Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ecusson by Jean d'Albret c1947

Ecusson was launched in 1947 in France by Jean d’Albret and was introduced to the United States in 1951.

Ecusson means "Coat of Arms" in French, it was advertised as having a history traceable to the fabulous French era of the 1570's where it was first introduced into the court of Jeanne d' Albret, mother of King Henry IV and its formula carefully guarded. The legend goes on to say that it was created for Marshall Alphonse d'Ornano, who was considered to be a connoisseur of perfumes, by an ancient chemist who entertained an envious reputation for his perfumes that were the toast of Paris.

"Ecusson, a devastating and frankly feminine memorable perfume.."


Ecusson was available in parfum, eau de toilette, perfume mist, cologne, eau de cologne parfumee, bath oil, parfum-creme, soap, lotion, perfume mist, talc  and dusting powder. Ecusson Body Nectar, a special concentrated essence of perfume oils was introduced in 1973. Perfume Gel, was also launched in 1973.

Perfumery and Essential Oil Record, 1968:
"Three enchanting perfumes are now well-known throughout the world - Ecusson, Casaque and Princesse d'Albret. ... are available in a complete range of beautifully packed products - Perfume, Eau de Toilette, Parfum-Creme, Cologne, Talc, Soap and Bath Oil."

Fragrance Composition:


So what does it smell like? It is classified as a soft classic aldehydic floral fragrance for women. Made up of an artful blend of fifty-four fine essential oils. It starts off with an aldehydic top note, followed by an elegant, classic floral heart, layered over a feminine, sensual base.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, peach, geranium, Sicilian lemon, strawberry, orange blossom, orange, cassie
  • Middle notes: cloves,  ylang-ylang, narcissus, carnation, may rose, Bulgarian rose, Provencal jasmine, Grasse jasmine, North African rose, Portuguese tuberose, lily of the valley, Tuscan iris, orris, and a blend of both Parma and Tuscan violets
  • Base notes:  Iralia, olibanum, Malaysian patchouli, castoreum, rosewood, cistus, vetiver, benzoin, cinnamon, Yugoslavian oakmoss, vanilla, leather, tonka bean, civet, sandalwood and musk.
Made use of Firmenich's Iralia base, it is the most floral and rich of all qualities of methylionones with a strong orris, violet character and a slight fruity note.

Bottles:


Royal Presentation:

Originally Ecusson was housed in square shaped crystal bottles with rounded shoulders and topped with frosted glass stoppers molded with a crown. This flacon was known by the Jean d'Albret company as the Royal Presentation, due to the crown cap/stopper. Some of the miniature bottles and larger bottles had screw caps. The Eau de Cologne Parfumée and the Eau de Toilette were often to be had in these bottles. These bottles were used from 1940s-1960s.

The Cologne was available in four sizes:

  • 3.5 oz
  • 7 oz
  • 13 oz
  • 23 oz





Empire Presentation:

The familiar urn shaped bottle debuted in 1952. Again, this bottle has a glass stopper, but can also be found with screw caps. The deluxe parfum flacon was much more ornate, made up of clear crystal with frosted details, and was housed inside of a luxurious velvet coffret which could double as a jewelry box. Variations of the urn flacon include those without a pedestal. These bottles were used from the 1950s to the 1970s and were known as the Empire Presentation by the Jean d'Albret company.

The Perfume was available in four sizes:

  • 1/4 oz
  • 1/2 oz
  • 1 oz
  • 2 oz




The New Yorker, Volume 28, 1952:
"Jean d'Albret's Ecusson, in the clean, sprightly tradition, isn't new, but in a handsome new urn shaped bottle it's meeting new customers. The perfume runs from $16.80 "to $42, at Saks."



Medaillon:

The medallion or "Medaillon" flacon was introduced in 1951 and is a very rare presentation holding a 1/6 oz mini bottle of parfum.  Crystal bottle is about 2" by 1 1/4". The bottle is enclosed in a holder that pops open, holder is gold and black with black grosgrain ribbon imprinted with "Ecusson Jean D'Albret Paris" Holder measures 2 3/8" tall.


Harper's Bazaar, 1955:
"Jean d'Albret's “Ecusson” keeps you company in a Medaillon bottle—in case you want to wear your perfume like a jewel. 1/6 ounce, $7.50.”

Flacon Voyage:

The Medallion design was extended to larger sized bottles holding Eau de Cologne and toilet water. These bottles include the round and oval flacons, the larger bottles are molded with designs in the center. This large bottle was known as the Flacon Voyage by the Jean d'Albret company.

Available sizes:
  • 6.25 oz




A frosted glass bottle known as the Flacon Griffon, was molded with the mythological creatures. It was introduced in 1956 and used until the early 1970s. The bottle was available in two sizes: 1/8 oz and 1/4 oz and holds pure parfum. The bottle was fitted with gilded brass ends. The later edition (1970s) of this bottle was clear glass, not frosted. The earlier bottles had a gilded foil paper label which wound itself around the length of the flacon.



Later the Ecusson fragrances were housed in inexpensive glass bottles fitted with sprays in the 1950s and into the 1970s.




Fate of the Fragrance:


Discontinued in 1977 when the Jean d'Albret business closed. The company was acquired by Orlane who released Ecusson under their own name around 1977/1978. The perfume was finally discontinued in the mid 1980s.

Ecusson Perfume was reformulated and relaunched in 1995 by Long Lost Perfume/Irma Shorell, Inc. This version is only slightly different. Jeffrey Dame, the creator of the Long Lost Perfumes company has tried to stay true to the original formula.
  • Top notes: Sicilian lemon, cassie absolute, iris and aldehydes
  • Middle notes: ylang-ylang, geranium, jasmine, violet leaves, carnation and rose.
  • Base notes: patchouli, musk, vetiver, oakmoss, vanilla and sandalwood


Perfumery impressions..."Ecusson Perfume is warm and creamy with delicate florals accenting a sensuous woody accord. The exotic base notes give this fragrance a wonderful smooth and calm dry down." Jeffrey Dame of long Lost Perfumes.

Irma Shorell, Inc. is the current owner of the Ecusson United States trademark Registration No. 2,477,525 for perfume and other fragrance products


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