The Perfumer’s Garden, opening in spring 2023, represents a return to the atmosphere of 17th-century gardens. Located in the Châteauneuf Orangery, at the centre of the Estate of Trianon, this new garden features hundreds of flower essences, telling the story of the history of perfume and its uses at the Court of Versailles. This project has been developed thanks to the patronage of Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Perfume at Versailles
When Louis XIV had the Porcelain Trianon built, to be replaced in 1687 by the Grand Trianon, the gardens were overflowing with strongly scented flowers: jasmine, tuberoses and hyacinths. Their fragrances filled the paths and parterres, which flowered all year round, thanks to a system of hothouses.
This passion for flowers and their unique perfumes made Versailles the birthplace of the profession of perfumer in the 17th century. The court was amazed by the unique fragrances in the gardens, and smelling good became a true obsession for both the sovereigns and the courtesans. Artisans supplied them with increasingly sophisticated products: fragrances, sachets, and even perfumed fans and gloves.
In the 17th century, there was a significant boom in the cosmetics industry, following the development of personal hygiene. The profession of perfumer became particularly fashionable, with more and more people taking it up, including Claude-François Prévost, supplier of scent to Queen Marie Antoinette.
The Perfumer’s Garden
By 2023, the Perfumer’s Garden will be home to hundreds of flower essences: historic plants (roses, jasmine, etc.), some with unique fragrances (chocolate, apple, etc.), others with unpleasant odours, and even so-called “mute” flowers like hyacinths, peonies or violets. Located around the Châteauneuf Orangery, the first flowers are already being planted around its paths and parterres, to ensure optimal blooms by 2023. This is especially the case for the Japanese cherry trees, which form a large floral path, connecting the garden opposite the Orangery and the “secret” garden with a more intimate atmosphere.
This project is the fruit of incredible teamwork between the Trianon gardeners and Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Opening in spring 2023
The Perfumer’s Garden will be open to all visitors on guided tours from spring 2023.
The patronage of Maison Francis Kurkdjian
The creation of the Perfumer’s Garden is possible thanks to the patronage of Maison Francis Kurkdjian. The relationship between Palace of Versailles and Marc Chaya and Francis Kurkdjian, co-founders of the eponymous Maison, dates back several years, and includes in particular the Night Fountains Show, when Francis Kurkdjian curated an olfactory experience in the gardens and the recreation of Marie Antoinette’s perfume, Sillage de la Reine (the Queen’s Wake), based on historical documents.
In 2022, Maison Francis Kurkdjian is delighted to become the sponsor of the Perfumer’s Garden, thereby deepening its commitment to the Palace of Versailles.
"With the support of the State, but also of all the people who love Versailles, we are fighting. We hope to get through this difficult period without letting go of what makes the Estate’s core greatness, so that it continues to shine throughout the world ", Catherine Pégard, President.
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