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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Zut by Schiaparelli c1948

Zut by Elsa Schiaparelli: launched in 1948 and possibly created by a Jean Carles and Roure.

 The name "Zut" in French means "damn". "Vert Zut" was the name of a jungle green color and "Zut Mauve" was the name of a pink mauve color she used in her fabrics as well as the presentation box for the Zut perfume.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It was described as bittersweet, warm floral oriental fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: bergamot and blackcurrant
  • Middle notes: calendula, cyclamen, linden blossom, ylang ylang, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose
  • Base notes: tonka, incense, leather, vanilla, amber, sandalwood, orris, musk

Basenotes.com member, danielremy has remarked that "Zut was half Russian leather half Shalimar. The opening was a potent leathery note of birch tar, as for example in the Lubin's Cuir de Russie, or in Jet (Corday). The drydown is a very soft ambery base a la Shalimar. Zut was not as successful as Shocking but it's still very interesting to smell and to wear."


Zut was presented in a beautiful frosted glass bottle depicting a woman's body from the waist down. The woman is supposed to be Mistinguette wearing a pair of fancy striped and dotted panties, trimmed in fringe, unfortunately, her star spangled skirt has dropped to the floor around her ankles in a fluff. She exclaims "Zut!" in response.

Four sizes were available in the "legs" bottle.

  • 5.5' tall (2 oz) (originally retailed for $48 in 1949)
  • 5" tall (1 oz) (originally retailed for $30 in 1949)
  • 3 5/8"tall (1/2 oz) (originally retailed for $18 in 1949)
  • 2 1/4" (1/8 oz)

c1949 Schiaparelli Zut perfume bottle and stopper in clear glass with gold detail, sealed, ribbon, box with rare silk garter; includes short-lived re-edition, sealed in box. 5 5/8 in. Photos from Perfume Bottles Auction.

Hearst's 1948:
"As a bottle for her new perfume, Schiaparelli introduces, and high time, too, the underpinnings of her famous shocking torso. A pair of tantalizing legs in spangled trunks holds two ounces of an exotic tropical bouquet. It is called "Zut."
The New Yorker, 1948:
"Schiaparelli's Zut, which comes in a bottle that is shaped like a circus girl's legs, is just what it sounds like; it doesn't even pretend to be subtle."

Cue, 1948:
"Mme. Schiaparelli is another one of the old timers who has come up with a new perfume. Hers is called "Zut" which, as you know, is untranslatable, but epitomizes Gallic insouciance. Its two-ounce bottle (at a modest $40) is the other half of the now famous Schiaparelli dressmaker torso bottle."

Modern Packaging, 1949:
"Most unusual is the container just announced for Schiaparelli's new perfume called "Zut," a 2-oz. bottle forming the other half of the now famous Schiaparelli dressmaker torso bottle. Publicity releases describe the form of the bottle as "an uninhibited pair of legs in spangled trunks standing in a fluff of a skirt with a satin sash encircling the "waist" or neck of the flacon. The bottle is packaged in a jungle green and mauve box, gold lettered and circled with an elastic ribbon garter. A miniature version of this bottle, for the toe of someone's stocking, is $3.60, and Zut cologne, in torso bottles (no legs), costs $6 and $10.80."

Mademoiselle, 1949:
"Schiaparelli's new Zut. in a naughty leg-art bottle. $15. three-eighth ounce. Saks Fifth Avenue."

The New Yorker, 1949:
"And when it comes to dropping subtlety completely, there is Schiaparelli's Zut, in the familiar and rude bottle shaped like the lower half of a girl in tights. This perfume comes in three sizes ($18, $30 and $48) packed in a green and orchid box."

Modern Packaging, 1950:
"Schiaparelli's "leg art" French bottle for Zut perfume is now housed in green suede, satin-lined drawstring bag."

Cue, 1951:
"Schiaparelli's latest creation new two-ounce bottle of Zut Eau Cologne, paired with a miniature warm, intoxicating Zut perfume. A lightful gift in purple and green $5.75."

Harper's Bazaar, 1952:
"To wear with it, another exclamation point — Schiaparelli's "Zut" perfume."

Package Design, 1953:
"Here, for example, the Schiaparelli perfume flacons, the ' Shocking ' tailor's dummy and the ' Zut ' " leg art," show the influence of surrealism.— In the advertisements, the flacon is the central theme." 

Fodor's Women's Guide to Europe, 1954:
"Schiaparelli, 21 Place Vendome. "Succes Fou"— indeed a mad success; "Salut"— for young girls; "Snuff '—tweedy, masculine; "Sleeping"— wistful, delicate; "Shocking"— elegant, refined; "Zut"— shocking; "Roi Soleil"— luxurious."

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued around 1955 or so.

It was reformulated by Nathalie Feisthauer from Givaudan-Roure and relaunched in 1998.

So what does it smell like?
  • Top notes: bergamot, black currant, cyclamen
  • Middle notes: marigold, ylang-ylang, linden flower, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose
  • Base notes:  iris roots, tonka, incense, vanilla, cedar, sandalwood and musk

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