Saturday, June 27, 2015

Judith Muller

Judith Muller was born in Hungary to a wealthy family, the dream of the "spoiled girl" ended very soon with the arrival of Hitler and then Stalin. With her family, she moved to Israel where they were forced to earn their living. Judith was a one-time sergeant in the Israeli army.




"Perfume of the Holy Land", Judith's idea for her beauty industry came "while on a night watch at an army base in divided Jerusalem with the contours of David's Tower looming on the horizon, all of a sudden, present and past blended together."

The idea for the cologne and perfume is as simple as it has been successful: she combined the ancient flowers and plants known to the women of the Bible with modern technology. As she romantically put it... "the scents of today from the fragrances of the past."

She went to Paris to study scents, and worked with chemists to study which plants mentioned in the Bible still survived today. In 1962, she formulated a prototype of the Bat-Sheba perfume, based on Biblical ingredients. Her signature fragrance Bat Sheba, named after the young woman who seduced King David, was formulated with modern ingredients by IFF perfumers Ernest Shifftan and Sophia Grojsman and officially launched in 1964.

By 1965, she returned to Israel and opened an institute and perfume house Judith Muller Ltd., in Haïfa that specialized in Bible-inspired beauty methods and local ingredients.


Judith Muller sold her scents in pretty, smoky-glass flacons shaped to look like ancient bottles. The bottles, each handpainted so no two are exactly alike, were available in the usual measures, but you can also find gift sets of two, four, six, and eight miniature bottles. Some of the flacons were housed in small leather pouches which could double as storage for jewelry.

After the death of her husband, Gati, she closed her beauty institute at Haifa and moved to Tel Aviv, where she began to create bespoke fragrances for individual clients such as jewelry stores, hotels and individual countries.  For Thailand, she created the Oriental. For Fiji, she created Fidjit of Suva. Then came the Flame of the Sheraton, in a lovely flame-shaped bottle. For the H. Stern jewelry concern, she created Esprit de Parfum whose bottle contains an actual citrine gemstone inside.

Judith Muller passed away in 2012 from terminal cancer, you can read more about her here.

The Perfumes of Judith Muller:
  • 1962 Bat-Sheba
  • 1968 Bat-Sheba Exotic Oriental 
  • 1968 Bat-Sheba Woody Modern
  • 1970 Shalom
  • 1974 King David (for men)
  • 1975 Judith
  • 1976 JM (for teenagers)
  • 1992 H. Stern
  • 1996 Jerusalem 3,000
  • 2005 Hungarian Rhapsody No 5
  • Israel
  • Rose Ambree
  • Sharon
  • Flame (limited edition created for the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv)


The Fragrances: Please note that I may not have all of the notes listed for each fragrance, I would need some samples and your input to help update the list.


Bat-Sheba: created in 1962 by IFF perfumer Ernest Shifftan and Sophia Grojsman. It is classified as a fruity floral chypre perfume for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, cardamom, bergamot, fruit notes, green notes
  • Heart notes: desert cactus, honey, jasmine, rose, orris, ylang-ylang, carnation
  • Base notes: musk, sandalwood, balsam, patchouli, vetiver, castoreum, vanilla, amber, leather, oakmoss


Bat-Sheba Woody Modern: created in 1964. It is classified as a bitter green woody chypre perfume for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, cardamom, bergamot, galbanum, rosewood, hyacinth
  • Middle notes: spices, desert cactus, honey, jasmine, rose, orris, ylang-ylang, carnation, cocoa
  • Base notes: sandalwood, balsam, patchouli, vetiver, castoreum, vanilla, amber, leather, oakmoss 

Bat-Sheba Exotic Oriental: created in 1968 by IFF perfumer Ernest Shifftan and Sophia Grojsman. It is classified as a spicy oriental fougere perfume for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, cardamom, bergamot, fruit notes, rosewood, lavender
  • Heart notes: spices, jasmine, rose, orris, ylang-ylang, carnation
  • Base notes: resins, smoky notes, sandalwood, benzoin, balsam, patchouli, vetiver, castoreum, vanilla, amber, leather, oakmoss


Sharon: is classified as a floral (jasmine-rose) aldehyde perfume with soft chypre-fruity-ambery notes, close to Arpège and Madame Rochas. The main idea is a chypre-mossy-fruity accord.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, fruit notes, neroli, honeysuckle
  • Middle notes: rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, iris, lily of the valley
  • Base notes: benzoin, oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, labdanum, vanilla, musk, amber

Judith: created in 1975, it is classified as a fresh floral perfume for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, fruity notes, bergamot, hyacinth, lemon, orange
  • Middle notes: jasmine, carnation, orchid, orris, rose, cyclamen, ylang ylang
  • Base notes: oakmoss, sandalwood, musk, amber, cedar, benzoin, caramel, cinnamon

Shalom: created in 1970, is classified as a mossy fruity chypre perfume for women.
  • Top notes: peach, plum, rosewood, cardamom, bergamot
  • Middle notes: jasmine, nutmeg, rose, orris, carnation, ylang ylang
  • Base notes: benzoin, leather, oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, civet

King David: created as a modern fougere fragrance for men, but loved by women as well. It starts off with a fresh and herbaceous top, followed by a dry, spicy floral heart, resting on a ambery, mossy base.
  • Top notes: lavender, bergamot, rosemary, laurel, petitgrain
  • Middle notes: carnation, geranium, aldehyde, pine, cinnamon, fern, rose
  • Base notes: oakmoss, cedar, musk, fir, tonka bean, amber

JM: created in 1974, is classified as light, fresh floral perfume that was meant to be worn by teenage girls.
  • Top notes: citrus notes
  • Middle notes: spices, floral notes
  • Base notes: amber, vanilla, sandalwood


H. Stern Esprit de Parfum: a unisex aldehydic green floral fragrance, based on a combination of aromatic plants and essences mentioned in the Bible. It was launched in 1992 for the luxury jewelry store and was given as a gift to special customers only. The bottle contains an actual gemstone inside. The perfume bottle, is painted in a color like the stone inside of it.
  • Top notes: aldehydes and green notes
  • Middle notes: rose and other floral notes 
  • Base notes: musk



Jerusalem 3,000: a unisex fragrance created by Judith Muller in cooperation with Ein Gedi Cosmetics, to celebrate the 3000th anniversary of Jerusalem and for the Israel Coins and Medal Corporation, and was presented in a limited edition coffret with certificate and 24kt gold medal of honor of the city.
  • Top notes:
  • Middle notes: spices and floral notes
  • Base notes: myrrh, amber, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, frankincense


Eszterháza No. 1: a fragrance for women, launched in 2004 as a tribute to Princess Margaret Esterházy and was created in cooperation with the Hungarian cosmetic company Natural Doctor.


The Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5 perfume, inspired by Franz Liszt, was created by Pierre Bourdon in 2005 as a national fragrance of Hungary and is presented in a porcelain bottle by Endre Szász and decorated with graphics by John Mata. The perfume is made up of the flowers found in Hungary and won the Hungarian Quality Product Award.
  • Top notes: green pepper
  • Middle notes: lily, lilac, rose and jasmine
  • Base notes: myrrh and ambergris

Flame: a unisex fragrance, a limited edition of only 700 copies, created for the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv)



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