Sunday, March 6, 2016

20 Carats by Dana c1933

20 Carats was first introduced in 1933 by Dana who launched Tabu just one year before. Originally only sold in their Parisian boutique, 20 Carats may have only been introduced to American women during this time by soldiers returning from duty in France, bringing home perfumes for their sweethearts, sisters and mothers.


It wasn’t until the 1940s, possibly only after World War II had ended, that Dana exported some of their fragrances including 20 Carats to the American shores. A 1945 advertisement introduces the perfume as “The new elegance in perfume and Fashion is 20 Carats by Dana.”

Dana like other perfumers at the time had exported their perfume essences to be compounded and bottled in the United States, this probably had something to do with US laws. So you will find some bottles marked with similar messages.

 20 Carats was also sold to Spanish speaking countries, under the name 20 Quilates, it was also known as 30 Ks. You will often find bottles from after 1953 with labels reading 20 Carats-20 Quilates-20Ks".

20 Carats was available as:
  • perfume
  • cologne
  • stick solid cologne
  • bath oil
  • soap
  • lotion (locion)
  • dusting powder

Fragrance Composition:


So what does it smell like? It is classified as a spicy floral fougere fragrance for women with a rich blend of fruits, herbs and grasses.
  • Top notes: bergamot, cherry, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and aldehydes
  • Middle notes: heliotrope, carnation, rose, jasmine, lavender, herbs, fern, myrrh, frankincense
  • Base notes: sandalwood, ambergris, oakmoss, tonka, musk, balsam, tobacco, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin and vetiver


The Bottles:


20 Carats was unique in the fact that it contained real pieces of gold leaf which floated around inside the bottle when it was shaken. 20 Carats' sister scent, Platine had silver leaf bits which also floated in the juice. These perfumes must have seemed ultra luxurious, yet affordable for those suffering from the double punch of the Great Depression and World War II. With these fragrances, ladies could once again feel glamorous each time their applied them to their skin and admired the flacons sitting on their vanities.

It must be noted that the later editions of 20 Carats no longer contained the gilded flecks floating in the juice.



The Fate of the Fragrance:

On Tuesday, August 19, 1952, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for 20 QUILATES 20 KS 20 CARATS. This trademark is owned by Les Parfums de Dana, Inc of New York, 10017. The USPTO has given the 20 QUILATES 20 KS 20 CARATS trademark serial number of 71634147. Dana claimed that the name was first used in commerce in 1934. The current federal status of this trademark filing expired in 1994. Suzanne Thierry, is now the current owner of the 20 CARATS U.S. Trademark Application No. 78273631 for perfume and other fragrance products.

 In 1975, the perfume was reformulated to appeal to modern tastes.

An advertisement from 1975 reads:
”Announcing your presence, Dana’s new 20 Carats, Essence-of-richness without spending a fortune. It’s the same name: 20 Carats, but a whole new fragrance: 20 Carats. But you’ll feel independently wealthy when you wear it, independent of clothes, money or hairdressers. 20 Carats new scent is a melange of flowers, moss, fruit. More specifically, a blend of precious oils of frankincense, myrrh, musk, patchouli, rose, jasmine, clove and oakmoss.
  • A new high interest investment: 20 Carats Parfum, ounce $35.00
  • Plus golden opportunities like a Spray Perfume Purser ¼ ounce, $6.00.
  • Liquid assets: Eau de Parfum, 2 ounces $5.00, 4 ounces $7.00.
  • Added interest: Eau de Parfum Spray 2 ounces $6.00.
  • Invaluable commodity: Dusting powder 4 ounces $4.00."

For over fifty years, 20 CARATS remained a best selling luxury scent and was sold in high-end department stores until it was finally discontinued in 1987.



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