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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Laughter by Germaine Monteil c1940

Laughter by Germaine Monteil: launched in 1940. The creation of the perfume took eight year to complete.

It was reformulated in 1950 and was rechristened Rigolade (pronounced REE-GO-LAHD), you may find some labels marked with both names: Laughter (Rigolade).

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is was originally a warm, heady floral fragrance for women also described as "cool, clean, pungent, spicy, vibrant". Made up of "fruit blossoms and summer flowers", the perfume had the color of golden honey.
  • Top notes: peach, aldehydes, citrus, fruit note
  • Middle notes: gardenia, lilac, jasmine
  • Base notes: spices

The perfume was reformulated in 1950 to make it  "make it brisker" and "brighter", when this happened, it was renamed Rigolade. It was then changed to a light, fruity floral fragrance for women.

The New Yorker, 1950:
"Germaine Monteil is now making and bottling her Laughter in France, and in doing so has made a new thing of it, infinitely brighter. A half-ounce bottle is $12."

Esquire, 1951:
"Laughter, made in Paris by Germaine Monteil is “Reminiscent of tropical night flowers . . . heady—but not heavy. It smells good too."

Harper's Bazaar - Page 276, 1956:
"Rigolade" — peaches, fruit blossoms and summer flowers, together in a kind of gay celebration. By Germaine Monteil. 1 ounce, $20."


Laughter/Rigolade was housed in several different bottles based on the concentrations, parfum, Eau Concentree , eau de cologne, etc. Also, pillow shaped scented drawer sachets made up of yellow rayon satin were also sold in two sizes: small and large.


Drug & Cosmetic Catalog, 1941:
"Laughter is Germain Monteil's first perfume. The bottle is streamlined, modern, with a beautifully cut stopper which is large in diameter as the bottle, giving it a column-like effect."

The parfum was housed in a tall, oval bottle of clear crystal manufactured by Verreries Brosse in France. The bottle was molded with horizontal banding and the bottle was decorated with a gold foil paper label (sometimes the gold finish on the label wears off leaving a silvery looking foiled label) along the upper top of the bottle, just below the base of the stopper. The base of the bottle is molded with "Germaine Monteil Made in France".

The bottle had an unusual stopper of clear and frosted glass, which looked more like an overcap. Instead of having a stopper plug, the stopper was hollowed in the center so that it could be placed over the entire mouth and neck of the bottle, forming a tight seal.

After the bottle was filled with perfume, the person at the factory in charge of sealing the bottle, would take the baudruchage cords and wrap them around the neck of the bottle several times, make a knot, then take the two loose ends of the cording and pass them onto over the center top of the stopper and then tie the cording just under the stopper to form the seal. She would then attach a small metallic foil paper label to the tail of the cords. The parfum bottle was then housed in a presentation box covered in golden yellow satin.

You can see how the baudruchage cords are positioned in this advertisement below.

When the perfume was introduced, the half ounce bottle retailed for $10.00, the one ounce bottle was $17.50, the two and a half ounce bottle retailed for $37.50 and the four ounce bottle retailed for $55.
  • 1/2 oz =   
  • 1 oz = stands 2.75" tall  
  • 2 1/2 oz =  
  • 4 oz =  

Other parfum bottles were the 1/8 oz size black plastic "Perfume Flaconettes" perfect sizes to carry around in purses. Also, the "Weekender", was a sleek, streamlined spray container, introduced in 1961, perfect for use during traveling, this neat device had a removable atomizer.

Eau de Toilette:

The Eau de Toilette was introduced in 1942 and was available in four sizes in a cylindrical bottle. According to a 1942 newspaper ad, the smallest size (2 oz) retailed for $2.50, the 4 oz size for $4.50 and the 8 oz for $8.00 with the largest size at $15.00. By 1945, the price had gone up to $15 for the 8 oz bottle.
  • 2 oz
  • 4 oz
  • 8 oz
  • 0z

Eau de Cologne:

The Eau  Concentree (eau de cologne) bottles came in two different shapes, one that resembled the horizontally ribbed parfum bottle and the other was an interesting two handled jug design (introduced in 1948), both bottles had screw caps. Prices retailed from $1.75 to $9.00 in 1945.

  • 2 oz
  • 4 oz 
  • 8 oz

Bath & Body Products:

Laughter was also available in perfumed soap, shower glove, bath oils and dusting powder.

The shower glove was a type of washcloth filled with fragrant flakes of soap.

The 12 oz box of pink tinted dusting powder/bath powder was housed in the golden yellow box and retailed for $7.50 in 1944. Refills were also available at $5 a piece.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

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