All of us have our own imaginary garden deep within us. Have you found yours?
Here is the story of the garden of Yuri Gutsatz, poet, perfumer and founder of Le Jardin Retrouvé.
Yuri was a Russian born in 1914, who was looking for a haven in a world in turmoil, where the future seemed uncertain, much like it is today.He imagined being able to offer everyone a space where they would feel protected, meet and unite in the face of adversity.
This space could not, of course, be physical, because Yuri was, above all, a poet.
As fate would have it, it was the world of perfumery that attracted him when he came to France in 1933, after a long journey through Europe that took him from St. Petersburg to Paris, via Berlin. He joined Parfums Mury, and later Roure Bertrand, where he was steeped in the extraordinary tradition of French perfumery where perfumers are committed to creating fragrances of exceptional quality.
Yuri’s colourful journey through life was inspired by his devotion to his family and a love for the France that had welcomed him. Having created perfumes for Estee Lauder, Mary Quant and Emanuel Ungaro (to name but a few), and also having written poems, and translated Russian poets, Yuri founded Le Jardin Retrouvé, the first-ever niche perfume brand, in 1975.
He dedicated it to all who have an imaginary garden in their hearts: to anyone with a secret garden that helps them to persevere in the face of uncertainty.
Le Jardin Retrouvé envelops us with a sense of wellbeing, soothes us with fragrances that evoke memories and desires, offers us moments to be shared, to experience together. It is far removed from what modern society expects us to be, or what it expects from us.
Yuri wanted to return this sacred dimension back to perfumery, because it is, like poetry, a direct medium of communication with what is the most spiritual in us, the most secret, the strongest. This dimension is one we need more than ever today.
The perfumes from Le Jardin Retrouvé are meant for the dreamers. Of the heart. The dreamers who act with determination and whose guiding principles are integrity, authenticity, profound truth drawn from deep within us, and the will to bring about a better world.
Clara Feder, May 2016
In February 2018, the olfactive testament of the Founder of Le Jardin Retrouvé, Yuri Gutsatz, was found in a box long forgotten in a cellar. About 2000 fragrance formulas created throughout the perfumer’s life, from 1935 to 2005. 70 years of creation …
The current perfumer of the Jardin Retrouvé, Maxence Moutte, then reviewed this treasure in order to extract “nuggets” from it. He reconstructed 8 of Yuri’s creations and made them smell by Le Jardin Retrouvé team. They fell in love with 4 fragrances. What to do next? Resurrect them all? Choose one? Or maybe two?
“It will be up to our community to decide!”, said the team. This community, made of bloggers and Fragrance Lovers from all over the world, had been growing for a while, due to the close relationship created between its members and Clara & Michel, the owners and heirs of the Jardin Retrouvé.
A first one in the world of perfumery : a community voting for its favorite fragrance, which would be launched by a Parisian Maison de Parfum.
(Thank you to Marcos Orlando of @FashionDesignHouseGroup for his beautiful photograph of the 4 Mystery Fragrances)
TO BE CONTINUED