Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chevalier by D'Orsay c1911

Chevalier was launched in 1911 in France and in the USA in 1912, as a women's perfume, it had a sweet, citrusy, masculine edge and was popular for many years. The fragrance was created as an homage to the Count d'Orsay, who created the d'Orsay line in 1830 for his mistress, Lady Blessington of England.




It was presented in flacons by Cristalleries de Baccarat and others.


Baccarat flacon c1911.

Long famous in Europe, and known to thousands of American travelers,  Eau de Cologne du Chevalier was advertised as a newly available fragrance for American men in 1946.

Printer's Ink Monthly, 1920:
"The scent Chevalier d'Orsay which has been promoted most heavily in the advertising is put up in a bottle that more closely approximates the conventional container. Square with a faceted stopper it is made of a fine clear glass so modelled as to escape severity. This bottle will appeal to more conservative tastes but it does not lack attention value and appeal to all users.  
As a novelty the company has devised a small leather pocket case which at first glimpse appears to be the container for a small watch But inside is a tiny round bottle of Chevalier d'Orsay.. Bottle and case can be dropped into the vanity case and are not too large for the purse or a small pocket. The woman of refinement uses little perfume and in this handy container she can carry an ample supply for her needs on a short journey. Here the appeal is twofold both of novelty and of utility. Yet the minute size gives the bottle and case an added attention value which will single them out for inspection though they be surrounded and dwarfed by larger and more imposing packages."
In a 1922 newspaper advertisement reads:
 "Chevalier - the sweetest odor produced by this celebrated Parisian maker,secured in an extraordinary bottle."


c1960s ad



Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? The scent is spicy, with balsamic, amber and musk. I have a sealed bottle of vintage 1930s Chevalier by D'Orsay, however, I just checked it and it was a lil loose so I moved the stopper a little without breaking the threaded seal, got some drops of perfume onto my skin and oh my goodness, what a heady, erotic, swoon-worthy fragrance.

The fragrance opened up with a quick rush of delightful sweetness like cherry tobacco, mandarin oranges, and boysenberries all dripping with the spices, nutmeg, coriander, and incense laden carnations. Now, the creamy orange blossom and the tuberose are making love within the perfume and producing a heady, narcotic mix which whirls my brain into the upper stratosphere. As it is drying down, the tuberose and neroli don't die, they continue to propagate and mix with oakmoss, powdery iris and amber. I detect a sort of animalic leathery sweet suede note and benzoin, but that isn't a listed note,  vanilla is so that must be the creamy  sweetness..

I don't get the citrusy smells, probably because it is the old formulation and not the reorchestrated version. The juice has turned into a very dark brown, and almost sepia in color. It is a syrupy concoction, like a witch's dark aphrodisiac. I am enthralled and enslaved.  I cannot stop sniffing my wrist, where the fragrance is still blossoming from the warmth of my skin.

I did a retest of this fragrance and finally I smell the bergamot top, the fragrance really is complex and delicious! I have not smelled the reformulation from 1995 but I would love to do a side by side comparison.


Reformulation:

In 1996, it was "modernized" into a sparkling fresh, fruity and trendy fragrance with a spicy floral heart on a tonic base, an elegant eau de toilette for men. They called it Le Parfum du Chevalier d'Orsay, and it's meant to harmonize with the aroma of a cigar. I have never smelled this version yet, so I don't know how I would like it, if you have some, would you like to send me a sample for review?

Reformulation's Official Fragrance Notes:

  • Top Notes: Italian Bergamot, Lemon, Boysenberry, Marjolaine Essence, Lavender Armoise, Egyptian Basil, Tarragon, Italian Mandarin.
  • Middle Notes: Carnation, Lily of the Valley, Neroli, Nutmeg, Angelique, Tuberose, Coriander, Black Pepper, Mint.
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Pine, Iris, Sage, Incense, Amber, Vanilla, Musk.






No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be subject to approval by a moderator. Comments may fail to be approved or may be edited if the moderator deems that they:
contain unsolicited advertisements ("spam")
are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
contain personal attacks or abusive/gratuitously offensive language

International Perfume Bottle Association

IPBA Annual Convention

Annual IPBA Perfume Bottles Auction

Annual IPBA Perfume Bottles Auction