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A Trip Through Historic Perfume Brands

May 20th, 2008 · 9 Comments

By Garland Pollard

The May edition of Vogue magazine profiles Osmothéque perfume conservatory in Versailles, where over 1,800 scents are stored, including 400 parfums disparus, or disappeared perfumes. The story is written by Erika Kawalek, who goes on a “journey to replace her favorite scents.”

The Osmotheque website lists of dozens of perfumes by database according to year launched, brand name, type of scent and parent company. At the Osmothéque conservatory, the old scents are stored in a temperature controlled basement inside “metal flasks filled with argon gas.”

The article mentions perfume sleuth Anitra Earle in New York, who found a bottle of Mitsouko bath oil for the Vogue writer. Apparently, Earle has 20,000 names of “perfume widows” who search for “disappeared” scents.

What are some of the notable scents?

  1. Tabac Blond by Caron, which was created by Ernest Daltroff in 1919. At the shop, you could bring in perfume bottles and have them refilled.
  2. Le Fruit Défendu.
  3. Nuit de Chine.
  4. Iris Silver Mist by Lutens.
  5. Rose Jacqueminot by François Coty.

Popular old scents

  1. Woodhue by Fabergé.
  2. Rose Barbare by Guerlain.

Vintage Scents, Some Reformulated

  1. Cuir de Russie by Chanel, which was released in 1924.
  2. Knize Ten by Knize Ten. It is a 1924 scent from the Viennese tailor shop of the same name.
  3. Cabochard, by Grés, a scent that dates from 1959.
  4. Jolie Madame by Balmain, a 1953 scent.

Revived Perfume Companies

  1. Paul Poiret’s Parfums de Rosine. The Poiret parfumerie closed in 1991, but the name was revived by Marie-Héléne Rogeon in 1991 as Les Parfums de Rosine.

Disappeared Scents

  1. Iris Gris by Jacques Fath. The perfume was created by Vincent Roubert in 1947, was discontinued in 1954. Replacement iris scents? Vogue recommends Bois d’Iris from Different Company, Iris Poudre by Fréderic Malle and 28 La Pausa from Chanel.
  2. Société Colette, a Parisian parfumerie that opened in 1932.
  3. Scandal by Lanvin. It was composed by André Fraysse in 1933 and was shut down in 1971.

Where to find old perfumes?

  1. Roja Dove, the parfumerie on Harrods fifth floor, has old perfumes from around the world. There one might find disappeared brands like Schiaparelli’s Shocking (recently re-released) and Guerlain’s Liu.


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Pfizer: Hai Karate to Viagra
Great Personal Care Brands for a Buck
Reader Wants Breck, Yardley's
Put Your Stray Brands in a Think Tank. Estée Lauder Does
Briefs: Salonpas Brings Pain Patch to U.S., Target Sunscreen, Noxzema

Tags: Health

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Jul 7, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I’ve been looking for a fragrance called INTOXICATION sor amost 40 years. I’m not sure how to spell the company who made it but it was something like D’ORSAY. If anyone knows the street address for Anitra Earle, please email to SLHARNER@AOL.COM…. Many thanks.

  • 2 Deb // Mar 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Looking for an old scent Igot as Pollyanna in high school around 1966.It’s called Ceil Blue I think by Ceil Blue.

  • 3 Garland Pollard // Mar 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    good luck on finding Ceil Blue. Was that the manufacturer?

  • 4 Allen // Jun 4, 2010 at 5:56 am

    I got your blog, when i was searching this topic on the internet. I am quite happy that i can found your blog. Your content is very natural and very informative. I like it very much!!!

  • 5 Josie // Oct 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

    This is a cologne designed by young men for young adolescent males that also has a hair and body wash, along with a deodorant that does not have Paraban, nor Aluminum Chlorohydrate. It is the first line designed for our new generation of young men, and one that will help them learn to groom and feel good about who they are.

  • 6 paula // Nov 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I am looking for a perfume from my mothers era. Made between 1930s -1960s . I dont know the name but it came in a yellow box with grey dots or grey box with yellow dots.

  • 7 Toni // Mar 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Looking for a perfume from possibly 1950’s called Christmas Bells. My dad gave it to my mom one year and we have not been ableto find it since. Unfortunately, do not know the manufacturer.

  • 8 HANK GUPTON // Jun 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO MY FAVORITE AVON BRANDS, SPICE,LIME AND AVON REGULAR? THE COLOGNES THEY SELL TODAY SEEM STINKY. DID THESE FRAGRANCES JUST NOT SALE WELL?

  • 9 paula // Apr 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    eve ning in paris,old perfume don’t know the maker my granny had it called it panther pea .anyone know.

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