Contained in the magical new Perfumer’s Backyard on the Palace of Versailles

First, a bit historical past lesson: The notion of the backyard as an extension of our dwelling house isn’t as trendy as you would possibly assume – it was precisely what Louis XIV, aka The Solar King, had in thoughts when he commissioned the gardens of the Trianon Palaces on the Versailles property outdoors Paris. The aromatic, flower-filled parterres, backdrop to extravagant events in addition to day by day life on the courtroom, have been in bloom all yr spherical as lots of of types of vegetation together with roses, jasmine and tuberose have been introduced on in Versailles’ nurseries. Louis XV, a eager botanist himself, continued the evolution of the gardens, constructing hothouses and amassing some 4,000 species, whereas Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated spouse of Louis XVI, created a brand new ‘English backyard’.

Alongside horticulture, perfumery additionally grew to become the peak of vogue in France from the late seventeenth century onwards and Versailles was its epicentre. From the Solar King’s favorite orange flower water to the courtiers of Louis XV who modified their perfume day by day, developments have been set on the royal palace.

Quick ahead to 2023 and each traditions intersect within the wonderful new Perfumer’s Backyard. The brainchild of Versailles President, Catherine Pégard, who wished to create a novel strategy to have fun the property’s heritage, the backyard occupies what had been an deserted house and orangery. Easy methods to deliver it to life? Pégard persuaded renown perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and his Maison Francis Kurkdjian to return on board.

Not that he wanted a lot persuading. Kurkdjian, who can also be Fragrance Artistic Director at Dior, has had a long-standing relationship with Versailles, from his scholar days when he would sit within the gardens to check, to later creating rose scented fountains and strawberry, pear and melon-scented bubble blowing machines for occasions within the gardens (touches of caprice and drama the Solar King himself would have adored).

maison francis kurkdjian

Crimson’s Magnificence Director, Eve Cameron, and Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, dead-heading roses in The Perfumer’s Backyard at Versailles

Courtesy of JPH Clandoeil

Along with the Trianon gardeners, Kurkdjian selected round 300 vegetation to function within the house; vegetation whose leaves, seeds, woods and fruit zests are utilized in perfumery. There are additionally so-called silent flowers – violets, hyacinths and peonies for instance – which whereas strongly scented don’t yield an extract usable in perfumery, which means perfumers need to recreate their scent utilizing synthetics. Cornflowers additionally develop in abundance, there just because they have been Marie Antoinette’s favorite.

Wandering by means of the gardens is a sensory delight; an open invitation to cease and scent not simply the roses however the orange blossom and the lilac too. You may additionally take a while to sit down within the The Secret Backyard, a shady, walled space with ferns, large Himalayan lilies and a stone bench beneath a spreading cherry laurel tree – the proper place to follow mindfulness. Guided excursions spotlight the abilities of the gardeners, whereas offering fascinating insights into the world of fragrance creation each previous and current.

On perfume and the current, let us information you in direction of considered one of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s stunning collections, good for summer season. The Cologne Forte line up of 4 eau de parfum explores totally different sides of freshness. As a result of their building, they’ve extra quantity, lasting far longer on the pores and skin than basic Eaux de Colognes. Put together to fall in love.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte

Aqua Media Cologne Forte

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte

The latest addition to the Cologne Forte assortment, this, in response to Kurkdjian, smells like happiness and vitality. Verbena and bergamot give it a bit mouthwatering tang to begin, then comes a cool, herbaceous greenness.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte

Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte

Sunny, sensual and heat, this options not solely Calabrian bergamot and lemon but additionally has spicy sides, vibrant florals and lingering woody notes. It has a compelling more-ishness about it that makes you need to hold sniffing it.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte

Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte

Once more that includes a bergamot high word, Aqua Celestia additionally has fruity notes of blackcurrant, mimosa, which itself has hints of raspberry and blackberry fruits in it and jasmine, used right here for its peachiness. Then the gentle, soothing, skin-like musk develops.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte

Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte

That is designed to really feel like a breath of recent air and has a clear, cool vibe to it. In fact there are the basic citrus notes of cologne, however right here they’re enjoying with loads of white musk, mock orange and candy pea.