Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ambre Antique by Coty c1905

Ambre Antique was launched in 1905 by Coty. Pronounced "Ahm-ber ahn-teek", it was described as the "fragrance of splendour and conquest, the thrall of legendary queens."


Fragrance Composition:



So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: bergamot and neroli
  • Middle notes: heliotrope, jasmine, incense, labdanum, olibanum, opoponax, orris, violet
  • base notes: ambergris, patchouli, civet and vanilla

It was available in Parfum extrait, toilet water, cologne and talc.


Harper's Bazaar, 1916:
"One may rise to the supreme heights of luxury and possess the hand carved masterpiece of the famous Lalique the intaglio bottle which holds the Styx of Coty at seventy five dollars another gem is Ambre Antique at twenty five dollars and seventy five cents."

Advertising Copy, 1936:
"As exquisite gifts, they convey a tribute to loveliness as delicately as a bouquet of flowers, but of unfading fragrance— constantly renewing the charm of a rare and understanding compliment. AMBRE ANTIQUE-fragrance of ancient Egypt— for the woman of enigmatic allure, incomprehensible, aloof."

The New Yorker, 1937:
"Consult Coty, the magnificent, for amber (Ambre Antique), as usual, and for unadulterated chypre."


Bottles:


Coty had his friend Rene Lalique create a fabulous flacon to house the precious perfume. Made up of frosted glass and molded with Grecian maidens, it is a gorgeous piece fit for anyone's collection.


Fate of the Fragrance:


Ambre Antique was discontinued around 1935.




However, the world was treated to limited-edition reproduction bottles of Ambre Antique which were reissued in 1995, under the license of Coty, by a company called Private Portfolio, which produced 3,500 Lalique-designed flacons of the fragrance that were then sold at the exclusive Neiman Marcus, Harrod's, and Bergdorf Goodman department stores. Each bottle held three ounces and retailed at $350.  These bottle alone are worth several hundred dollars to collectors.



I have an original invitation to purchase the re-edition, the first page reads:
"Paris 1910, It was a wondrous era. In the loveliest of cities, Art Nouveau was at its height and artists were never more inspired. All would be swept away by the enchantment of Ambre Antique, a sensuous fragrance by master perfumer Francois Coty. Unavailable since 1915, Ambre Antique ...in a limited edition flacon, based on an original design by history's most famous designer of crystal, Rene Lalique...can be yours again."
The Rose Sheet, 1995:
"Private Portfolio: Benckiser subsidiary reintroducing 85-year old Ambre Antique fragrance in limited edition. A total of 3,500 bottles of the scent, which will be available in late October in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, will be produced worldwide. Ambre Antique is the first in a series of six limited edition offerings Private Portfolio will be relaunching from the Les Parfums Classiques de Francois Coty collection. The updated version of Ambre Antique is a "modern re-creation" of the original formula with "crisp top notes" of citrus and berries, a heart of rose and ylang-ylang and a "classic Oriental base," Private Portfolio says. The "faithful rendition" of the original flacon is etched with profiles of four women in flowing Grecian gowns. A 3 oz. eau de parfum in the limited edition flacon is priced at $350. The fragrance is also available in a 1.7 oz. edp spray for $90 and a .25 oz. purse spray for $40."

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