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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Le Debut by Richard Hudnut c1927

In 1927, Richard Hudnut introduced four new blends of perfumes called Le Debut.


The perfumes were housed in four different sized flacons and were originally priced at $1.00 for the smallest size, then $$3.75, $7.50 and $12.50 for the largest size in 1928. The matching cloisonne compacts sold around $2.50 each. Lipsticks were also available.

The series of four petits flacons:
  • Noir for the mood of sophistication
  • Bleu for romance
  • Vert adventure
  • Blanc for gaiety

The bottles were made by Cristalleries de Nancy in France. The perfumes were compounded, sealed and packaged at Hudnut's lab in France.

Each perfume was of the same Art Deco octagonal shape, but had it's own color to suggest four different moods. Original boxes are rare to find, but if you are lucky enough you might find that:

  • Le Debut Vert came in a green box
  • Le Debut Blanc came in a white box
  • Le Debut Noir came in a red box
  • Le Debut Bleu came in a blue box

The rarest bottle color is the white bottle. The perfume bottles came in five different sizes from 5 1/8" tall to diminutive 1 1/4" tall bottles. Matching compacts and vanity cases were also sold.

Please do not confuse this bottle with the blue 1987 bottle for Lou Lou by Cacharel, the stoppers are completely different.

1920s Richard Hudnut Le Debut perfume bottle, black glass, gilt stopper, 2 labels, with matching enameled metal compact, box. Bottle 2 in. Photo by Perfume Bottles Auction

1925 Richard Hudnut Le Debut Bleu mini perfume bottle, blue glass, clear stopper, two labels, sealed, box. 1 3/8 in. Photo by Perfume Bottles Auction

1925 Richard Hudnut Le Debut Blanc mini perfume bottle, white glass, silver gilt stopper, two labels, sealed, box. 1 3/8 in. Photo by Perfume Bottles Auction

"Le Debut Bleu," a perfume bottle for Richard Hudnut, circa 1927, in opaque blue glass with silver gilt stopper, side and bottom labels. Ht. 2 1/2 in (6.3 cm). Photo by Rago Arts.

"Le Debut Vert," a perfume bottle for Richard Hudnut, circa 1927, in opaque green glass with gilt stopper, side and bottom labels. Ht. 2 5/8 in. Photo by Rago Arts.

"Le Debut," a factice perfume bottle for Richard Hudnut, circa 1927, in black glass, with gold finished stopper. Ht. 5". Photo by Rago Arts

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? I do not have any notes on these compositions. I would need samples to tell you what they smell like.

  • Noir was described as being "for the mood of sophistication". In the 1920s, perfumes described as "sophisticated" were often aldehydic blends, so I would imagine this may have been along the lines of Chanel No. 5, an aldehydic floral.
  • Bleu was described as "soft" and being "for romance", so I would assume it was a floral blend, possibly with notes of rose, violet and jasmine with some oriental notes.
  • Vert was described as "fresh" and created for "adventure", which in the 1920s, would be synonymous with sports and the outdoors, so this would most likely be a "green" or chypre type perfume, with forest-like notes of moss and woods.
  • Blanc was described as "blithe and airy" and was made "for gaiety" and was most likely a light floral blend, probably had notes of lily of the valley, narcissus, sweet pea, orchid or honeysuckle.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

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