This month’s “Meet The Retailers” sees us travelling to Germany, and in particular the city of Köln. Famous worldwide for being the location of the original Eau de Cologne, which we honor with our own Eau des Délices, we’re visiting Duftkunsthandlung to learn more about founder Holger Dubben’s journey.
How did you discover Le Jardin Retrouvé?
I actually discovered Le Jardin Retrouvé in one of Luca Turin’s books. I did some research about the house on the internet and happened to plan a trip to Paris a few weeks later. So I contacted Michel and he invited me to come over and visit him at his store. It must have been around 2017 or 2018 I’m guessing. I was the owner of three pharmacies near Cologne at that time and was already planning to open my own niche perfume boutique in the city center. I remember we felt very welcome at Le Jardin Retrouvé, and Michel told us a lot about his father and the history of the house. It was clearly something that was very close to his heart. Eventually in 2019 I finally opened my boutique, but then Covid hit the world, and so it took a little longer for Le Jardin Retrouvé to finally find its way into my boutique.
What do you like about Le Jardin Retrouvé?
From our first visit in Paris, we felt the true passion and honesty behind the brand. I especially loved the idea that this was the first true niche perfume house, because Yuri Gutsatz did not want to remain a nameless perfumer for one of the designer houses, and the founder wanted to be recognized as an artist. That’s why, when working with Le Jardin Retrouvé, you feel you are part of a family rather than merely a business partner. There’s a special kind of spirit in this house and I think you can also feel it and smell it in the creations. This is also the reason why, in my opinion, the latest creations of Maxence fit the catalogue so seamlessly.
“With Le Jardin Retrouvé, you feel you are part of a family.”
What are your plans for the future of your business?
My boutique is called “Duftkunsthandlung”, which translates as “Perfume Art Shop” rather than just “Perfumery”. I always try to show my customers the artistic aspects of perfumery and tell them about the brands and perfumers. That means I’m always looking to offer a good range and variety of unknown brands from around the world, and which are not found in the big perfume shops. There are always new and creative perfume artists appearing, and of course we should not forget about the well-established either. I guess this mix of classic style and modern-influence niche perfumery is the foundation of the special selection of fragrances I offer to my customers, and I would like to keep on growing this way.