Monday, July 21, 2014

Debutante de Versailles by Jean Desprez c1958

As a tribute to the elegant American and French debutantes, the newborn belles of the ball, Jean Desprez created Debutante de Versailles in 1958, a limited edition perfume exclusively created for Daggett & Ramsdell.  The perfume was a tie in to Teleflora's Aura Arrangements campaign line of floral arrangements.




Fragrance Composition:


This opulent composition made up of over 300 ingredients was to become the infamous Bal a Versailles perfume in 1962, when it was offered to the public for the first time. So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women. Although, no one other than the creative geniuses at Parfums Jean Desprez know the entire formula for Bal a Versailles, we do know that these are definitely in the opulent mixture:

  • Top notes: basil, bergamot, cajuput, cinnamon, clary sage, coriander, eucalyptus, grapefruit, hyssop, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin orange, neroli, niaouli, orange, peppermint, petitgrain, ravensara, sage, spearmint, tagetes, tangerine, tea tree, thyme, verbena
  • Middle notes: bay, black pepper, Bulgarian rose, cardamom, chamomile, cypress, fennel, geranium, ho leaf, ho wood, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lilac, lily-of-the-valley, marjoram, melissa, myrtle, nutmeg,  orange blossom, palmarosa, pine, rose de Mai, rosemary, spikenard, yarrow
  • Base notes: ambergris, benzoin, cassia, cedarwood, cinnamon, civet, clove, frankincense, ginger, melilot, musk, myrrh, oakmoss, orris root, patchouli, Peru balsam, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, tolu balsam, valerian, vanilla, vetiver, ylang ylang

Bottle:


The perfume was housed inside of a cut crystal flacon manufactured by Cristal de Sevres. The crystal bottles for Bal a Versailles featured an image of the Fragonard painting, Bal a Versailles on the label.

Punch, 1958:
"the world's most bewitching fragrance in a concentration never before achieved. They make the world's most expensive perfume, "Debutante de Versailles," which will be used as the fragrance in the October issue of Spirit, publication of Teleflora.  Needless to say a bottle in a lush case was presented to each girl."

Telegraph Delivery Spirit, Volume 28, 1961:
"This fabulously flattering fragrance made its exciting debut at the brilliant Debutante Bal de Versailles.Using the costliest floral essences ever captured, world famous parfumeur Jean Desprez created a perfume masterpiece, Aura Arrangements DEBUTANTE DE VERSAILLES. Here is a fragrance that surrounds the Spirit with the world's most expensive aura so rare, so romantic, you'll want to with your customer who knows and appreciates the best."




Fate of the Fragrance:


Discontinued, date unknown.


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