Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lesourd Pivert

Lesourd Pivert was established in 1876 and sold perfumes, toiletries and cosmetics at their shop at 24 rue Albouy, Paris.

**finding information on this company was next to nil. If you have anything to contribute to the page, please let me know. Thanks!

The following are advertisements from a 1908 Sears & Roebuck Catalog:
 "Myrka Powder. We have made arrangements whereby we can furnish you the world famous Imported Myrka Powder. A veryfine and highly appreciated powder, and very delicately perfumed. Ingredients are harmless and chemically pure. Stands unquestioned as one of the finest and best powders for constant use. Gives that velvet softness to the skin so much admired by all. Comes in three colors: white, flesh and brunette. Be sure to state the shade wanted.Our price: $.033."

"Satinette Face Powder.This Imported face powder is made by one of the best perfumers in Paris France. It is manufactured from the very finest sifted rice flour and delightfully perfumed. Absolutely guaranteed free from any harmful ingredients. It is a very popular powder and is the genuine imported article. Furnished in three shades: white, flesh and brunette. Be sure to state which shade wanted. Our Price: $0.25"

"Trefle Complexion Powder. This highly praised and largely used Parisian Powder is imported by us, enabling our customers to obtain the powder so much used abroad. It is composed of the purest ingredients, very sweetly perfumed and is a powder that will give absolute satisfaction. Comes in three shades: white, flesh and brunette. Be sure to state which shade wanted. Our price: $0.21"

The perfumes of Lesourd-Pivert:

  •  1920s Fleurs de Paris
  • Aurélia
  • Aux Trois Fleurs
  • 1950s Oeillet
A reader named Malcolm sent me this:
"I came across a reference to a Lesourd-Pivert scent, described as an 'eau-de-Cologne', in the French author Jean Malaquais' first novel (which won the Prix Renaudot in 1939), Les Javanais. It comes in the third chapter of the English translation of 1941, The Men from Java. One of the novel's most unpleasant characters, the pimp Esteve, is about to go out for the evening, and Malaquais describes his lengthy preparations in great detail. 'Esteve preened himself in front of the mirror, and sprayed himself with eau-de-Cologne. Pivert, the brand he used, was a good toilet water, it smelt of violets, Esteve's favourite scent.' Indeed, he likes it so much that just before going out the door he sprays 'another small squirt of scent into his wide-open mouth'. So it seems that Pivert made eau-de-colognes as well as the perfumes you list. Malaquais lived until 1998 (and in the latter part of his life was a great friend of Norman Mailer) and kept revising his two greatest novels over the years, so that the current French edition of Les Javanais is much shorter than the original. Oddly, one of the details he took out was the description of the scent, which in the current version is just an unnamed eau-de-Cologne. Voila -- a rather obscure literary reference to a rather obscure scent!"

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