Ma Griffe (1946), which can either mean ‘My Signature’ or ‘It’s Mine’, was Carven’s first perfume. The aldehydic floral chypré was created by perfumer Jean Carles of Roure, who developed the fragrance from Millot’s Crêpe de Chine (1925). Styrallyl acetate, a natural component of gardenia absolute, has a dry, green, sharp floral aroma, and Ma Griffe was the first to use synthesized styrallyl acetate. Together with the tangy green citrus scent of citronellal, obtained through distillation of citronella oil, galbanum and aldehydes, a sharp fresh top note is formed. The floral heart, which consists of jasmine, rose, iris, lily of the valley and ylang ylang, sits on a warm, woody base of oakmoss, styrax, cinnamon, musk, cinnamon, labdanum, benzoin and vetiver.
One of the dresses in Madame Carven’s first collection was a dress, also named Ma Griffe. It had green and white stripes, which were incorporated into the original design of the perfume’s bottle, cap and packaging. The perfume itself was an interpretation of the two colors that represented freshness.
On the morning of the launch in 1946, green and white parachutes rained down from the sky, each carrying a sample bottle of Ma Griffe. Not only was Carven the first House to launch a perfume in such a manner, but it was also the first to have very generously given away thousands of samples.
The fresh, chic, youthful fragrance Ma Griffe appealed to many young women of the time, as they did not own perfume and did not have a great variety of fragrances they could choose from.
Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 93-97.
The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 124.