Party of the Century | Le Bal Oriental, 3rd September 1951

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photograph by Robert Doisneau

photograph by Robert Doisneau

Over one thousands invitations for Charles de Beistegui’s Le Bal Oriental were sent out six months prior to the night of 3rd September 1951 to give guests time to design their elaborate costumes. The event, inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s fresco The Banquet of Cleopatra at his Palazzo Labia, would see desperate Americans anchoring their yachts at the Venice Lido in the hope of an invitation.

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Chemistry 101: Gamma-Undecalactone / Persicol

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Gamma-undecalactone, Periscol, Peach Aldehyde, C14

“Jacques Guerlain built Mitsouko by breaking the power of the oak moss with a natural jasmine and, more significantly, a new synthetic molecule that had recently appeared. Jukov and Schestakow might have patented aldehyde C-14 (actually not an aldehyde but a lactone; it’s real name is gamma-undecalactone) in 1908, but Michael Edwards reports that it had been available from other suppliers, and it was probably Firmenich that introduced Jacques Guerlain to the molecule in the form of a base it called Persicol, which it had put on the market in 1908. C-14 was a marvel, a fruity, aromatic, delicious scent that gave ripe peach skin. Guerlain plugged C-14 into the equation perfectly (the rumor is, actually, similar to Chanel 5, that he in fact accidentally overdosed the stuff; who knows), and Mitsouko became a thing of subtle opulence, strength and balance and silken twilight.”  Chandler Burr

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Les Parfums de Jacques Fath 1945 – 1953

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Chasuble and Green Water, Les Parfums Jacques Fath, photographed by Herbert Gehr for Life Magazine, September 1949

Chasuble and Green Water, Les Parfums Jacques Fath, photographed by Herbert Gehr for Life Magazine, September 1949

During his lifetime, Jacques Fath, the “little prince” of post war Parisian couture, would see seven perfumes released for Les Parfums de Jacques Fath between 1945 and 1954. Two of the most famous fragrances, Iris Gris and Green Water, were created by Vincent Roubert, who also composed Knize Ten in 1924 and Coty’s answer to Chanel No. 5, L’Aimant in 1927.  He also worked with Coty on L’Or (1912), A’Suma (1934), and Metéor (1949).

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Perfume Lovers London Chypre Glorious Chypre with Virginie Daniau

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1st May 2015 030

This past Thursday, 30th April, Fragrance Consultant Virginie Daniau lead the Perfume Lovers London group through a sampling of some of the benchmark Chypre fragrances of the 20th century. She began her talk by introducing the group to two key ingredients of Chypre fragrances, Labdanum and Oakmoss, before leading us through a sampling session that included such fragrances as Christian Dior’s Miss Dior and Gris Montaigne, Grossmith’s Golden Chypre, Ruth Mastenbroek, Atelier Cologne’s Trefle Pur, and Aromatics Elixir.

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Eight Things I Learned at the 1960’s Vintage Scent Session

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Today I attended my second Vintage Scent Session hosted by Odette Toilette at Les Senteurs.  The Vintage Scent Sessions are such a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Just as before, the Scent Session was super fun and very informative. Not to mention the delicious cakes…

7th February 2015 007

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Odette Toilette’s 1950’s Vintage Scent Session

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6 December 2014 008

On Saturday 6th December I attended the first of the Vintage Scent Sessions I booked with the brilliant Odette Toilette at Les Senteurs on Seymour Place in Marylebone.  To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I left the session that day with any expectations I might have held very much exceeded.

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Harrods’ Salon de Parfums, London’s Pantheon of Perfume

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13 October 2014 017

Ascending the escalator to the newly opened Harrods Salon de Parfums is like rising to the heights of Olympus where you find yourself in the company of the storied gods and goddesses of perfume. Yesterday I went up to the sixth floor to explore the Salon, which just opened on Saturday.  I was immediately taken with the opulent, art deco styling of the space that plays host to the likes of Chanel’s Les Exclusifs de Chanel, Christian Dior’s Le Collection Priveé, Creed, Tom Ford, By Kilian, Xerjoff, Henry Jacques, and of course, Roja Dove’s magnificent Haute Parfumerie.

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