This is the cover of a promotional booklet issued by Paul Poiret’s Les Parfums de Rosine in 1923, as scanned and uploaded by Diktat. I thought late June would be the perfect time to share it.
I’ve never seen this booklet in person, but I can imagine how vibrant its seven roses and their leaves must have been when first printed.
Recommended reading: this article about the gendering of men’s fragrances, written by Greta Moran for INVERSE, titled “Why Men Are Realizing That Smelling Like a Desert Rose Isn’t Half Bad.”
Greta spoke with me when she was researching this piece and I really enjoyed our conversation. (I’m mentioned about halfway through.) It’s a timely topic and I appreciate the fact that she spoke with individuals involved in different aspects of fragrance.
Image: St. John’s Bay Rum advertisement, 1967.
I’ve just added a lecture to my schedule… I’ll be speaking about classic perfumes on July 19, as part of the “Hamilton Lectures” series in Manhattan.
For information and tickets ($40 each) to this “show & smell,” visit the Hamilton Lectures website.
Hope to see a few of you there!
I’m teaching a class at the Brooklyn Brainery on Thursday, April 12 (6:30 pm). It’s called “Sensual Scents and Aromas” and it will be a multi-sensory lecture (fragrance! art! tea pairings!). For information and registration, please visit the Brainery website. Hope to see some of you there!
Image: Detail of John William Godward, The New Perfume (1914). Private collection.
In a few weeks I’ll be doing my first event in Jersey City—a class called “Sensual Scents & Romantic Aromas,” held at the studio space of The Lucky Honeybee. I’ve been enjoying The Lucky Honeybee’s good-smelling handmade candles and soaps for the past five years, so I’m especially happy to be teaming up with one of my favorite small businesses.
The class will be a multi-sensory “show-and-smell” format, as we’ll be experiencing fragrance notes that have been associated with love and seduction for centuries and hearing their stories—with a few visuals along the way, of course! Then we’ll sample teas and sweets flavored with the same notes and just take some time to chat.
If you’d like more details and registration information about this event, please visit The Lucky Honeybee’s website.
I was reading the September issue of Allure magazine while getting a haircut last month and I did a double-take when I read this paragraph. It’s the opening of a column by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, titled “Fashion Scents.”
“Chanel no. 5 was the first scent to bear the name of a fragrance house, not a perfumery. And it introduced the concept that fragrance can represent a look or a style. (It also paved the way for dozens of other Chanel fragrances, including the brand-new Gabrielle Chanel.)”
Last week I took a “busman’s holiday” and spent an afternoon going to museums. The Cooper-Hewitt was on my list because I wanted to catch the temporary exhibition The “Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.”
I had already happily wandered through rooms and rooms of radios, jewelry, textiles, architectural renderings, and furniture, when I spied a small but rich selection of perfume bottles. Here are my snapshots…They’re not great, but they give an idea of what I saw.
On May 18, 2017, I’ll be teaching a one-night class called “Iconic Perfume Bottles” at the Brooklyn Brainery. We’ll be looking at classic perfume bottle designs through the lenses of perfumery, design history, and cultural context.
You can learn more about the class (and register!) here.