Versailles will no longer be just the Roi Soleil’s palace. From 30 May, the court of Louis XIV will also turn into a destination for fragrance enthusiasts, with the opening of the Jardin du Parfumeur (the Perfumer’s Garden). Set alongside the Châteauneuf Orangery, in the heart of the Trianon estate, this new garden will be home to hundreds of different perfume-making plants, in keeping with the spirit of the 17th-century Trianon gardens.
Aerial view of the Châteauneuf Orangery © Palace of Versailles / T. Garnier
Maison Francis Kurkdjian, launched in 2009 by Francis Kurkdjian and Marc Chaya and now part of the LVMH group, became the proud patron of the project and actively participated in creating the garden.
The Jardin du Parfumeur (the Perfumer’s Garden) © Palace of Versailles / Alex Gallosi
Kurkdjian’s knowledge of Versailles has deep roots. After graduating from the Versailles perfumery school, he returned to create Sillage de la Reine, a fragrance designed to pay homage to the famous Marie Antoinette perfume. In the following years, he continued to support the palace with olfactory experiences and installations, giving the famous French gardens a powerful allure.
The estate of Trianon © Palace of Versailles / T. Garnier
In the Jardin de Parfumeur, a few hundred heady, fragrant flowering plants and strongly scented flowers will allow visitors to delve into the rituals and habits at the Court of Versailles when it comes to fragrance. According to experts, Louis XIV’s passion for flowers and their unique scents made Versailles the birthplace of the profession of the perfumer in the 17th century.
The Jardin du Parfumeur © Palace of Versailles / JPH – Clandoeil
With its flower essences, the garden is home to everything from historical plants, such as rose and jasmine, to some with unique fragrances, like chocolate or apple.
The Jardin du Parfumeur © Palace of Versailles / T. Garnier
The Jardin includes three areas: the Jardin des Curiosités, which features most flower essences; Sous les Arbres, characterised by the charming boulevard of Japanese cherry trees; and the Jardin Secret, a more peaceful and cosy space.