Friday, September 30, 2016

Magie Noire by Lancome c1978

Magie Noire by Lancôme: launched in 1978. Created by Gérard Goupy. It was the first new fragrance from Lancome for a decade and has earned a place amongst its beloved classics.





The launch party for Magie Noire was a high class, formal affair held at the Saint in the heart of the East Village. Lancome’s public relations woman, Joan Lasker Kennedy stated that Lancome “wanted the launch to be the most elegant launch New York had ever seen.”

She went on to say that it was important to “downplay the commercial aspects. No speeches. No long presentations. You try to match the luxury of the fragrance.” The evening was dominated by 150 store executives - who actually order the fragrance, and the rest of the other 150 people were made up members of the press.

“In the launch business, the key to success is being different”, said professional party planner Lore Moser. He further went in to say that Joan Kennedy had her eyes set on the Saint, which in the late 1970s, was a predominantly gay disco and in his opinion “the Saint is certainly different.” One female party guest seemed a little disappointed when she realized the disco was closed to its usual clientele, “I was looking forward to seeing the boys, too.” she lamented.

At $300 a head, the dinner party ultimately cost a whopping $150,000. The theme was the classic contrast of black and gold, which reflected the fragrance’s colors and everything and everyone, including the guests was lavishly adorned in the signature colors. In the center of the ground floor was a platform illuminated with a spotlight with its very own guest of honour. On this so-called altar stood a 64 ounce replica bottle of Magie Noire perfume.

The extravagant tablescapes were a study in baroque, black and gold cigarettes, black and gold seating chips, black balloons overhead which Kennedy said “make the space less cavernous..and they don’t look childish in black...they appear more elegant, architectural”.

At the end of cocktail hour, butlers approached the guests with exotic floral arrangements hiding ten jumbo tempura shrimp. Amongst the glittering crystal goblets of champagne, golden caviar was heaped upon seashells richly lacquered in black, while resting upon shimmering gilded galax leaves. All catered by the Gordons. 

According to Joan Kennedy, the Magie Noire fragrance symbolizes luxury and “not peas and carrots” so it was important not to use every day boring foods one might find at a diner or at home. She went on to say that “For a Wall Street firm, the caterers we used would be too glittery, but with their astounding table decorations, they were perfect for Magie Noire. After all, this is fashion.”

Picking up on the black magic theme, black and gold clad “gypsies” milled around the gala and told fortunes, read palms, analyzed handwriting, read faces and examined tarot cards. Exclusive party favors, unique black and gold lacquered minaudieres, designed by Rafael Sanchez were given to the ladies of the fashion press.

Towards the end of the evening, while guests were busy waltzing on the dance floor, Billy Daniels sang the standard “That Old Black Magic” as the ceiling seemed to open, revealing a huge model of the Magie Noire label, which floated down. Following this spectacle, the words "Magie Noire" and photos of the fragrance were projected onto the massive dome overhead, revolving at increasing speed, making the room seem as if it were spinning, while guests applauded the guest of honor, the perfume of Magie Noire.

Fragrance Composition:



So what does it smell like? It is classified as a crisp oriental fragrance for women. Magie Noire, combines romantic florals, sensual woods, warm sophisticated spices, amber and fresh greens.
  • Top notes of cassia, Bulgarian rose, hyacinth, raspberry, bergamot, blackcurrant and galbanum
  • Middle notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang, St John’s wort, narcissus, orris, cedar, lily of the valley, tuberose and honey 
  • Base notes of musk, vetiver, civet, myrrh, spices, patchouli, frankincense, sandalwood, labdanum, oakmoss and amber

Bottles:

The throat of the teardrop flacon, designed by Pierre Dinand in 1978, is ringed with stripes of amber, wine, and black, with a package covered with arcane alchemical symbols. The bottle was manufactured by Pochet et du Courval with plastic components supplied by both MBF Plastiques and AMS.



 Le Spray Magique: a one-third fluid ounce, refillable, Magie Noire Parfum Purse Spray, cast in fluted- gold metal.

In 1987, a beautiful set was released for holiday gift giving. Le Collier Magique, a triangular scarf of slinky, gleaming gold mesh to drape a glamourous neckline was packaged with a fluted gold metal refillable spray of Magie Noire Eau de Toilette. Retailed for $60.

In 1988, an exclusive Lancome, Paris showstopper was introduced for the holiday season. The Cristal Noire Necklace,  three sparkling strands of European crystal-cut beads in jet black with a custom clasp. Magnificently wrapped with a 1/3 oz Magie Noire Parfum Spray in a silvertone purse atomizer. Retailed for $65.



Fate of the Fragrance:

Magie Noire Eau de Toilette was reformulated in 2007 and relaunched in new packaging. A reformulation of the eau de parfum was made in 2008.


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