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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Noa Noa by Helena Rubinstein c1953

Noa Noa by Helena Rubinstein was launched in 1953. Inspired by "Presentation de l'Ancien culte mahorie: La clef de Noa-Noa," by Paul Gauguin. Noa Noa means "'fragrance" — the sweet smell of homemade coconut oil perfumed with gardenia petals, called monoi, in which his lover, Teha'amana, like all Tahitian girls used to rub into their hair and body. 

The New Yorker, 1954:
"Helena Rubinstein announces NOA NOA ( Tahitian superlative for fragrant). Madame Rubinstein sought inspiration for new NOA NOA perfume in the exotic paradise of Tahiti."

Helena Rubenstein's perfume, Noa-Noa was launched along with a Gaugin inspired cosmetics line. To package its new perfume, "Noa, Noa," Helena Rubinstein wanted a package that would suggest the exotic atmosphere invoked by the tropics. The bottles were molded to look like bamboo and the boxes were printed with a tropical design.

Harper's Bazaar, 1954:
"Helena Rubinstein creates a new perfume NOA NOA. (Tahitian superlative for fragrant) Here is a totally new adventure in perfume. It is called NOA NOA and it is the most fervent, rapturous, sense-stirring fragrance of them all."

Homes and Gardens, 1954:
"Helena Rubinstein makes it A Noa Noa CHRISTMAS! New Tropic Fragrance; in novel exciting gift packs Noa Noa Skin Perfume inglass mock bamboo bottles. Noa Noa Dusting Powder and Noa Noa Perfumette to slip in into the purse."

Modern Plastic, 1954:
"Glamourous is a word often applied to the products of Helena Rubinstein Inc, and it is a word which aptly describes the unusual urea closures Norton molds for the famous cosmetician's newest line — Noa Noa cologne concentrates. During the past 15 years, Norton has molded job after job for Helena Rubinstein."

The Publisher's Weekly, 1954:
"The Doubleday Book Shop on Fifth Avenue at Fifty-Second Street, New York, tied in its display of art books about Gauguin with the introduction of Helena Rubinstein's new perfume Noa Noa. The perfume was inspired by Gauguin's Tahitian period."

Women's Home Companion, 1954:
"Helena Rubinstein's big box of Noa Noa bath powder with pampering puff. $5"

Art News Annual, 1954:
"Helena Rubinstein presents a new perfume NOA NOA (Tahitian superlative for fragrant) Helena Rubinstein found inspiration for Noa Noa in Gauguin's paintings of the beautiful Tahitian women with their flower-framed faces, love-shaped lips,inscrutable eyes. The result — a totally new concept in perfume — an exotic concentrate of sun-drenched blossoms and deep emotions. Noa Noa Perfume, 3.00, 10.00, 17.50. Cologne Concentrate, 2.25, 3.75, 8.00. Dusting Powder. 5.00. Plus Federal tax."

Esquire, 1955:
"Make-up by Helena Rubinstein, "Gauguin I'mk Lipstick, naturally ( Tahitian superlative for fragrant). Ever dream of holding a pretty temptress in your arms — languid, seductive, warm as a Gauguin painting? Then give the Siren in your life Noa Noa. . . . and see! Helena Rubinstein found inspiration for Noa Noa in Gauguin's famous paintings of the beautiful Tahitian women and their verdant paradise. The result— this totally- concentrate of sun-drenched blossoms and deep emotions. Yes, Noa Noa is definitely female as well as feminine. Give her Noa Noa. She'll be Noa Noa. New Noa Noa Perfume, 3.00, 10.00, 1 7.50. The Cologne Concentrate, 2.25, 3.75, 8.00. Dusting Powder, 5.00. All prices plus tax."

Esquire 1954:
"NOA.-NOA....a new adventure in perfume by Helena Rubinstein....NOA-NOA, lush blossoming new fragrance the very heartbeat of the tropics. Fiery, daring, provocative, is female as well as feminine! Helena Rubinstein found her inspiration in Gauguin’s intense paintings of Tahitian women with their flower framed faces, love shaped lips, dreaming eyes. Noa-Noa, pronounced “no uh no uh” is Tahitian for very fragrant -a fragrance that says NO while it means YES. Noa Noa is truly a perfume for every woman’s personal paradise Wear Noa Noa! Be Noa Noa! Wear it with the uninhibited lipstick Gauguin Pink, ; Refills .Noa-Noa Skin Perfume, Noa-Noa "Concentrate."

Vogue, 1955:
"Ever dream of going native? Wear Noa Noa; be Noa Noa."

Fragrance Composition

So what did it smell like? It was a floral fragrance that was based on the Tahitian gardenia, otherwise known as the tiare flower married to the exotic scent of sandalwood.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Noa Noa continued to be sold into the 1970s then it was discontinued. Later in 1990, Otto Kern came out with his version of Noa Noa, which is not the same as the Helena Rubinstein fragrance. In 1999, a Noa perfume by Cacharel was released, again not like the original scent.

Click HERE to find Noa Noa by Helena Rubinstein

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