Ma Griffe by Carven (1946)


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.

Original Ma Griffe Bottle (Source: Fragrantica)


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.


Ma Griffe Dress (Source: Gabrielle Aznar)



Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 93-97.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 124.


Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs (1978)

Cacharel’s first perfume, Anaïs Anaïs (1978), was conceived to appeal to the young women, who could not find fragrances that suited them in traditional perfumeries. According to the general manager of Parfums Cacharel, Annette Louit, the concept of the fragrance was duality. It is expressed through the soft, innocent yet sexy feminine fragrance, through picturing two women in advertisements and through its name. The notion may be apparent in the repetition of the name Anaïs but not so much in the significance of the name. The name Anaïs originated from Anaitis, the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and death. The “connotations of birth and death” were befitting to the concept.


An Ad for Anaïs Anaïs (Source: Parfumdepub)


It took 18 months and four Firmenich perfumers (Paul Léget, Roger Pellegrino, Robert Gonnon and Raymond Chaillan) to develop the fragrance. Anaïs Anaïs is constructed around white florals, which comprises hyacinth, orange blossom, tuberose, lily of the valley and jasmine. These were used to interpret the scent of lilies, as they do not produce perfume oil. Other flowers include honeysuckle, carnation, rose, ylang ylang and iris. The heart of the fragrance consisting of sandalwood, musk, cedar, vetiver, amber, leather and incense is warm, rich, spicy, ambery, musky and woody. As the white florals and musky and woody notes are tightly interlaced, Anaïs Anaïs becomes a rather linear fragrance.


Bottle for Anaïs Anaïs (Source: Cacharel)


Anaïs Anaïs is contained within a white opaline bottle made of porcelain, a contrast to the glass bottles that were used for every other perfume. Annegret Beier designed the bottle, which was inspired by an antique toiletry set. The use of porcelain not only created a sense of mystery, but also was stronger than glass and served to protect the perfume from light. Beier drew imaginary flowers on the label that captivated the eye and evoked sensuality.


The fragrance was sold at an affordable price, which was 30 per cent below the price of perfumes from classical brands such as Dior and Givenchy. However, it was as beautiful as the fine perfumes of prestigious brands.




Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 181-185.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 163.

Nuit de Noël by Caron (1922)

Caron introduced the warm, rich and sensual Nuit de Noël (Christmas night) in 1922. Perfumer Ernest Daltroff constructed this oriental perfume around an accord of musky rose absolute and animals Mousse de Saxe, a base that was created by a woman named Madame Edgard de Laire in 1912. There is a large proportion of sandalwood added, to balance out the accord of rose and Mousse de Saxe, along with floral accents of iris, violet and lily of the valley. Other notes in the composition are jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose and vetiver.


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The bottle and shagreen box for Nuit de Noël. (Source: Perfume Shrine)


Daltroff entrusted Félicie Wanpouille, his lover, artistic director and adviser, to create the bottle and its packaging. Around the black bottle is a gold band, which is a portrayal of the headdress that flappers wore around their foreheads in the Twenties. The original packaging for Nuit de Noël incorporated fashionable accessories of the time; its box was made with green shagreen and was adorned with a tassel.


Wanpouille’s love for the aroma of incense and warm furs as well as the ambience of lush festivities was likely the influence for the theme of Nuit de Noël. This classic fragrance has since inspired the creation of other successful fragrances including Rochas’ Madame Rochas (1960), Hermès’ Calèche (1961) and Caron’s Nocturnes (1981).




Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 49-53.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 105.

Angel by Thierry Mugler (1992)

Jerry Hall, Mugler’s favorite muse of all the muses for Angel, in an ad released in 1995. (Source: Parfum de Pub)


Thierry Mugler loved stars since his childhood; he felt lonely as a child and imagined they were his friends. It is unsurprising that the bottle for Angel was star-shaped and tinted his favorite shade of light blue. Mugler was determined to have the bottle made with heavy glass, in spite of being told by Brosse studio, the glassmaker, that it was impossible. His persistence paid off as Brosse developed an innovative rotating mold that could satisfy Mugler’s demand.


The concept for the perfume stems from scents of Mugler’s childhood, such as the aromas of a fairground, chocolates, caramel and cakes. The president of Thierry Mugler Parfums, Vera Strubï, worked on the fragrance with perfumer Olivier Cresp and vice president of fragrance marketing at Quest International, Yves de Chiris.


After over 600 trials, the warm gourmand oriental fragrance Angel was born. Its outstanding feature is the overdose of patchouli that makes the fragrance both feminine and masculine. The top note in Angel, which Mugler calls the ‘celestial note’, consists of bergamot, jasmine and Helical. The ‘delicious note’ at the heart is made up of dewberry, red berries and honey. Along with patchouli, there is vanilla, caramel, coumarin and chocolate in the base.


Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Jerry Hall, is the current face of Angel. (Source: Mugler)


Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 281-285.

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 177-178.

Dune by Dior (1991)

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1999 Ad for Dune (Source: Parfum de Pub)


Dior’s Dune is an oceanic floral perfume created as a symbol of serenity that Maurice Roger, former head of Parfums Dior, had envisioned: “I wanted to translate the familiar olfactory impressions which we have all experienced at the seaside on a beautiful sunny day, where the dunes meet the countryside, with the alchemy of fragrance of very delicate flowers intensified by an ocean breeze, softly melting into the golden sand.” (Edwards, 1996)


Roger worked to develop Dune with perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac for a year, during which Roger kept its name undisclosed and it was known only as P13. The top notes are a fresh, fruity and green combination of bergamot, wallflower, broom and mandarin that fade to reveal a delicate floral heart of rose, jasmine, lily and peony. The fresh and floral notes are a contrast to the rich and warm base of vanilla, amber, musk, lichen and sandalwood.

Hedione (derived from a molecule in jasmine) and Galaxolide (musk derivative) are the principal aroma chemicals in Dune; the former adds vibrancy to the flowers while the latter supplements a musky freshness to the soft but potent fragrance. Also, the blend of broom, amber and lichen provide Dune an oceanic scent.


Véronique Monod and Marie-Christine de Sayn Wittgenstein drew inspiration from master glassmaker Maurice Marinot’s bottles, which he pinched on two sides when the glass was molten, when designing the bottle for Dune. They portrayed the lightness and softness of a dune by adding glass-filled wings to each side of the bottle. To contrast the soft and light shape of the body and make the flacon stand out, they created a spherical cap that sat on a thick collar. The warm, radiant amber-gold color of the bottles’ luster reflects the glow of the sun on sand and dunes.


A limited edition bottle for Dune designed in 1993 by Véronique Monod. (I took a photo of this picture from the Dior: The Perfumes Book because I could not get find a photo online.)




Dior: The Perfumes, Text by Chandler Burr (2014), p. 182-189

Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 271-273

Ombre Rose by Jean-Charles Brosseau (1981)

Parfum Bottle for Ombre Rose (Source: Jean-Charles Brosseau)



Ombre Rose was launched in 1981 by Jean-Charles Brosseau and was created by Françoise Caron. Caron’s former husband, Pierre Bourdon, came across an old Roure base that he showed her. There were two problems with using the old base formula: its price was exorbitant, and its scent was too thick and heavy due to the musky notes and powdery iris, which also absorbed a lot of the bergamot scent. To resolve the issues, Caron used new and affordable materials, which created “a lighter yet more luscious effect” (Edwards, 1996). There was no longer a hesperidic scent but a fruity peach note, which she added to the floral top notes of rosewood, ylang ylang and honey. The powdery heart consists of a floral blend of lily of the valley, rose and iris. The fragrance ends with the warm blend of musk, vanilla, coumarin and sandalwood. A large quantity of coumarin, with a touch of vanilla, was used to produce a praline note.


The owner of a Normandy glass factory, called La Verrerie de Nesle Normandeuse, approached Brosseau to show him a bottle that was to hold Ombre Rose. The bottle had been made for a perfume named La Narcisse Bleu, which went out of production but the factory still had its moulds. He loved the bottle very much and asked for it to be reserved immediately. The iconic, hexagonal bottles are black with an elegant floral design and capped with a round glass stopper.


Bergdorf Goodman was the first distributor of Ombre Rose in the USA, where it was launched for Mother’s Day. It was such a huge hit that it sold out before Mother’s Day.



Jean-Charles Brosseau Website: (Accessed: 11 Oct 2017)

Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 193-197

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 168-169

Femme by Rochas (1944)

Rochas’ Femme was created by perfumer Edmond Roudnitska in 1943 and was launched in 1944. It was a gift from Marcel Rochas to his wife, Hélène that he chose to name Femme because, as Mme Rochas recollects, “it was so simple and strong, and because he adored women. Femme was a simple symbol of the perfume.” (Edwards, 1996)


Image result for femme rochas 100ml/3.3oz eau de toilette spray perfume scent fragrance for women
Ad for Femme (Source: Pinterest)


Roudnitska presented a perfume that he had been working on to Marcel Rochas and his associate, Albert Gosset. They took it without discussion and modifications. Femme features a methyl ionone compound that Roudnitska found in the factory he was working in at the time, which had never been used in a perfume. The fragrance was created during the war when raw materials were scarce; there were leftover materials stored, one of which was the compound he came across that had been aging for a few decades. The compound had a unique aroma that provided the perfume with a prune note, accompanied by spice, peach and bergamot to create the fruity top notes. Jasmine, Bulgarian rose, ylang ylang and immortelle comprise the heart that sits on a woody base of ambergris, sandalwood, musk and oakmoss.


However, the perfume was reworked by Olivier Cresp in 1989. The reformulated fragrance has top notes of lemon, peach and plum, a heart of rose, rosewood and jasmine and a base of patchouli, civet, musk, oakmoss, sandalwood, amber and leather.


Femme Rochas Rochas for women
Bottle for Femme (Source: Fragrantica)


Femme was initially a limited edition with only a few hundred bottles produced, as alcohol and glassware were rationed. Marc Lalique designed a crystal flacon that Was encased in a box with black Chantilly lace on the outside and white lace on the inside. In 1945, the crystal flacon was replaced by the classic amphora, which Rochas and Gosset designed and was inspired by Mae West’s hips and hourglass figure; the amphora reflected Rochas’ love for women with small waists and voluptuous hips. The amphora became the signature Parfums Rochas bottle and is still used to this day.


Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards (1996), p. 87-91

The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove (2010), p. 122

Scent & Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume by Barbara Herman (2013), p. 80