Le Jardin Retrouve translates to The Rediscovered Garden. This French brand was relaunched in 2016, 11 years after the death of creator of the brand by Yuri Gustsav. In1975 when the brand was launched it was the first ‘niche’ perfume house. Gustsav created the brand after many years creating aromas for big corporations. Le Jardin Retrouve sold high quality products in specialist and at the time trendy outlets. The regeneration of Le Jardin Retrouve in 2016 is down to the childen of the founder who have access ot their father’s archive of perfume formulas. There are currently seven fragrances in the range and I purchased a sample set of all of them to help me work out which one I liked best.
Citron Boboli (Citrus)
I thougnt I was going to love Citron Boboli but the truth is I dont know how I feel about it. On the skin I get something very sweet almost candied, which I did not expect from the notes. I don’t get any black pepper. at all and there is a note that is ‘weird’ on my skin (possibly galbanum?) Sadly this fragrance is not for me and I am so glad I got the sample as I would have been very disappointed if I had bought it blind.
- Black Pepper
Cuir de Russie (Floral Leather)
At first spritz, it smells like old books and parma violets. Initially I thought I did not like it. However, I found myself sniffing my arm for about a minute straight. There is something very intriguing about it. It is sweet but not in a gourmand way. In the dry down the violet gets powdery. I dont get the leather accord until about half an hour in, but it is not sweaty or animalic, it still smells like old books. I really like it and I did not expect to – what a discovery!
- Ylang Ylang
- Cade Wood
Eau des Delices (Eau Fraiche)
I love cologne fragrances but I understand it when people complain that there are simple or basic or that the just smell like lemon. Eau de Delicies is for you if you dont just want to smell like lemon water. It is clean and fresh and and citrussy but at the same time slightly herbal with the lavender and with a hint of musky softness. As with all cologne strength fragrances you will need to reapply frequently but the reapplication is part of the pleasure.
Rose Trocadero (Floral)
If you like rose fragrances, you will think that this is delicous. After the inital rose bomb settles down you get the hint of sharp blackcurrant. The rose dominate for hours before you get into the spicy clove and powdery musk. There is a pretty strong green element during the dry down that you would get when you put your nose in a real rose. Although I don’t like rose fragrances, I can see objectively that this is a pretty good one.
- Rose Absolute
Sandalwood Sacre (Woody)
This woody fragrance is so light – it comes as no surprise to learn that when the fragrance was first launched in 1977 it was called Eau de Sandalwood. I had expected a deeper wood but actually Sandalwood Sacre is a very wearable clean woody scent. The musk element is present from first spritz bringing a warm sweetness. Within the first fifteen minutes the fragrance settles down it it’s substantive self – a musky wood. I don’t get any of the spicyness on my skin which is a shame. I really like this scent but it is far lighter than I had hoped.
- Orange Blossom
Tubereuse Trianon (Floral)
If you like you florals to be authentic, bold and beautiful rather than pretty Tuberose Trianon is for you. Tuberose and jasmine provide the creamy sweet combo but it is not overly sweet which makes it closer to the true scent of these flowers. On my skin the raspberry note is not evident at all, and unlike other iterations of the Tuberose scent it is not headachy. It does not scream before you enter a room and the longevity is seven hours plus.
- Ylang Ylang
Verviene d’Ete (Citrus)
The initial burst of green lemons, it is refreshing without being fizzy or sherbert-y. It is like a cologne with oomph. Give it 30 minutes and the fragance evolves into the herbal element. The lemon verbena means the lemon element stays but the dry down goes into the green phase. I cant distinguises the notes but I just know it is green herby deliciousness which fades after about 4 hours.
Discovering Le Jardin Retrouve has been a real journey for me. Scents that I thought I would love, have not been my favourite and those which I did not think were my bag were. Cuir Russie has been a revelation – who knew leather and violets could smell so good? The fragrnaces are very clean on the skin. By that I mean that they have few ingredients which results in a lack of complexity which is quite different from the fragrances that I know of from the seventies. Le Jardin Retrouve is ntot the easier brand to get hold of in the if you want to sniff before you buy but delivery from france is straightforward and speedy.
All of the fragrances have a lightness and authenticity that comes from the heritage and the high quality ingredients that they are made with. even with the heeavier notes it is hard to overpower with yourself or anyone else with teh fragrnce which I like. Longevity on my skin varies but these are fragrances that I would give a rejuvanating midday spritz to. If you really enjoy fragrance and don’t want to smell like the other people in your office Le Jardin Retrouve is a brand to discover.