Le Jardin Retrouvé has been revived. Originally founded in 1975, Le Jardin Retrouvé is “OG niche”. The perfumer and founder of the brand (and co-founder of the Osmothèque) passed away in 2005. Now Yuri’s son and daughter-in-law are keeping the legacy alive. The brand currently has seven fragrances based on Yuri’s original formulas.
I’ve tried the entire brand. There are many that I like but there’s one that I keep reaching for: Cuir de Russie. Like an amber, many heritage perfume brands have a Russian leather fragrance. (One of the most popular ones to date is Chanel’s Cuir de Russie). This concept was very popular in the early 20th century. I’ve always liked Russian leather perfumes even if many seem too distinctive for modern daily wear. Le Jardin Retrouvé Cuir de Russie has that vintage feeling that I adore; however, the floral notes give it a modern feel.
Cuir de Russie opens with fizzy aldehydes and crisp greens. It becomes a dapper violet reminiscent of cucumbers and dewy spring florals. At this stage, I mostly get crisp violets with a subtle leather background. The heart becomes more floral, reminding me of French white floral bar soaps and sachets of dried patchouli. The dry-down is like an animalic chypre with soft, worn leather. The leather in this is treated with smoky cade.
What I love about this Cuir de Russie is that it is a leather but it isn’t overly leather-y. It’s this delightfully dandy blend of violets and luxury leather goods.
Notes listed include ylang-ylang, violet, cinnamon, cade and styrax. PERFUMER – Yuri Gutsatz
Give Cuir de Russie a try if you like floral leather or unsweet violet perfumes. Or perfumes like Arquiste Aleksandr, Floris Mahon Leather, Marie Saint Pierre C, Cartier L’Envol de Cartier, CREED Royal English Leather, Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur and/or The Different Company I Miss Violet. I know this is a floral leather, but it’s perfectly unisex. It’s a must-try for anyone that appreciates vintage-style perfumes.
Projection and longevity are average.
I’ll answer because I know I’m going to be asked. How does this compare to Chanel’s? I find Chanel Cuir de Russie to be more rugged, slightly dirtier but trying to cover up its funkiness with dusting powder. This one is cleaner, less powder and more floral.
The 4.2 oz set retails for $185 at Le Jardin Retrouvé. Refills and samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Dandy violets and leather. I can’t stop wearing this one.
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