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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A'Suma by Coty c1934

A'Suma was launched in France in 1934 by Coty.  It was jointly created by Francois Coty and Vincent Roubert.  The sensuous perfume was inspired by a mysterious moonlit tropical beach in Bali.

Advertisements of the era described the perfume as "A fragrance even more opulent than the mode, "A Suma" by Coty has the sensuous allure of a siren's song."

It was also touted as "reckless", "strange", "languorous", "smoky", "luxurious", "rich", "intriguing", "mysterious", "sensuous", "alluring", and "entirely individual."

The fragrance was available in parfum, cologne and eau de toilette concentrations.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: bergamot, mint and camphor
  • Middle notes: lavender, incense, tuberose and heliotrope
  • Base notes: sandalwood, leather, oak moss, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean, civet and ambergris


The A'Suma parfum was housed inside a frosted glass sphere with a ball stopper. The bottle was decorated with molded chrysanthemum flowers. Some people mistake this as a Lalique bottle, but Lalique had nothing to do with it, it was designed by Coty himself and manufactured by Coty's own glass works.

Coty also drew upon the advice of potential design hiree, Pierre Camin. During a three-hour interview, Coty carefully studied Camin's sketches and kept one. Camin let it slip that he had known virtually nothing about bottles. Coty stated that "A bottle is for wine. Flask is the word we use here." Knowing that the A'Suma flacon needed something else, and as a final test, Coty showed Camin a drawing of the round bottle, asking him his thoughts of the sketch. Camin succinctly replied that it needed "a pedestal". Coty happily agreed and hired Camin on the spot just a few months before his death.

The smaller A'Suma bottle rests on a black Bakelite pedestal and is housed inside an Oriental style black, gold and red presentation box, covered with Asian natural motifs. The deluxe size rests luxuriously on ivory satin, in a case of red Moroccan leather.

The Extrait (parfum) came in various sizes:
  • 0.42 oz.
  • 0.84 oz. 
  • 1.68 oz. 
  • 3.36 oz

1934 Coty A Suma perfume bottle and stopper in clear/frost glass, sealed, label, stand, box. 2 1/8 in. Photo by Perfume Bottles Auction

1920s Coty A'Suma perfume bottle and stopper, frosted glass, box. Bottle 2 3/8 in. Photo by Perfume Bottles Auction

A'Suma by Coty crystal perfume bottle with frosted stopper, brown patina, and embossed label, in fine condition, in its red fabric box with a yellow mirror mounted inside. Height  5 1/4 in.Photo by Mastro Auctions

The New Yorker, 1934:

"The veteran M. Coty has a new perfume called A Suma. An exotic little Oriental box holds a lush scent that makes you dream of going a bit too far on some coral strand or other. It should also be a help in rinding a partner for your straying."

Harper's Bazaar, 1934:
"A fragrance even more opulent than the mode, "A Suma" by Coty has the sensuous allure of a siren's song. Ask for "A Suma" at the smart shops. "A Suma" is ready in two sizes - each a flower-embossed frosted glass sphere, pedestalled on ebony and scarlet. The $10 size boasts a handsome octagonal gold and black lacquer-like case, or $35, the deluxe size rests luxuriously on ivory satin, in a case of scarlet Morocco."
The Delineator, 1935:
"See what Coty's — "A Suma'' does to you. (It's in that morocco case.) A drop on the ear lobes, one on the nuque (that's the hair-line tip at the back of the neck) and a drop on your wrists will further almost any romance."

The New Yorker, 1935:
"Presented in a charming, lid -cover treasure box,  Coty created A'Suma, the exciting, new European perfume sensation in a glass sphere that rests in splendor on an ebony pedestal."

Fate of the Fragrance:

By 1957, it was discontinued.

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