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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chevalier de la Nuit by Ciro c1923

Le Chevalier de la Nuit (Knight of the Night) was launched in France in 1923 by Parfums Ciro. It was introduced to America in 1924 according to some newspaper articles of the day. Parfums Ciro was founded in 1921 in New York, at first obtaining all its fragrances from Gabilla in Paris, already bottled. These included 'Doux Jasmin', 'Chevalier de la Nuit' and 'Masked', all issued in 1923.

It's exportation to the USA appears to have been halted in 1936 and was unavailable during World War II, it was brought back as late as 1948, as it was advertised as "a recent arrival from Paris" and "Ciro's dashing perfume Chevalier de la Nuit, just returned in its elegant black bottle to make Christmas and linger with her all year long" according to two newspaper articles. I can not find any other newspaper reference to it after 1948.

Cue, 1948:
"The return of one of France's favorite perfumes, Chevalier de la Nuit, is heralded for the Christmas season. This is, of course, the famous Ciro scent whose bottle is a suit of armor and its stopper a visor with a plumed helmet. This will be available for your Christmas favorite in one ounce bottles, only at $15."

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? Though there are no published notes on this composition, I did have some old empty bottles years ago, and I distinctly remember them smelling like jasmine, gardenia and tuberose.

In old advertisements, the perfume was described as "an exotic, fascinating fragrance whose romantic overtones are beautifully expressed by its name, a lasting perfume, and particularly adaptable to furs. It has a singular sweetness, not found in most heavy odors, and while it is a mysterious, intriguing and essentially a formal perfume, it may be worn at any time of day."

  • Top notes:
  • Middle notes: tuberose, gardenia, jasmine
  • Base notes:


A 1928 ad:
"Chevalier de la Nuit from Ciro is a perfume for the sophisticate. Smartly bottled and cased $10. And the toilet water is $8.50."

Garden & Home Builder, 1928:
"Ciro offers in this attractive black bottle his famous 'Chevalier de la Nuit'

Hearst's, 1928:
"But be she queen or maid, rich or poor, she wants with all her heart to be remembered. Chevalier de la Nuit. the "Knight of the Night", is a scent of singular individuality, conceived and sealed by Ciro, in Paris. In its fragrance lurks a loveliness quite new. It is haunting, yet elusive — sensuous, yet exquisite."

Hearst's, 1928:
"Ciro's Parfum — Chevalier de la Nuit, the "Knight of the Night". . . a strange, delicate scent."

American Druggist - Volumes 79-80, 1929:
"Ciro's Chevalier de la Nuit One of the most surprising new products of recent months has been Ciro's Chevalier de la Nuit. Offered first about the Christmas season in department and a few drug stores at $4.50 it showed such sales that manufacturers are offering it generally to the trade. The bottle - a romantic affair, - stands nearly a foot in height and is fashioned in France of hand-burnished glass. The stopper is a replica of a plumed helmet . The bottle duplicates the body armor of a knight of the crusades."

The bottle carries out the cavalier theme, in the shape of a suit of armor, a heart in its center, with its stopper a visored, beplumed helmet. It's unusual bottle made it particularly appropriate for Christmas gift giving. The bottles came in black opaque glass, clear and frosted glass and also clear and frosted glass with gilded highlights.

The bottles were designed by Julien Viard and may have been made by Depinoix. Ciro's founder, Guy T. Gibson (JS Wiedhopf) filed a design patent for the bottle and was granted patent number 68,779 on November 17, 1925.

The parfum bottles, in clear and frosted glass, came in various sizes:
  • 7 1/2" tall
  • 5 3/8" tall
  • 4 3/4" tall
  • 4 " tall
  • 3 1/4" tall
  • 2 3/8" tall

The black frosted glass bottle came in two sizes:
  • 4 1/2" tall
  • 4 3/4" tall

An Eau de Toilette bottle, in clear and frosted glass, was slightly different from the parfum flacon, and it had a shield shaped label, this bottle stood around 7 1/4" tall.

Starting in 1931, a small cylindrical, clear glass bottle was also used, it had a small boule stopper made of clear glass and a tiny rectangular label. This bottle held 1 oz of parfum, stood 9cm tall, and was also used for other Ciro perfumes.

Drug & Cosmetic Industry, 1935:
"CIRO'S exquisite perfume odors, Doux Jasmin, Chevalier de la Nuit, Gardenia Sauvage, as well as an eau de cologne, have been developed in toilet waters known as "Eau de Ciro". The cone shaped bottle decorated with a silver top and label forms an attractive addition to bath shelf and dressing table."

In 1938, these Eau de Ciro toilet waters were being presented in eight sided glass bottles with screw caps and a long rectangular label down the front of the bottle. Available in Surrender, Danger, Reflexions, Gardenia Sauvage and Doux Jasmin. The Eau de Ciro was also available in a matching atomizer bottle.

Fate of the Fragrance:

The perfume was still being sold in 1950. Ciro stopped making perfumes in 1961.

Photo credits: Legendary Auctions, ebay seller anteequity

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