Years after graduating from Versailles’ perfumery school and creating a replica of Marie-Antoinette’s fragrance Sillage de la Reine, perfumer Francis Kurkdjian has returned to the heart of the Trianon estate along with Marc Chaya, co-founder of Maison Francis Kurkdijan, to create “Le Jardin du Parfumeur”, or the Perfumer’s Garden.
Since its opening night on May 30th, 2023, visitors of the lavish Palace of Versailles have been welcomed to experience the Perfumer’s Garden and to step into the world of 17th century King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, whose lush parties saw each fountain and pool in the palace gardens scented. For Francis Kurkdjian, bringing to life Versailles’ symbolic status as a historical center for perfume-making has been a long-time dream. Since 2006, Kurkdjian and Chaya have created multiple fragrance installations at Versailles including enhancing the Night Fountain Display, or Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, with a surge of soap bubbles scented with Louis XIV’s favorite fruits: pear, melon, and strawberry. In another homage to Louis XIV’s sweet-smelling festivities, the pair also created the installation “Soleil de Minuit” where the garden pools were colored to match the smell of orange blossoms in the air.
Between the Palace of Versailles and Francis Kurkdjian, The Perfumer’s Garden is their most ambitious collaboration yet. Featuring three distinct sections, each with its own unique personality, the garden offers a wonderfully dizzying variety of scents and flowers. In front of the regal Châteauneuf Orangery, a greenhouse of royal proportions, is “The Garden of Curiosities,” home to flourishing hyacinths, peonies, jasmine and roses. Beyond “The Garden of Curiosities” lies a pathway lined with Japanese cherry trees in bloom, aptly named “Under the Trees,” as well as “The Secret Garden” described by Chateau Versailles’ press as having a uniquely intimate atmosphere.
The Perfumer’s Garden is now open to all visitors who wish to explore the vibrant history of perfume-making at the court of Versailles, and to indulge in a sensory experience beyond their wildest dreams.