Clara, what was the thinking behind the Scented Stem? Why not use reeds like other brands?
I have a deep dislike for reeds. It’s probably due to my aversion to dust, and my vision of it as a dead porcupine (!). On the other hand, I love the house to be scented. So, I looked hard for an alternative, and I found it with the porcelain rose stem made in Limoges (famous worldwide for its porcelain). From then, I devised a way to make it work, by thinking out of the box and assembling objects that had originally other uses: a porcelain pot, and a wooden lid protected by a ring. The Scented Stem was born as a poetic, almost surrealistic object to enchant a home.
After many trials for the 92% natural liquid perfume, done with our perfumer Maxence Moutte, we found the diffusion excellent, and long lasting. The rest is, as they say, history!
How did you launch it?
We launched it at Maison & Objet, the worldwide home interiors fair in Paris. It was a real success because it is so unique. It also required some explanations and pedagogy, as people were not used to seeing and understanding this new object. We even had a visitor thinking the porcelain stem was a branch to be used by birds to perch on!
How important was sustainability to you?
Sustainability was paramount, as it is in everything we produce here at LJR. It turns out that porcelain is easily reusable if you soak it in rubbing alcohol (for the USA) or surgical spirit (for the UK) for a certain time – easy to gage, depending on the fragrance and the number of days it has been used. So basically, if you are not clumsy and break the stem (!), you can reuse it forever, especially with the refill that you can get anytime. The porcelain pot is hand glazed inside and is also reusable as tableware – which it was originally. It’s food-safe and microwave compatible and it can go into the dishwasher.
How were Le Jardin Retrouvé Scented Stems received in the press?
Extremely well! They were immediately featured in ELLE France, The Scented Letter, The Beauty Bible, Glass Magazine, The Hamptons Magazine, Le Journal de la Maison, Luxe Packaging Insight, as well as by many influencers across social media platforms.
Why did you choose these five fragrances in particular?
I wanted to extend the wellbeing experience our customers had with our candles and yet make it different at the same time. People don’t always feel comfortable lighting a candle and there are times when it might be impractical.
Rose Trocadéro, Tubéreuse Trianon and Cuir de Russie were already developed as candles by Yuri Gutsatz as early as 1976, and Mousse Arashiyama and Osmanthe Liu Yuan (O.L.Y) were created more recently by Maxence Moutte, also as candles. Our starting point was the candle formulas. We then discovered a newly developed liquid with green credentials and, of course, we used organic alcohol – only 9%, which is unique for this type of diffuser. We ended up with 92% natural ingredients, which makes our Scented Stems very sustainable and totally harmless, as well as being exceptionally fragranced.
How long does a refill last?
We advertise it as three months, but frankly, it’s usually nearer four months. It also depends on where in your home it is located. For instance, is it in a dry area or not? I would also recommend immersing the stem into rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit every few months so that no dust interferes with the diffusion process.
Do you have one in your apartment in Paris?
Of course! I have one Osmanthe Liu Yuan in my office and one Cuir de Russie in my living room. I like having different scents in different rooms.