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Maxence Moutte: The birth of Osmanthe Liu Yuan

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“A delicacy, a delight of citrus and sparkling fruits in the top notes (mandarin and blackcurrant), osmanthus in majesty bouqueted by jasmine and iris in the heart, peach & apricot faceted by leathery and chypre inflections around patchouli for the base.”

– Maxence Moutte, creator of Osmanthe Liu Yuan Eau de parfum

Osmanthe Liu Yuan (O.L.Y) is the second eau de parfum from Maxence Moutte, made exclusively for Le Jardin Retrouvé. Like all Le Jardin Retrouvé fragrances, it is gender free and vegan, but O.L.Y. has a hidden superpower: it has been scientifically proven to enhance feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

Here, in his own words, Maxence Moutte explains how this floral gourmand fragrance came to fruition.

Maxence, what first inspired you to consider an osmanthus based perfume as your next fragrance?

After offering a meditative moment in a Japanese garden (Mousse Arashiyama), Michel, Clara and I wanted to offer a joyful trip to a Chinese garden. Osmanthus came directly to mind as this is a truly loved flower in China. It is also one of my favourite natural extracts from the perfumer’s palette so that would give me the opportunity to work around this beautiful faceted natural. Osmanthe Liu Yuan was the result.

You grew up in Provence. Do you think this has influenced your work?

 Certain aromatic notes appeal to me (especially thyme and rosemary) and also some typically Mediterranean species such as cistus and lentiscus which are very often described as being harsh, dry or somehow unpleasant (too dirty, too green, too pungent) while I find them very pleasant. So, I would say yes! Growing up in Provence might have also helped my early vocation (if I may say so) as Provence’s soil has quite a peculiar smell and smells quite strong with this aromatic smell of dry earth with resinous facets. And I used to pick flowers and go for a Sunday walk with my parents very often. So, yes, my Provencal upbringing has really anchored my olfactive memories, ever since childhood!

“I like Osmanthus because aside from its fruity element it has a very sophisticated almost leathery facet. It reminds me of my childhood in Provence.”

-Maxence Moutte

How many versions of O.L.Y did you make before you were satisfied?

 I do not recall… not that many but we took our time. We knew we wanted to work around the osmanthus, we knew what we did not want (not too fruity, not too sweet, not too straightforward…) but we struggled a bit to find the right balance between something easily pleasurable and something sophisticated, a fragrance that would have this French je ne sais quoi sophistication. 

What aspect of O.L.Y. are you most proud of?

I think I am quite happy and proud in the final balance between the different facets of OLY: the fruity apricot aspect, the floral bouquet and the leathery suede touches. I hope that it will be considered as nicely balanced between simplicity and sophistication, bringing something new to Le Jardin Retrouvé and yet remaining respectful to the brand image and olfactory DNA. 

And finally, where does Osmanthe Liu Yuan fit into the ethos of Le Jardin Retrouvé as a brand?

OLY offers fruity facets as a leading character for the first time in the range while still trying to respect its qualitative and elegant appeal. On top of that, OLY will reinforce the health & wellbeing ethos of the range with its happiness enhancing abilities based upon the moodscentz technology of Givaudan alongside Mousse Arashiyama, Cuir de Russie and Sandalwood Sacré. I Hope it will find its place in people’s hearts! 

Clara Feder is Le Jardin Retrouvé Creative Director. She’s also a writer and a ghost writer with more than 20 published books. Her art has been exhibited all over the world and she creates synesthetic and multimedia exhibitions and displays for the brand.

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