Magic thrives in silence and privacy. In a typical Parisian courtyard, behind a web of narrow streets of the 2nd arrondissement, a magical place is to be found - the perfume laboratory Le Jardin Retrouvé. It is a family-owned Haute Parfumerie House created in 1975 by acclaimed perfumer Yuri Gutsatz, founding father of the niche perfumery. In 2016, his son and daughter-in-law revived his unique formulae to create a new and multi-sensorial way to enjoy his beautiful scents.
Le Jardin Retrouvé is not a simple perfume boutique. A whole journey through four multisensory spaces awaits you here. Le Jardin Retrouvé is translated from French as "the newfound garden." It is no coincidence that this name echoes the biblical Garden of Eden. This is a metaphor for a personal paradise, and Le Jardin Retrouvé is a portal to this wonderland and the most intimate memories. If you like unique perfumes and the arts and want to experiment with both of them, you are welcome to participate in a fantastic perfume experience.
Unlike mass-market perfumery focused on accessibility where perfumes are not associated with the name of its creator, niche perfumery is always the creation of certain perfumers, whose name is directly connected with the fragrance and its legend. The products of the niche perfumery house Le Jardin Retrouvé are made of natural raw ingredients of the finest quality. This is the perfumer’s palette, from which, like paintings, unusual and unique smells are created. The founder of Le Jardin Retrouvé, acclaimed perfumer Yuri Gutsatz, valued creative freedom above all.
Nowadays, Yuri's son Michel and his wife Clara, a creative director of Le Jardin Retrouvé, remain true to this tradition. To achieve the highest quality, an authentic protocol of elaborating fragrances is maintained. Also, almost all of the raw materials for the perfume laboratory are directly delivered by small suppliers who used to work with Yuri for decades.
“We don’t work with big perfume houses. We are a bit like Asterix and Obelix, we create things in our small Gallic village,” says Clara.
As already mentioned, Le Jardin Retrouvé is not a simple perfume boutique. This is a creative perfume workshop in which many types of art come together: video art, photography, art installation, design, poetry, music. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this wonderland by taking part in a special perfumery experience conducted by the creator of this space, Clara Feder. She is a multimedia artist, a writer and the author of the art concept of Le Jardin Retrouvé, its gentle gardener. Being a wonderful storyteller, she can be your exclusive guide through this magical space.
This fascinating place was created in 2016 by two unique personalities, Michel Gutsatz and his wife Clara Feder, who combined their talents and love for art. But its history dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and is intimately linked with their family biography. Michel's father, Yuri Gutsatz, was born in 1914 in St. Petersburg, in Russia. In the 30s he emigrated to France, where at the age of 20, he dreamed of becoming a poet. But the need to make ends meet brought him to the perfume laboratory, where his poetic talent was could find an expression and his vocation was found. For the next 70 years, perfumery was not just his profession, but an embodied poetry of smells.
Yuri mastered perfumery art in Grasse in the south of France - the historical cradle of world perfumery. He is later invited to become the chief perfumer of the old factory Roure-Bertrand Fils et Justin Dupont, where he worked with Louis Amic, the inventor of the entire modern perfumery.
In 1956, Yuri Gutsatz was sent by his employer to Bombay in India to set up a production factory for perfume ingredients, where he lived for six years. Upon returning to France, in 1975, he registered the trademark of Le Jardin Retrouvé and founded the first niche perfume house.
It turned out later that Yuri’s father, David Gutsatz, who was a chemist, worked to develop some of the most important synthetic ingredients in modern perfumery. It is only much later that Yuri learned from a friend that not only himself but also his father - without being aware of it - were instrumental in building modern perfumery: one in patenting synthetic processes, the other in fostering a new vision of the art of perfumery.
Several decades later, in 2016, Michel and his family continued the work of his father and recreated Le Jardin Retrouvé, carefully preserving the original compositions and approach to perfumery as high art.
In the lobby at the entrance, you will see the installation with a Japanese paper called washi, among which, as if among the clouds, all perfumes are arranged as art objects. They are the best fruits of this magical garden. You will have a chance to see every detail of their beautiful design.
Then Clara will take you to the Laboratory where perfumes are manually made daily. Here you can have some fun guessing the ingredients inside a perfume. Will you recognize the smell of sandalwood, lemon, lavender, and rose? You will learn about all the stages of creating a perfume and find the secret ingredients.
Then, as if in The Chronicles of Narnia, you will find yourself in the Experience Room - an immersive dreamland place created by Clara. Here you will discover all 11 fragrances of this perfume house in a multisensorial way. Each fragrance is inspired by the memory of one of the gardens (real or painted) and is accompanied by unique visual imagery - a digital collage, created from different photographs taken by her and creatively tempered. Also, while sensing the fragrance and letting the imagery excite your imagination, you can listen to a poetic description of the fragrance and the sensations induced by it.
According to the philosophy of Le Jardin Retrouvé, perfume is perceived as genuine art, capable of evoking emotions of the same intensity as painting, music or poetry.
The energizing aromas of basil, lemon, bergamot, and verbena will make you feel the freshness of a July rainfall in the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg. Italian lemon and Brazilian orange will represent juicy citrus aromas of the Florentine Boboli Gardens. The harmony of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, lavender as well as the base notes of cypress, patchouli, and oakmoss will take you to Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights at the Prado Museum. Your heart will melt from the scent of jasmine, ylang-ylang and a hint of raspberry, and you will travel in time to the 17th century, to the Trianon Garden in Versailles. The harsh smell of sandalwood, patchouli and musk will mesmerize you, and you will see mirages of the ancient Indian river Nerboudda, or maybe some of the scents will evoke memories dear to your heart?
Fragrances, poetry, visual art mix to create a synergistic effect, enhancing emotions and making the perception of smells multidimensional.
At the end of the journey, you will reflect on the experience and fragrances with a drink and typical French nibbles in a cozy, intimate atmosphere. You will be offered to choose the three most beloved aromas and apply them to your own skin.
In addition to perfume, Le Jardin Retrouvé creates scented candles in beautiful Limoges porcelain cups. After forty hours of fragrant pleasure, these delicately colored bowls may still serve as small vases.
The collection is added with the hand-made in Grasse soap, scrubs and body milk with the signature Rose Trocadero fragrance. All body care products are adapted to all skin types and are 99% of natural origin.
All the beautiful designs of Le Jardin Retrouvé are thought out to the smallest detail. Fragrances are sold in beautiful gift boxes with the image of the corresponding collage on the cover.
Also, a great idea for a gift is a gift box with three different perfumes of 15ml.
The DNA of this unique perfume laboratory involves not only the Gutsatz family history but also the idea of sustainability and care for the environment. All materials used are biodegradable or recyclable. Japanese porcelain of scented candles can be used as vases or bowls. Also, all bottles with perfume are refillable.
The most valuable thing you can have and share are emotions. Perfume experience in Le Jardin Retrouvé is an immersive sensorial journey to make you experience an exceptional moment, centered around your emotions and your inner self, as well as the secrets of the world of perfume. It can be conducted in English, French or Chinese.
After the perfumery experience, you will be offered a 10€ voucher for any product in the boutique.
Words by Olga Andrianova
Photosgraphs by Yuka Ishihara
Address : 55 rue Montmartre 75002 Paris, in the courtyard, codes: A4956 / 7532B / A8743
Transportation : line 3, Sentier station/ line 4, Les Halles station
Opening hours : Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00-20:00
Price : 31€ (10€ voucher to be redeemed in the boutique included)
Duration : 1.5 hours
Phone number : +33 (0)9 54 19 80 39
Reservation : click here