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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cassandra by Weil c1935

 The Cassandra perfume first came out in 1935 in France,  and it was introduced into the USA in 1936. The perfume was created by Jacqueline Fraysse and took two years to perfect. It was available as parfum, cologne and toilet water.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a floral oriental fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, geranium
  • Middle notes: lavender, hazelnut, jasmine, rose, galbanum, patchouli, myrrh, honey
  • Base notes: amber, resin, sandalwood, civet, benzoin, vanilla, oakmoss, styrax, musk

My dear friend Tina generously sent me a sample of the Cassandra parfum from the Baccarat flacon, the perfume starts out sharp, pungent, chypre, some vibrant bergamot, geranium or lemon blended with aldehydes comes along, then made spicy with herbs layered over lots of oakmoss, galbanum and styrax , then comes some heady and powdery ambergris mixed with sandalwood, myrrh and frankincense, the sweetness of benzoin or vanilla, indolic jasmine, then roses dripping with honey and the animalic civet and musk form a wonderful well rounded base. The smoky dry down is completely intoxicating and made heavy by the unabashed use of the ambergris and woods like patchouli and sandalwood.

I would want to drench myself in this holy composition and lounge for hours on a divan in the Seraglio eating loukhoum and other Turkish delights whilst waiting for my Sultan to pick me as his favorite for the evening.


The deluxe bottle is the Baccarat column flacon, designed by Paul H. Ganz.  This bottle was made until 1954.

Prices given below date from the 1940s advertisements, the prices stayed consistent throughout the decade.

The parfum was available in five sizes:

1 dram...$3.50
1/5 oz....$5.50
1/2 oz...$12.50
1 oz...$22.50
1 3/4 oz....$37.50

Cassandra was presented in a cologne form starting in 1944 and the scent was described as "deeply sweet, evasive, foreboding." The cologne was a 4 oz size...$4.50.

In 1953, Cassandra was in toilet water form ranging from 2 oz to 14 oz.

A 1936 ad reads
"WEIL'S CASSANDRA: This thrilling new perfume is bottled in a sheer crystal Ionic column and comes in a Grecian box. It's a fresh spicy floral bouquet. It is heavy enough to be chic for dressy occasions and yet light enough to seem fresh and springlike."

Drug and Cosmetic Industry - Volume 38, 1936:
"PARFUMS WEIL announces a new perfume with an unusual name, in a bottle of classic simplicity. They call it "Cassandra," and the bottle is a slender Ionic column of hand-cut crystal with gold lettering. The perfume is a floral bouquet."

Drug and Cosmetic Industry, 1936:
"such presentations as Chanel's "Cuir de Russie" (Russian Leather), a modern and typical sports odor adapted for outdoor use; "Cassandra," a floral bouquet presented by Parfums Weil, presented in a slender Ionic column of hand-cut crystal with gold lettering."

Stage, 1936:
"There's something pretty exhilarating about the new fizzing cologne of Parfums Weil called Carbo-nique. It comes in three odors: Cassandra, Bamboo, and Zibeline, and the seltzer-bottle container is returnable for credit on a new one."

Chemist and Druggist, 1936:
"Parfums Weil of Paris. ... Ltd., 27 Old Bond Street, London, W.i. The series of perfumes issued by this firm includes Cassandra, which is a. new variety, as well as their other perfumes, Zibeline, Bambou , Chinchilla, Hermine and Une Fleur."

The Delineator, 1936:
"Cassandra perfume (an ounce), $19.75 — for the benefit of both."

Stage, Volume 14, 1936:
"The new Cassandra lipstick, patterned after the original Weil perfume, also looks like a Greek column; this one's in gilt and white enamel."

Country Life, 1938:
"..All this and more can he said of the perfumes of Weil of Paris, among whose distinguished odours are Zibeline, Cassandra, Chinchilla, and Noir, which have won for themselves an enviable position in France and America. They can be recommended with every confidence."

1943 ad reads:
“Out of this world perfumes by Weil” Few others can match the individuality and distinction of perfumes by Weil. “Cobra”, the newest that Vogue calls “a safe gift because it is such a favorite.”. Cassandra, exquisitely feminine with haunting overtones. Zibeline whose frosty fragrances makes one think of luxury furs like Silver Fox and Platinum Mink.”

A 1947 ad reads
"Cassandra Perfume: A breath of Paris brought to her by the House of Weil presenting an incomparable fragrance she ll never forget."

Harper's Bazaar, 1949:
"Weil's "Cassandra," a light, gay bouquet with overtones of jasmine, in a classic crystal column."

The New Yorker, 1953:
"Now we take up our old friends among the post-debs. Weil's Zibeline and Cassandra are being bottled in France these days; both perfumes are $18 an ounce, and the toilet waters are from $3.60 (two ounces) to $18 (fourteen ounces)."

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

Cassandra was still sold until around 1969, the last newspaper ad I saw for it was in 1967.

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