie, Slow style
Yuri used the classic French haute-parfumerie ethos, with high quality ingredients sourced from his own choice of trusted suppliers. Eaux de parfums were macerated and matured for up to six weeks, not a drop was rushed or hurried, and they are still made this way today. Original containers from many suppliers in Grasse are still held in the Le Jardin Retrouvé archives. Each bottle label was designed by Arlette and hand poured by the perfumer himself.
Both Yuri and Arlette were deeply involved in the family business, from interviews in the media, and even television appearances, to attending trade fairs and securing retailers. Everything happened from the family home on Cour Jasmin. Sadly, the company dwindled after the deaths of Yuri in 2005, Arlette in 2012 and the loss of Michel’s two brothers. Michel Gutsatz found himself the sole remaining family member, and had some life changing decisions to make, upon which the family legacy would depend.
” After my parents’ death I also lost my two brothers, and I was faced with a dilemma: what to do with the brand? I started discussing with friends, all in the perfume industry, and they all told me the same thing: “Michel, you should relaunch it. There are so many niche brands now on the market with little legitimacy. You own a brand that has a history, your father was very well-known, and you have all the authenticity customers want today to do so.”
– Michel Gutsatz
The Return of Le Jardin Retrouvé in Paris
Michel, and his wife Clara Feder took over the helm in 2016 and knew immediately that Le Jardin Retrouvé should remain true to its French roots. Perfumer Maxence Moutte, raised in Provence, and an admirer of Yuri’s work, came on board. The new perfumes were made in Paris to old methods and from original old formulas, but with modern safety compliances firmly in place. Unfettered by corporations, the Maison de parfums made a point of sourcing its own ingredients and suppliers, many of whom still operated out of Grasse and who diligently supplied Yuri’s son and daughter in law.
“This is the way French perfume should be, made with loving care and pride.”
– Fragrantica member kmarich on Jasmin Majorelle
Two Parisians, Michel and Clara
In a stroke of serendipity, Michel and Clara were both schooled less than half a mile away from each other in Paris, not knowing that one day the two of them would be reviving the world’s first niche perfume brand, right in their home city, just a few cobbled streets away from the birthplace of Guerlain, Dior and Chanel.
The One and Only Osmothèque
Not only is France synonymous with perfume, but it is also the home of the world’s first and only perfume conservatory and archive: The Osmothèque. Containing long discontinued formulas and precious artifacts found nowhere else in the world, the Osmothèque is an essential destination for perfume lovers. Did you know that Le Jardin Retrouvé founder, Yuri Gutsatz was not only a driving force behind its conception, but also a co-founder? He developed the idea of a perfume conservatory and global archive alongside many of the greats of French haute parfumerie: Jean Claude Ellena, Jean Kerléo and Guy Robert to name but a few of Yuri’s contemporaries and colleagues.
Today, without the Osmothèque, over 400 fragrances would have disappeared forever. The Osmothèque itself sits just outside Paris in the famous town of Versailles, near the palace, which itself played its own part in the history of French perfume.
“Le Jardin Retrouvé is a memento of the Golden Age of Perfumery.
– Luca Turin, co-author of Perfumes The Guide 2018 with Tania Sanchez.
France and its Perfumed Past
The heritage and culture of French perfumery is the envy of the world. Louis XV had a court perfumer, Jean Fargeon. The King insisted on his rooms being sprinkled with perfume and even had perfume fountains around court. Emperor Napoléon the first was known to love violet fragrances and had an extravagant cologne habit. In the nineteenth century, the house of Guerlain launched the still popular Jicky eau de parfum and in the twentieth century, Gabrielle Chanel and Christian Dior stepped from the world of couture to the world of perfume. In the post war backdrop, a young perfumer called Yuri Gutsatz was perfecting his craft at Louis Amic before rising through the ranks to become head perfumer at Roure Bertrand Fils et Justin Dupont. He was called upon to make many fragrances for large worldwide brands including Dior, Cartier, Estee Lauder, Carven, and Mary Quant to name but a few.
“The blend of patchouli and the tabac of yore in the final stage here is quite luminous, all warm and fuzzy. This transports me back to Versailles.”
- TJ Norris, Notetaking blog on Le Jardin Retrouvé Bois Tabac Virginia
Quality and Authenticity
Le Jardin Retrouvé has both these features in abundance. Arlette, Yuri’s wife and Michel’s mother, kept everything is the company’s plethoric archives. For example, Compagnie Argeville, sold many kilos of lavender to Yuri over the years, with their original invoices and correspondence still available to see.
From France, Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances and ancillary products are sold around the world and can be found in China, the USA, the UK, Italy, Australia, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and of course in France, as well as on the website. With tens of thousands of followers on social media, fans from many corners of the world, as well as influencers, have written passionately about the perfumes of Yuri Gutsatz. The Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances have been featured in GQ France, ELLE, Vogue, Paris Select, Madame Figaro, Au Parfum, Nez, Glass Magazine and Closer as well as on multi award-winning perfume website ÇaFleureBon, to name but a few.
Made in France ? Mais oui! After all, the story began in a Paris mews named after a flower.
“This fragrance has the qualities that first made me fall in love with niche perfumery all those years ago: evocative storytelling, an unusual but wearable composition, quality ingredients, and the allure of something slightly hard-to-find.” NST perfume blog.“This fragrance has the qualities that first made me fall in love with niche perfumery all those years ago: evocative storytelling, an unusual but wearable composition, quality ingredients, and the allure of something slightly hard-to-find.”
- NST perfume blog.