Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gourielli

Established in 1941 by Helena Rubinstein who was married to Artchil Gourielli-Tchkonia, a Russian prince from Georgia . Princess Gourielli (Helena Rubinstein) opened the Gourielli Shop, an old fashioned brownstone front on E. 55th Street, Manhattan, that she turned into a fabulous cosmetic emporium selling old apothecary recipes combined with new scientific formulas.  The shop combined several different decorative themes which combined Old Apothecary, Early American, Victorian American, Modern and Mexican.

Rubinstein's office, entered via a white reception room which featured a bright orange carpet and a screen by Halicka, was opulent and done in a bold color scheme of bright yellow walls, mauve painted furniture, startling Mexican crimson (cochinelle) upholstery and green carpeting. Hung on the walls are Mexican paintings by Reyes in which cochinelle was used extensively. Early Victorian lace curtains, rare and luxurious, extending from ceiling to floor helped to break up the brilliant color, while the rest of teh shop, covering two floors, was appointed in equally striking manner. There was a Grey Room or men's shop which was entered through a private door. Here the boy with adolescent skin troubles would be catered to in surroundings that included a Victorian souch richly upholstered in dark empire blue faille, a Victorian round table and a screen by Vertes. On one wall was a magnificent carved gilt mirror in Mexican churrigueresque style. There was also an amusing old mug rack which held Princess Gourielli's collection of old shaving jars, some occupations representing the taxi driver, baseball player, truck driver, baker, butcher and shoe salesman.

Items to be purchased started at $2, with lipstick priced at around $2.50, high prices in 1941 when the war was still waging on. It was reported that Helena Rubinstein had a reputation as a shrewd businesswoman, intending to sell to a clientele that could afford such luxuries, in spite of the war. Her favorite advice to her salesgirls was "You have got to look right down into their pocketbooks and get that last nickel."

The fragrances of Gourielli:

  • 1941 Star Dust
  • 1941 Tang Cologne
  • 1941 White Gardenia
  • 1941 White Lilac
  • 1941 Heart Violet
  • 1941 Carnation
  • 1941 Jasmine
  • 1941 June Rose
  • 1941 Narcissus
  • 1942 Bow Tie
  • 1942 Dream Princess
  • 1943 Something Blue
  • 1943 Moonlight Mist
  • 1947 Five O'Clock
  • 1947 Heart to Heart
  • 1947 Here’s How Part of a men's soap set
  • 1947 Tipsy
  • 1948 Lily of the Valley
  • 1950 Sport of Kings (horse racing)
  • 1953 Fourth Dimension
  • 1956 Spring Lilac
  • 1957 Four Loves Have I





Five O'Clock - cool aldehydic floral (dreamy, aldehydes, lemon, spicy, sandalwood and jasmine)

Moonlight Mist - fresh floral - (lilac, lily of the valley, roses)

Something Blue  - floral bouquet (jasmine and sweet garden flowers)

Fourth Dimension - a spicy aldehydic floral (aldehydes, jasmine, Florentine iris, lily of the valley)



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