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The life and achievements of Yuri Gutsatz
Yuri Gutsatz was born in 1914 to a world in turmoil with many hardships to come: the Russian Revolution (1917), the rise of the Nazis (1933), World War II (1939).
He survived them all, moving from Saint Petersburg to Berlin and then to Paris when he was 19.
Upon his arrival in Paris in 1933, he was hired by a renowned French perfume company, Parfums Mury, his first step towards becoming an acclaimed perfumer.
In the late 50’s, Yuri settled in Bombay with his family where he lived for six years, setting up and managing a perfume factory for his employer, Roure Bertrand Fils.
By the time he returned to France, the perfume industry had evolved into a game ruled by marketing, where the perfumer was anonymous and ingredients were chosen according to price, rather than quality.
Deeply bothered by this state of affairs, Yuri began to rebel against what he believed was leading the essence of perfumery astray. He began to make his position known through writings and conferences.
In 1975, as a final rebuke to the industry and an act of artistic and personal liberation, Yuri and his wife, Arlette, created Le Jardin Retrouvé.
It was the very first of what would later become known as “niche” perfume brands. Yuri Gutsatz thereby became the founding father of an entirely new way of creating and selling perfume.
At the time, Le Jardin Retrouvé was sold exclusively in “hip” places and garnered an impassioned following.
Extraordinary quality and reasonable prices were Yuri’s credo for his creations.
Yuri’s visionary drive was boundless.
In April 1977 he wrote an important text that set out his dream-like image of what a conservatory for fragrances could be. A few years later, in collaboration with 9 of his colleagues, his dream came true with the founding of the Osmothèque, the only place in the world where one can research and smell perfumes from yesteryear.
Yuri died in 2005, and Le Jardin Retrouvé slowly declined but never disappeared, thanks to its clients’ unwavering fidelity.
In 2016, Yuri and Arlette’s son, Michel, decided to revive Le Jardin Retrouvé with his wife Clara.
They sold the old family house in order to do so, but have kept the treasure-trove of notebooks and ingredient bottles from decades past, preserving all of Yuri’s formulas and writings for the benefit and pleasure of future generations.