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Le Jardin du


Unveiling the Perfumer’s Garden: A Captivating Ode to Fragrance and History at the Palace of Versailles. Photographed on 35mm in Versailles, Île-de-France.

The Garden of Perfumers at the Palace of Versailles was realized through the patronage of the House of Francis Kurkdjian. Located in the Châteauneuf Orangerie at the heart of the Trianon Palace—this new garden aims to raise awareness of the history of fragrances at the Court of Versailles, which was founded in the 17th century. Francis Kurkdjian’s present connection to Versailles is no coincidence. When he was a student at ISIPCA, a school of studies in perfume, he often escaped to the gardens of Versailles to study.

‘I stood out a bit in my class for how much I loved these Places’ said Kurkdjian later in an interview. The enthusiasm for Versailles was already reflected early in Kurkdjian’s work. He developed a series of olfactory installations and experiences that he today calls his Versailles Saga and even reconstructed a historical perfume attributed to Marie Antoinette with a tanned and scented a pair of gloves using traditional methods.

Maison Francis


We worked together to select the species, we had a deep exchange about flowers and plants, we thought together about how best to ensure successive blooms so that there would always be something happening in the garden; we all learned something from each other and shared the pleasure of watching this develop.

— Kurkdjian about his work with the team of the palace

Back to the present: Kurkdjian and the team of the palace have transformed the site into a unique garden that highlights the important role of perfumers and fragrance in the court. For Kurkdjian, the garden still has a very special meaning: For ihm it also means ‘giving back to Versailles what Versailles has given me in terms of inspiration and wonder’. The garden brings together hundreds of floral essences, like the historical species that have been in the gardens of Versailles for centuries, such as verbena, roses and jasmine. While others offer bouquets reminiscent of chocolate or apple.

In the style of the 17th century gardens of the Trianon, the Perfumers Garden consists of three different sections: The Garden of Curiosities in front of the Orangerie, where most of the floral essences can be found, Under the Trees with its flowering avenue of Japanese cherry trees and The Secret Garden with its more intimate atmosphere. Kurkdjian worked with teams from Maison Francis Kurkdjian to select nearly 300 plants used in perfumery.

shot on location in VERSAILLES, ÎLE-DE-FRANCE