As you probably know, I love traditional french perfumery. I also love seeing former perfume houses being resurrected. Le Jardin Retrouvé fits both of those bills and I’m thrilled that they’re back. Le Jardin Retrouvé debuted in 1975 with master perfumer Yuri Gutsatz at the helm giving birth to the “niche” perfume market by selling and creating perfumes that were personal and which rejected mass marketing and retailing. The company flourished for years, but unfortunately, after Yuri’s death in 2005, the company faded away. But through his son Michel and his wife Ciara this “niche” brand is once again creating perfumes…the same perfumes that Yuri created back in the 1970s. A total of seven perfumes have recently re-debuted. Cuir de Russie is hands down my favorite in the line…and that’s quite something because the entire line is fantastic.
WHAT I SMELL: Cuir de Russie has a soft, warm, sparkling violet and peppery opening. It feels like it dances on the skin with its warmth, yet cool embrace. There’s so much movement to the perfume as it whirls and twirls to the delight of my nose. Not long after that initial rush and exhilaration, a cinnamon note becomes equal with that of the florals, along with the lightest of leather. The perfume falls in a netherworld between masculine and feminine and at times it feels as if it’s a demure beauty, only to feel strong, masculine and self-assured a minute later. As the perfume continues to develop, it warms and deepens as it produces a wonderfully radiating wood tinged with leather and incense. Cuir de Russie is a perfume that is full of positive energy and optimism and these days that’s a welcomed state of being. In the end, the dynamic whirl of the perfume settles into a softened powdery chypre that’s a little bit dirty, but which is incredibly easy to wear. Delightful.
From the Le Jardin Retrouvé website:
1920. The opera hall is packed. Diaghilev is presenting his Ballets Russes. You are seated with a group of flamboyant Parisians in the front row. Wide-eyed, you watch Nijinsky and his soft leather boots. He leaps, he spins, he fills the stage with the bewitching scent of ylang-ylang, violet, and cinnamon enveloping a harmony of cade wood and styrax. You wish that this moment could last forever.
Floral Leather: Ylang Ylang, French Violet, Indonesian Patchouli, Cinnamon, Spanish Cade Wood & Styrax
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: I can’t argue with the imagery of the Ballet Russe, it fits the perfume perfectly.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CUIR DE RUSSIE: positive, energizing, classical
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CUIR DE RUSSIE: EauMG, I Scent You a Day, Pierre de Nishapur
BOTTOM LINE: Cuir de Russie doesn’t try to be anything but an easy to wear, but beautifully engaging perfume. As such, I could see this as an anchor perfume in any collection. I also love Le Jardin Retrouvé’s La Nécessaire packaging where the perfume is housed in an aluminum bottle along with two empty glass bottles to transfer the perfume to, allowing you to choose how you want to use and store your perfume. Brilliant! Welcome back Le Jardin Retrouvé.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral Leather
- Nose: Yuri Gutsatz
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $185 for 125 ml eau de parfum. Available exclusively from the Le Jardin Retrouvé website.
Perfume sample provided by Le Jardin Retrouvé. Opinion my own.
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December 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm
As always, another great review!
I have fallen for this one which is surprising since I’m usually drawn to florals. I have worn this daily for about 2 weeks. It’s so easy to wear and my go-to for “office friendly” without being boring. It’s the perfect balance of masculine/feminine and clean/dirty. I need a full-size bottle in my life. Speaking of, I love how the perfume is presented. It’s so smart and very pro-perfumista!
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with this brand. Now that I’ve drained this sample, I can move on to appreciating and wearing the other samples!
December 12, 2016 at 7:26 pm
I agree with everything that you have stated. This is such an easy wear but it’s still interesting enough that it stands out from other perfumes. And I like the fact that it’s “leather light” because leather doesn’t usually work on me. Merry Christmas….I hope you’re staying warm with all of the cold weather! xoxox
December 13, 2016 at 4:46 am
This sounds really lovely! I’m thrilled that the family has resurrected this house, and I hope that it flourishes. Thanks for another fantastic review!
December 13, 2016 at 5:27 pm
Don’t you love it when these old houses come back to life? There’s something about the legacy and passion that is really desirable. Plus, I love the concept with the aluminum bottle with the decanting kit. Very cool.
December 13, 2016 at 5:47 am
2017 lemming alert. I’ve had my fill of from me to me gifts so I will reserve this for next year. Based on your description, I was surprised it didn’t get a 5 bone rating. What would it take to het the 5th bone?
December 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm
Actually, it probably should be 4.5…but 5’s usually to me our standout, something different, something incredibly beautiful. This is incredible, but maybe because it’s so wonderfully versatile I don’t think of it as a one of a kind. It’s beautiful no doubt and an incredible perfume.
December 14, 2016 at 6:31 pm
It sounds interesting, so I’ve just ordered 3 samples from them, this one including – so we’ll see. What I’m wondering though is how do they get away with using the name trademarked by Chanel close to a 100 years ago?
December 15, 2016 at 5:54 pm
As for the name, I was kind of thinking the same thing. Maybe if we keep this under the radar they won’t notice. I’d love to hear your thoughts once you get this.
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