Saturday, October 14, 2006

Perfume house Guerlain





Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain was born in Abbevile France. His dream was to become a chemist and went to London in 1820 to study. He worked in a shop that sold aromatic vinegar and soap to earn some money. He became the assistant of the masterperfumer and in 1828 he returned to France to open his own shop. He was a specialist in making personal perfumes for his costumers. But he also made toothpaste, soap and creams.



Soap label from 1890

Pierre became very famous and delivered perfume to the Belgian kings and the prince of Wales. He created Eau de Cologne Imperiale for the emperor Eugenie and became the official deliverer of the emperor Napoleon the third. His son Aime followed his father and wanted to make heavier perfumes instead of the fresh eau de colognes that where popular in that time. The result was Jicky. This perfume came in 1889 on the market and was nothing like an imitation of the nature or a creation of flowery smells: it was a combination of sensual notes; Civet, Coumarine, Vanilline and Linalool all synthetic products and Lavender and Bergamot. Jicky was "new", it was so new that people in that time need to get used to the perfume and only 20 years later it became a success.


In that time there where created a lot of perfumes and some of them are still around. One of them is L'Heure Bleue form 1912. The clear part of it is created by Bulgarian rose, Iris and Heliotroop, and the magical dark heart is created by Vanilla, Jasmine and Muskus. Until now perfumers use the basenotes from this perfume to variate with it to created a new perfume inspired by L'Heure Bleue.




The company Guerlain is still alive and there where always followers in the family. The last perfumer until now is Jean Paul Guerlain.
The company Guerlain created a lot of perfumes here are some of them:





Mitsouko

1919.

Type: Chypre.

Notes: Bergamot-Rose-Jasmin-Peach-Spices-Oakmoss.



Guerlinade

1922

Type: Flowery Oriental

Notes: Bergamot-Tonka bean-Vanilla



Shalimar

1925

Type: Oriental

Notes: Bergamot-Iris-Vanilla-Ambar



Vetiver

1959

Type: Woody

Notes: Vetiver-Nutmeg-Pepper



Jardins de Bagatelle

1983

Type: Flowery

Notes: Jasmin-Magnolia-Gardenia-Tuberose




Samsara

1989

Type:Oriental

Notes: Jasmin-Sandalwood-Rose-Narcis-Vanilla



L'Instant

Type: Flowery Oriental

Notes: Lemonhoney-Magnolia-Ambar

6 comments:

Andy said...

Jenny, thank you for your notes on Jicky. It never occured to me that the "success" of this perfume was a matter of 20 or so years. This tells us how avant garde it was back then (and maybe this is why it is still appreciated today) and it tells us that good things need time...
Fragrant wishes

Sean said...

What a great summary of Guerlain's history!

Jenny said...

Hi Andy, it's incredible that a perfume made in 1889 still is admired. Think about that your perfumes still would be sold in the year 2123!!!

Jenny said...

Hi Sean,
The history of Guerlain is great and so are his perfumes. I will write more about the perfumes one by one, this was just a short discription of the perfumes.

chaya ruchama said...

Always enjoy a synopsis on my first, and favorite perfume dynasty !

As I said to Andy-
If it's good design, it will always be good- regardless of time elapsed...

Dikke kus-
Idaatje

Jenny said...

Hi Chaya,

Yes good things will allways stay. Guerlain has made the most wonderful perfumes. Sometimes I try to recreate their perfumes to learn from it.

Kus
Jenny