Fragrance Lovers


Perfume lovers around the world may know Steven Lindquist for his excellent blog The Scented Hound. Writing both lyrically and with transparency, Steven has been delighting us since 2012 with his famous “Bone Rating” and straightforward at-a-glance guides that accompany every review. Steven kindly took the time to answer our nosy questions from his home in the USA.

What question do you get asked most often?

“I’m looking for a perfume for my (fill in the blank), what do you recommend?”  I really struggle with this because perfume is such a personal choice and I never want anyone to be unhappy with their purchase based on my recommendation.  However, when they are thrilled with the perfume, it makes me incredibly happy.

What’s your first scent memory?

My mother started selling Avon when I was around 5 years old.  I still have the memories of all of the scents related to the perfumes, lipsticks, cosmetics and even the smell of the bags that were used to fulfill the orders.  I was fascinated by it all and I truly was “mother’s little helper” in getting her orders ready for delivery.

What was the first fragrance you bought?

I’m not sure which was my first, but the two colognes that I purchased when I was a teenager were Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur and Givenchy Gentlemen.  And I can still picture the store where I bought them, Lancer, a US 1970’s mall store that was supposed to look like a British Tudor house.  Back then I thought it was all so very sophisticated and with the help of my designer fragrances, so was I.

How did you discover us?

Michel reached out to me in 2016.  I was thrilled that he was bringing back the house and his father’s creations.  I love classic perfumery and vintage perfumes, so this exciting news was heaven to my ears and to my nose.  I’m thrilled that years later this endeavor is going stronger than ever.

What does fragrance mean to you?

There was a time when fragrance to me was like chasing a magical unicorn.  I was always looking for the new and exciting…I guess the thrill of the hunt.  Over the years, fragrance has morphed into an extension of who I am.  Unlike changing an outfit, fragrance is much more personal and has to be appropriate for the occasion, but also for my state of mind.  I wear perfume for myself and not others.  I can’t imagine a world without perfume.

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?

2020 has been a difficult year for us all and it appears that it will be continuing for some time to come.  For the immediate future, I believe that consumers will be looking for comfort scents and joyful scents.  We all need something to lift our spirits and bring us hope.  And if we can do that with a small bottle of perfume, then I think that we’re doing just a little something to make the world a better place.

Further reading

Discover Steven’s blog The Scented Hound here and don’t forget to dip in and see the beautiful reviews he wrote about Le Jardin Retrouvé.

Damiana is a writer, editor, and educator in the scientific and medical fields, and the author of ISniffBeforeISleep, a blog inspired by fragrances she sniffed at night, as a pleasant coda to a long day. She has been discovering and wearing fragrances for as long as she can remember, and started collecting miniature bottles at age 11.

What question do you get asked most often?

Because of my blog, people often ask me if I sell perfume, so I always have to explain I just passionately write about it. Because of my collecting, they often ask me whether I actually use my fragrances or just keep them on a shelf, so I tell them I use my miniatures for display and wear all the fragrances from my full-size bottles. Many also ask me why I need so much perfume…

What’s your first scent memory?

My oldest scent memories are my dad’s pipes, my scented erasers and dolls, and the inside of my mom’s purses as I looked for forgotten lipsticks inside those purses as a little girl. I also vividly remember the wonderful, distinctive scent of stationery stores in Italy (cartolerie) and the sweet aroma of blooming mimosas in spring. I often evoke these memories in my reviews and articles.

What was the first fragrance you bought?

The first fragrance I bought with my own savings was the original Dolce e Gabbana for Women (red cap). I discovered it through a friend and became hooked on it very quickly. This is one of the fragrances I
purchased over and over again, and still happily wear on occasion. Once, I purchased a brand new bottle only to smash it on my tile floor a few days later. But, I did not despair and bought another bottle the
very next day!

image by isniffbeforeisleep on instagram

How did you discover us?

I found out about Le Jardin Retrouve after connecting with Michel Gutsatz on Facebook three years ago. He told me about his and Clara Feder’s fascinating project of reinventing his father Yuri’s original
formulas, so I later purchased the full discovery set. I also participated in their Perfume Revival project. I am a lover and proud owner of Cuir de Russie and Oriental San Souci, and I am always captivated by
Clara’s art.

Clara Feder’s artistic interpretation of Oriental Sans Souci

What does fragrance mean to you?

To me fragrance is a state of mind, and a snapshot of life instants and vivid memories. I love how it can soothe, uplift, or motivate me, and how it transports me back in time, depending on what I pick that day, week, or month. Also, I enjoy fragrances’ ties to other sensorial experiences by evoking colors, images, textures, and their cultural, artistic, and historical inspirations. Finally, I love how fragrances bring people together through shared samples and scented stories.

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?

I’d like the fragrance industry to continue to encourage and embrace diversity. For example, it’s been refreshing to read about more Black perfumers working for major perfume houses, as well as learning about several Black-owned brands. Also, I am happy to see more women in leadership positions and to read about the industry’s increased promotion of genderfluid fragrances. I am always interested in different interpretations of scent and eager for more perspectives, so I hope to see more brands become dedicated to these causes.

Further reading

You can follow Damiana on Facebook, instagram and of course on her blog.

This week’s fragrance lover is a perfume writer, scent expert and perfumer. Tomoo Inaba Profice is the talented Nose behind Zoologist Nightingale and Moth. As well as being a prolific reviewer, he also teaches classes about perfume creation and ingredients. Tomoo lives on the island of Kyushu in Japan with his two dogs.

What question do you get asked most often?

How did you learn perfume making? I’m an independent perfumer, reviewer and journalist and have visited farmers and distillers around the world. Reviewing over 3,000 fragrances was nice training to me, but naturally, the best training was “copying”. Vintage and masterpiece fragrances always gave me knowledge and inspiration.

Cherry blossom: Time Out

What’s your first scent memory?

I grew up playing with my grandmother’s garden. There were many fragrant plants, fruits, and vegetables in there. Every season many fragrant flowers bloomed: in spring, cherry blossom, narcissus, jonquill, mimosa, sweet pea, wisteria, daphne, violet, hyacinth, yuzu blossom, orange blossom and magnolia. In summer, it was new-mown lawn, ginger lily, peach, and fig. The smell of osmanthus and ginger lily in particular told me autumn had come, so I knew a variety of scents automatically. (My mom and dad didn’t use fragrance, so I don’t have their fragrant memories.)

What was the first fragrance you bought?

Even now wearing perfume in many schools is forbidden, so kids and teenagers are using fragrant softener though, I did not wear it. My first perfume was Gianfranco Ferre Uomo when I was around 18. Thinking about it now, that tobacco leather juice was too dandy to me, but my taste was different to others from back then. Many of youngers love light and fresh scents.

How did you discover us?

Le Jardin Retrouvé was sold in Japan until 2010, the same year Denis Gutsatz, who was a brother to Michel, opened the official web store. I got in touch with him and he gifted many fragrances (Pavot, Seringa, Pivoine and more) to me. He sometimes did sales, so he used to have many Japanese customers before Michel and Clara revived the brand in 2016.

What does fragrance mean to you?

Tomoo Inaba’s perfume organ. Photo credit: Zoologist/Tomoo Inaba

Fragrances enrich our lives and minds, just as flavors make our meals more delicious.

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?

There are many copying products in the world. With scientific advance, copying by machine became easily done. Actually owners in India and South Korea asked me to create copy products. Of course I did not accept that offer. Copyright of a scent should be more severe. Safe solvents (like a cyclodextrin) tp replace alcohol will be used more in the future.

The scramble of rare natural materials should be limited. Mysore sandalwood is needed by Hinduism, more than perfume. And do you know how the murder by natural Oud scrambling is caused? It’s called Agar wood mafia. Every perfumer can create imitation Oud and Mysore sandalwood. Using regal oil is good social responsibility in needy areas, but some of independent perfumers use rare oil because they don’t have the skill to create those accords, and sell it at extreme prices as if using rare oil. It’s the same thing for fur. If people get satisfaction with fake fur, the animals will not be killed for that.

Further reading

Read Zoologist’s interview with Tomoo Inaba Profice here and discover his own website here.

Tomoo Inaba Profice is the nose behind Zoologist Nightingale and Moth

Iva Grdinic is a perfume writer by night and an archivist by day. Iva writes the blog Mirisna and the combination of her love of history and fragrance drew her to Le Jardin Retrouvé. Based in the beautiful region of Istria, in Croatia, Iva took time out of her busy day to answer our nosey questions.

What question do you get asked most often?

As a blogger, I am most often asked how long the perfume lasts and how much it projects. I always try to draw attention to the fragrant qualities that may be less measurable but much more substantial and important. As a perfume lover, I’m quite often asked: when do you manage to wear all that, do you really need all these perfumes?

Iva the archivist

What’s your first scent memory?

I think it is Dad’s aftershave – it is a happy memory, many times repeated: he’s lifting me up in his arms – for a moment I’m almost flying – and then, at the moment my hands land around his neck there is the distinct bracing and warm smell. Up to this day, I connect this lifting up, a moment of flying and then a cuddly landing to all perfumes I love.

What was the first fragrance you bought?

The first scent I bought for myself was Calvin Klein’s Obsession. It was in 1990, at the very beginning of my first high school year. I bought a small 30 ml bottle from the gifted and saved money. I remember feeling grown up: Obsession stood on our bathroom shelf next to my mom’s chypres and green florals. I still wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, but the perfume was welcomed. In a way, Obsession was my fragrant confirmation of entering adulthood, and also my first womanly statement of difference and autonomy.

How did you discover us?

I found out about Le Jardin Retrouve while reading “Perfume Lover”, a book written by Denyse Beaulieu. I remember being struck by Yuri Gutsatz’s sentence: “Perfumer, your name is no-one.” Somewhat later, another perfume writer and blogger was responsible for the final push in the direction of getting to know Le Jardin Retrouve’s perfumes. It was The Plum Girl, Elena. As an archivist and history explorer, I was both personally and professionally deeply touched by the whole presentation of the family legacy and perfume history connected to it. It was all about emotions and respect I felt through reading and exploring before I even tested the perfumes.

Image from Iva’s blog Mirisna

What does fragrance mean to you?

The feelings. The possibility to change a mood, to lift up a day. The way to enhance or express some part of my personality and extend or mark my physical personal space. Perfumes are sometimes my silent messages. They also often make me think or – on the contrary – offer me the escape into just sensing and feeling. And also, behind the pleasures we smell, as in any other art, there are always traces of profound and complex historical, sociological, and cultural influences – I find them fascinating. 

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?

More transparency in communication with perfume lovers and buyers would be nice. I think the industry needs more creative boldness and diversity, and less calculation, “tweaks” and “safe bets.”     

Read More

Discover more from Iva on her blog Mirisna. Iva was in conversation with Samantha Scriven. Follow Mirisna on Instagram.

Professor, academic, author, and of course, a lifelong fragrance lover, Michel Gutsatz is at the heart of what we do. Carrying on his father’s work, and his name, without Michel (and Clara!), the perfumes you enjoy today might still be handwritten formulas in an archive, away from the light of day. Michel is a living witness to a childhood experienced by few. Growing up as the son of a master perfumer in a Paris townhouse with a lab upstairs is not a common experience. We couldn’t wait to uncover his scent memories and his vision for the fragrance industry. He took time out of his hectic day (trust us, we know!) to answer our nosy questions.

What question do you get asked most often? 

My my…. Funnily enough, as I have made most of my career in the university, it is “Could you give me some advice for my son/daughter? What degree should they go for?”

When it comes to Le Jardin Retrouvé it is: “Did you reformulate Yuri’s original formulas?” and my answer is No. It seems reformulation has been done widely, even for some classics, and customers are increasingly aware of it. We have decided from the start in 2016 not to reformulate: Yuri’s formulas are beautiful and timeless. They do not need to be adapted to supposedly evolving tastes. This allows us to cater both to Western more mature customers and to Chinese millennials who both love these classic fragrances and are not into sweet scents for instance.

What’s your first scent memory? 

Have you ever eaten fresh walnuts just off the tree? It is a marvelous feeling: getting your hands dark brown, eating the delicious walnuts, and smelling their extraordinary scent. That was me as a tiny boy in a small village just outside Paris where my parents rented a house devoid of water and electricity and where I discovered the extraordinary smells of nature, always linked for me with food: apples, pears, walnuts, green peas, tomatoes, fresh mint…

What was the first fragrance you bought?

Unfortunately (for perfume stores!) I have never bought a fragrance for myself. I always have been using my father’s Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances, and among them, my favourite has always been Cuir de Russie, the most sentimental of all his creations. It was created as an homage to his own father David: during the Bolshevik Revolution, his father, son of a successful publisher, to save his bourgeois family, had enrolled in the Red Army. Yuri remembered when his father was coming home in the evening in his uniform, taking him into his arms, and when, cuddling against him (he was 3 years old), he pressed his nose against the leather strap. A first scent memory. Cuir de Russie….

What does fragrance mean to you?

Fragrance has always been one of my privileged links to my father and his art. He was a true poet and creator, and the most intimate words we exchanged mostly concerned his passion for perfume. His desire for perfumers to be recognized as true creators and his humble attitude when saying, “I am an artisan and never would compare to true artists like Michelangelo or Bach.” As he once wrote, “The perfumer has no message to convey. All he can do is create a moment of beauty.”

Fragrance has the same meaning for me: it is a “fleeting moment of pleasure,” BUT one that is linked to our deepest memories. Somehow, even if transient, this forgotten memory is there, and smelling a scent, a fragrance can revive it and bring it gushing back. Is there anything more beautiful, more emotional?

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?  

I will again start with what my father Yuri wrote in 1966: “Perfumers used to be craftsmen. The present-day perfumer is a technician who must act to meet the requirements of his time. He has to find an almost immediate answer to the problems submitted by salespeople, by marketing advisers, by export promotion specialists. He is no longer the master of his time or his inspiration. Always in a hurry, always sacrificing to the wishes of the public, after having sacrificed to the dictates of cost, efficiency, planning, and given due consideration to all the problems involved in launching a perfumery product on the market.”

Nothing much has changed in 2020. Except that new perfume brands (so-called ‘niche’ brands, a word I truly do not like, but that is another debate) have come to market resurrecting, in a way, the craftsman. I say ‘in a way’ because most fragrances created today in the premium or prestige category are cost-controlled: the former CEO of a perfume company (“Maison de composition”) told me recently that their briefs averaged 90€/kg of concentrate. At Le Jardin Retrouvé, following Yuri’s precepts, they cost from 150€ to 450€ per kilo…  Why cut fragrance costs that represent but a portion of the final price? Cutting costs (if necessary) can be done elsewhere. For instance, in the packaging that all customers throw away once the bottle is bought!

At Le Jardin Retrouvé, we try to think ahead, and we offer a No Box option: why increase waste when our human actions endanger the planet? We also anticipate that the move to clean beauty – already significant in cosmetics – will become a fragrance driver. We are working on all our formulas and, for instance, are moving to organic alcohol denatured in a natural way. The fragrance industry still has many revolutions to come!

Further reading

You can read more about the Gutsatz family here. Michel’s book, Luxury Retail and Digital Management is available for purchase here with a foreword by Cyrille Vigneron CEO of Cartier.

Michel Gutsatz was in conversation with Samantha Scriven.

Award-winning Master Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer is the nose behind countless beautiful fragrances. Perhaps you own one? She began her career training at the famous Givaudan Roure perfumery school in Provence, formerly known as Roure Bertrand Fils, where Yuri Gutsatz was head perfumer during his lifetime.  Nathalie was the first “non Grasse” born student to attend this prestigious school of perfumery, breaking years of tradition.

Nathalie has worked for some of the world’s biggest and most celebrated perfume houses: Cartier, Amouage, Comme des Garcons, Clarins,  Hermès, Lancome, Mugler, Nina Ricci, Balmain (Vent Vert 1999), Van Cleef and Arpels, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. She was also the nose behind Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium (one of Samantha’s personal favorites).

Nathalie is now an independent perfumer, having founded her own brand, LAB Scent. Her recent work for Sous Le Manteau won “Best newcomer award” at the UK Fragrance Foundation Awards 2020, adding to her many previous awards, including the FiFi Perfumer of The year 2019.

From her Paris home and lab, she found time to answer our questions: short, sweet, and scented!

What question do you get asked more often ?

What did you do to become a perfumer? And can you recognize the perfume I’m wearing?

What is your first scent memory ?

The flowers of my mother’s garden, I used to smell them all day. I also remember the scent of Opium perfume.

What was the first fragrance you bought ?

Yves Saint Laurent Opium, I saved up for a whole year to buy it.

How did you discover us ?

On Facebook with all the social media posts and alerts. 

What does fragrance mean to you ?

It is personal, like a signature.

What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future ?

More diversity, more points of view and more sincerity.

Nathalie Feisthauer was in conversation with Samantha Scriven.

Maxence Moutte is an essential member of Team Le Jardin Retrouvé.  It is Maxence who brings Yuri’s fragrances back to life from the many handwritten formulas that Yuri left behind. Maxence’s encyclopedic knowledge of ingredients ensures that our perfumes remain authentic, compliant, and of course, nature-friendly. We feel exceptionally lucky to have him with us and when you discover how our paths crossed, you may think it was destiny.

What made you want to be a perfumer?

I grew up in Provence and as a kid, I wanted to be a botanist.  I thought that flowers could be invented and I loved the idea of doing that as a job. When I discovered that flowers couldn’t be designed and created, I went off the idea, but flowers and plants have always attracted me. A few years later, my ambitions changed when I discovered a world of fragrance in my mother’s collection of perfume miniatures. I even collected the advertisements. I was fifteen when I decided to be a perfumer and went to visit Grasse. I wrote to Givaudan in the 90s asking how to apply, and they replied.  Once I was accepted, I spent several years training in different areas. The work I do for Le Jardin Retrouvé is separate from Givaudan, however.

How did you discover us?

When I was a perfumery student, I studied many companies and perfumers in the early 2000s. I found a bottle of Le Jardin Retrouvé perfume in a little boutique and wanted to know more.  At that time, niche perfumery was gaining in popularity. I wrote to Yuri Gutsatz and asked if it was possible to meet him. Sadly, he was nearing the end of his life and I wasn’t able to, but I never forgot his fragrances.

Several years later, at my brother’s wedding, I met a man called Michel Gutsatz and his wife Clara. I asked if he had any connection to Yuri Gutsatz, and he told me that was his father. I told him I was a perfumer and we spoke at length.

Fast forward to 2016 and when Michel and Clara revived Le Jardin Retrouvé, I was the perfumer they contacted, and of course, I happily said yes.  Between finding that bottle in the shop many years ago and creating them myself in the lab, it took a long time, but you need to be patient when it comes to perfume!

How do you begin a composition?

When I recreate a fragrance for Le Jardin Retrouvé, I follow the original formula to the letter. I check that the formula complies with IFRA regulations.  Oakmoss is an example of how we succeeded in continuing its use and remaining compliant. Our supplier was able to produce an oakmoss that was still beautiful despite some types being restricted.

Sometimes I have to make small changes for the sake of compliance, but if it doesn’t smell the same, the ingredient is changed until it does.  Many of them did not need to be reworked in order to comply.  I also keep Yuri’s original bottles on the shelf in the lab for reference and inspiration.

Do you wear the fragrances you make?

I always try them on the skin as well as blotters. You get to know how it behaves that way. Fragrance varies throughout the day and from skin to skin.

How important is transparency to you?

Transparency is especially important when it comes to ingredients.  Being a small house,  we are lucky to have autonomy over our suppliers and the freedom to select the finest and most suitable ingredients from them. Wherever possible, we try and maintain the same suppliers Yuri worked with.

Out of the ten perfumes you’ve brought back to life, which one gave you the most satisfaction?

It’s hard to pick one. It’s probably Cuir de Russie. The leathery base was hard to get right. Michel wrote to Symrise to track down the authentic ingredient. Getting the leather base right was fundamental to the finished result. Yuri didn’t use a lot of bases, but in Cuir de Russie he did.

What was your inspiration for the Mousse Mystique candle?

I created Mousse Mystique three years ago and it was a tricky balance to walk in Yuri’s shoes and bring in my own touch to it too.   I was inspired by the gardens in Arashiyama, in Kyoto, Japan, and kept a picture of it near me as I worked. I wanted a green vegetal top note with a chypre elegance.  The green, grassy notes came from lentiscus.  The humidity and earthy dampness came from patchouli.  I added a touch of incense for a Japanese feel. 

Are there plans to bring back any more of Yuri’s rose fragrances?

We thought about it and we’re waiting for the proper opportunity. Yuri was very good with roses. There used to be three rose fragrances:  Rose d’Opera and Rose de Mai.  Rose Trocadero was known as Rose Thé.  Maybe one day!

What was your favourite fragrance from the Perfume Revival Project in 2018?

My favourite was the one that didn’t get made! I was #teamgreen. However, I also love Oriental Sans Souci.

How would you describe Yuri’s style of perfumery?

Yuri’s formulas are quite short – often there are only thirty ingredients. Most perfumes have at least forty. He has a complex, Baroque style and he adds a little touch of something unexpected. For example, in Tubéreuse Trianon, he added a raspberry note. In Sandalwood Sacré he used five base notes.  You could say he creates unexpected twists that add a finishing touch. He was a true original.   

Our very own Samantha Scriven is not only a valued member of our team but has been a perfume blogger since 2013. Sam has twice been a finalist in the Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Awards UK and has been featured several times in The Perfume Society Scented Letter Magazine. She also writes for award winning website ÇaFleureBon and is currently working on a book, due out in 2021. She lives in Wales with her husband, sons and cats.

1.What question do you get asked most often?

There are two questions I get asked most often. One is what my favourite perfume is and the second is what smells like…(insert name of discontinued favourite.) I don’t mind either question and I always love to hook people up with a new fragrance they might not have thought of. As for my favourite? It changes every day.

2. What’s your first scent memory??

All my early scent memories are related to gardens. I played outside as much as I could and I also spent a lot of time in my Nanna Thomas’s garden. She grew herbs, roses, lily of the valley and taught me the name of so many wild flowers. I also used to like the smell of the tomatoes in Gransha Gough’s greenhouse too.  At one point when I was little, I even ate flowers (Not recommended, although clover is delicious).

3. What was the first fragrance you bought

The first was Cacharel LouLou, which I wore throughout my university years in the late 80s. I went through a bottle a month. Apologies to everyone who ate breakfast with me back then. I was a compulsive over sprayer!

4. How did you discover us?

I had been blogging for three years in 2016 when Le Jardin Retrouvé approached me and introduced themselves. I was immediately on board: beautiful classic fragrances, refillable bottles and very cute sample sets.  I was particularly taken with the fragrances, as the trend at the time was for very sweet and sugary scents, which were not my thing at all. A lot of fleeting perfume trends are aimed at under 25s and as a fortysomething (I’m now fifty) I often felt overlooked, so these were right up my street!  Two years later, when I went freelance, a dream came true when I started working for them.  Meeting the team in the Paris Experience Store was the career highlight of my life.

5. What does fragrance mean to you?

 Fragrance is my daily dressing up box. It can take me to Paris in the Belle Epoque or to a garden bursting with flowers, or it can wrap me up snugly in Autumn. If I have an event coming up, I spend more time planning my perfume than I do my clothes. Often, fragrance is the only daily decision that’s purely for me and not for anyone else.  It’s five minutes of choice and indulgence before someone shouts my name again!

6.What do you think the fragrance industry needs in the future?

I know I’m not the first to say it or think it, but if I could make a speech to the fragrance industry it would say “Slow Down!” No sooner does a new launch come out than there’s an “Intense” version and an eau de parfum/eau de toilette version and then a “Nuit” version and a “L’Eauversion and it’s all been launched before you can even buy the original.

I also want to see a lot more sustainability and less waste. Refills are the way forward.  In times of social distancing, trying samples at home is better than touching testers in crowded shops. Brands who don’t do  samples are missing a trick.

Further reading

Check out Samantha’s blog iscentyouaday and read her article for Cafleurebon on her trip to our Experience Store. Feature photo of Samantha by Alison Oddy.

Samantha Scriven was in conversation with Clara Feder.

Brazilian Cassiano Silva founded Perfumart in 2013 and has continued to engage and grow his online community with his acclaimed perfume reviews for seven years. With a professional background in marketing, advertising and branding, Cassiano has an invaluable knowledge and understanding of the perfume industry and took time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

What is the question you get most commonly asked?

LOL…that’s easy! 
“Hi! I am a man/woman and I am (age). I like fragrances of types A, B, and C and I would like to buy something up to (amount R$) for this purpose (work/clubbing/dating). Can you indicate to me some perfumes?”

What is your earliest childhood scent memory?

I think it is coffee.  But I also remember the scent of the rain touching the hot asphalt and the scent of cleaning products, since I and my brother were raised to help at home doing some tasks, like cleaning dogs, doing the dishes, etc. 

What was the first perfume you bought?

Brazilian: I guess it was Absinto, by Água de Cheiro.
International: well, I think it was Café Café, by Café Parfums. 

How did you know about us?

I am always looking for new brands, houses, and fragrances around the world since I have always wanted to turn my blog into a reference for Brazilians.  When I read about the revival project of Le Jardin Retrouvé, I decided to get in contact with Michel and Clara, and a beautiful relationship was born (which is not so common within this industry full of egos). 

I met Clara’s daughter in Brazil (before she left the country), published my reviews for the whole collection and since then I am always trying to make more people around here to discover the effort and the magic behind the LJR creations.

What does fragrance mean to you?

You know, I grew up with some self-esteem issues for being a short boy. Then, the sexuality part just helped to mess up with all the expectations people used to put on my shoulders (besides my own).
And since I could not afford expensive clothes from renowned brands and I always loved the perfumery field, fragrances have always been my superhero costume and mask. Through the years, they became my second – and more beautiful – skin, lifting my mood, giving me confidence and comfort when needed, and creating a unique character around my name: the scented guy!

Some people smoke and others drink in order to forget their problems. I prefer to look at several gorgeous bottles and decide which fragrance is going to make me feel better.

What does the fragrance industry need to do from now on?

Unfortunately, the luxury, glamor, and quality of yesteryear no longer exist. Perfumery has changed and become commonplace in exchange for millionaire figures. Luckily, the manifest that counted on with the help of Yuri Gutsatz brought back the focus on talent, creativity, and the power of fragrances.

However, in a short period of time, this segment has also been losing strength and surrendering itself for market share. To make matters worse, some brands use the excuse of more expensive and rare raw materials as a justification for charging absurd prices. How does the customer know if the press release tells the truth about what the fragrance brings inside?

Here in Brazil, for example, companies that make copies of the most famous fragrances in the mass market are selling a lot, precisely because the globalized consumer no longer wants a single perfume to wear as a signature. He/she wants to have several and, preferably, that are similar to others of more expensive brands, which are disseminated on social media by young influencers and delusional YouTubers.

2020 was an atypical year, which proved that sales need to go beyond training and retailer stores. If the industry does not change its approach quickly, stopping looking for likes on Instagram, the brands we call Designers today will end up bringing more copies of Prestige brands (like Tom Ford, for instance) in order to compete with the increased sales of fragrances that are already counterfeits.

And if the brands on the other side of the fence (indie, artisan, etc.) do not change its approach with this “high luxury” small talk, forgetting that they need to invest in word-of-mouth advertising through real fragrance influencers (as in the recent past), instead of spending rivers of money on luxurious websites, fanciful approaches, and nonsense PR professionals, there will be a general collapse at some point.

Do you have any projects you’d like to tell our readers about?

I have a huge list of great ideas and no investment behind me. But I am trying to work on some collabs as Creative-director. Right now, things are going slow and time is running fast. 

Who knows I will have my name in some international fragrance soon?

Cassiano Silva was in conversation with Samantha Scriven. Find his website at Perfumart.

“I feel scents as silent poetry, invisible soul-deep impressions”.

Elena Cvjetkovic

You may know Elena Cvjetkovic as The Plum Girl, a multi award winning blogger who writes about niche perfume from her home in Zagreb, Croatia. Elena earned a place in the top five finalists in the 2018 Fragrance Foundation awards with her review of our very own Cuir de Russie. You can also find her perfumed prose on Cafleurebon. You may also have enjoyed our recent live feed with her, which you can watch again here. Here are the questions Clara put to her:

What Question do you get asked most often?

People often ask me, “Why The Plum Girl?” My answer? The first victim in Patrick Susskind’s novel Perfume was the Plum Girl.

What is your first Scent Memory?

The scent of my mother’s skin and then summertime. As kids we were sent to relatives on a farm for the first part of the holidays. My great uncle had so many different animals on his huge farm as well as fruit, flowers and vegetables.. I remember how a clean barn smells and how a dirty barn smells. I recall the smell of horses, of rolling in wheat, fresh plums, mud, rain, wet hay and the smell of a cow’s belly when I was milking it. The second part of our holiday would be on the Adriatic coast where I remember the scent of sea grass, shells crabs, rocks, pine trees and immortelle.

What was your first fragrance?

Growing up in former Yugoslavia, there was no fragrance available unless you travelled abroad. My mother had a bottle of Chanel No 5, but I wasn’t allowed to wear it. I maybe had rosewater or lavender water, nothing else. My father bought me a bottle of Poison for my 18th birthday. The first I bought myself may have been Dune or Paloma Picasso. I also loved Gucci Envy.

How many perfumes do you have today?

I try and stay under one hundred. I’m not a collector, I’m a user, I like to use it all up until it’s gone!

photo by Elena

How did you discover us?

I followed you on social media and then we talked and got to know each other. You sent me some samples and eventually I visited you in Paris. I remember you used to be based very near to the Arc de Triomphe.

What does fragrance mean to you?

Fragrance is art. Art moves something inside you so I regard fragrance as an art form. It’s liquid emotion.

When did you get serious about blogging?

For years I was serious about perfume but kept it to myself. I went to two weeks of workshops in Grasse in 2016. I try and go every two years. A French woman asked me what I was doing there. I told her I came to learn. She asked if I was in the industry or looking for a job, but I said no, I just came to learn. She asked me a question that inspired what I did next. She said “What are you going to do with this knowledge? How are you going to share what you’ve learned?” Answer: write a blog!

What does the fragrance industry need in the future?

This year proved that everything can change in a matter of days. The industry needs to adapt, have more transparency, more inclusivity and more authenticity. It all goes back to core values. In tough times, turn to your core values. What do you stand for? Who are your perfumers?

What advice would you give to someone who wants to choose a perfume

Take your time. Do it the old fashioned way. Enjoy the whole process of acquiring a new perfume, no blind buys, enjoy the choosing. Discover your preferences. Surprise yourself. Wear it at home, in the morning, the afternoon and evening. Give it time to develop on your skin. Follow your nose!

What’s next for you?

More reviews. I am constantly trying perfume, even wearing it to bed! I also write for Cafleurebon. I am also creative director for a perfume about to launch.