Monday, July 13, 2015

Antilope by Weil c1928

Antilope by Weil: launched in 1928. The perfume was trademarked in 1931 and was relaunched after WWII ended in 1945. Created by Claude Fraysse.

c1947 ad

Monday, November 10, 2014

Grigri by Weil c1943

Grigri by Weil: launched in 1943. The name pronounced "Gree Gree", is African in origin and means "magic charm" or "talisman." I believe that this perfume, with its exotic name and advertisements, was some sort of patriotic allusion to the French colonies in West Africa. Jean Patou, another French perfume manufacturer visited this theme with his perfume, Colony.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Carbonique Fizzing Cologne c1935

In 1935, Weil released it's Carbonique, an eau de cologne which was carbonated and sold in a cute seltzer style bottle, it was available in Bambou, Zibeline and Cassandra scents.





Stage, 1936:
"There's something pretty exhilarating about the new fizzing cologne of Parfums Weil called Carbonique. It comes in three odors: Cassandra, Bamboo, and Zibeline, and the seltzer-bottle container is returnable for credit on a new one."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cassandra by Weil c1936

 The Cassandra perfume first came out in 1935 in France,  and it was introduced into the USA in 1936. The perfume was created by Jacqueline Fraysse and took two years to perfect. It was available as parfum, cologne and toilet water.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hermine by Weil c1928

Hermine by Weil: launched in 1927, created by Claude Fraysse.

In 1927, Marcel Weil of Les Fourrures Weil created Parfums Weil with their advertisements of “perfumes for furs”. These were based on a direct request from a regular client for a perfume suitable for wearing on furs. These were their first commercial perfumes that were advertised would guarantee not to harm the furs.

In 1928 the four perfumes inspired by fur themes were launched,. Chinchilla Royal, Hermine (ermine), Une Fleur pour Fourrure (A Flower for Furs) and Zibeline (Sable) were favorites from the start. All of these perfumes were created by Claude Fraysse.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Zibeline by Weil c1927

In 1927, Marcel Weil of Les Fourrures Weil created Parfums Weil with their advertisements of “perfumes for furs”. These were based on a direct request from a regular client for a perfume suitable for wearing on furs. These were their first commercial perfumes that were advertised would guarantee not to harm the furs.

In 1928 the four perfumes inspired by fur themes were launched: Chinchilla Royal, Hermine (ermine), Une Fleur pour Fourrure (A Flower for Furs) and Zibeline (Sable) were favorites from the start. All of these perfumes were created by Claude Fraysse.


c1928

Cobra by Weil c1941

Cobra by Weil was launched in 1941.




Chinchilla by Weil c1927

Chinchilla by Weil: launched in 1927 and created by Claude Fraysse. The perfume was also known as Chinchilla Royal as early as 1930.


Perfuming Furs

The wearing of furs goes back to prehistoric man, when furs were the only means of clothing and keeping the body warm. Over the millennia, after modern clothing was worn, the only wearers of furs were the wealthy. So in turn the wearing of furs meant richness, opulence, status and power.



During the Ancient Egyptian civilization, only priests were allowed to wear furs, in this case, leopard, which were perfumed with incense. In the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was forbidden to wear furs in Church until 1127. In Tudor England, furs were thought to benefit the health. Furs were political and gifts for royalty, lynx and ermines would trim the capes of kings and queens, with Russian sables the most valuable. Fur lined slippers and pumps were common amongst the very wealthy.

Even the original story of Cinderella had the slippers lined with fur (vair) and not made up of glass (verre) as told in a mistranslation. During the 16th & 17th centuries, the owning of furs and type of furs were governed by strict laws based on the man’s estate and wealth. In the 1700's, fur muffs were often perfumed. Made up of fashionable white furs such as Artic fox and ermine, these were the furs of choice for upper class ladies. Until the mid 1800's, furs were mainly used as trimmings on dresses or other clothing.

During the Victorian era, the wearing of fur coats, stoles, hats and cloaks was in style as the newly prosperous middle class was able to afford these luxuries. Sealskin coats, mink, fox and dyed muskrat coats were the most desired. Fur trimming was used on hat decoration as well as on muffs and boots . These fur lined carriage boots were called “Juliets” and were donned for traveling in carriages, upon arrival they were slipped off and replaced with an evening shoe.

In the early 1900s, perfuming the furs was a way to mask the natural odor of furs, and to mask the scent of the mustiness of old furs. Perfumes were a way to emphasize the luxury of wearing furs. Furs retain the scent of their owners for years. If you’ve ever bought a vintage fur coat and smelled the perfume of the previous owner, it might strike up a small fantasy of the events in which the fur was worn and the carefully selected perfume that was applied.

I have read in a 1906 cookbook that had household hints in it that mentioned to clean furs with a dry shampoo, rub powdered orris root and cornmeal into the fur, leave it on overnight then shake it out in the morning, the result was a delicately perfumed fur again. A New York Times article from 1910 mentions that “there are girls who like to have their furs scented, because most pelts are apt to have a disagreeable odors, particularly in warm weather. To pour perfume on them is vandalism, for they are injured upon contact with alcohol. So sachets should be slipped between the linings, and the furs when storing, should be rolled in wool saturated with the perfume.” The sachets that they speak of are made up of “perfumed chamois”.

Companies such as Les Fourrures Max, Les Fourrures Weil and Les Fourrures Blondel entered the perfume making business following other luxury goods manufacturers such as Louis Vuitton. Long established fashion furriers, Les Fourrures Max, who were well known for their sumptuous and avant-garde creations entered the scene in 1925 with Le Parfum Max. Created by the firms proprietor Madame Andrée Leroy.

In 1927, Marcel Weil of Les Fourrures Weil created Parfums Weil with their advertisements of “perfumes for furs”. These were based on a direct request from a regular client for a perfume suitable for wearing on furs. These were their first commercial perfumes that were advertised would guarantee not to harm the furs.

In 1928 the three perfumes inspired by fur themes were launched,. Chinchilla Royal, Hermine (ermine), Une Fleur pour Fourrure (A Flower for Furs) and Zibeline (sable) were favorites from the start. All of these perfumes were created by Claude Fraysse. Zibeline is described as a floral chypre intended to recall the steppes and massive oak forests of Imperial Russia, where the finest sable furs were imported.

Chinchila Royal, described as rich with jasmine and roses to evoke the splendour of the Persian and Indian Empires. The short tailed chinchilla, also known as the Royal Chinchilla was endangered and a ban on hunting them was created in 1929, although not fully enforced until 1983. Many chinchillas were imported from South America, India, China and Persia.

Hermine was intended to symbolize tenderness and virginity, it was heavy with the sweet flowers of the Pacific Isles. The winter ermine has been used in art as a symbol of purity or virginity. In the Renaissance era, legend had it that an ermine would die before allowing its pure white coat to be besmirched. When it was being chased by hunters, it would supposedly turn around and give itself up to the hunters rather than risk soiling itself. Henry Peacham's Emblem 75, which depicts an ermine being pursued by a hunter and two hounds, is entitled "Cui candor morte redemptus" or "Purity bought with his own death." Peacham goes on to preach that men and women should follow the example of the ermine and keep their minds and consciences as pure as the legendary ermine keeps its fur .In some areas of Japan, because of its adorable appearance and somewhat elusive nature it is still considered a symbol of good luck. Hermine was discontinued in 1940.

In 1930, the first Weil eau de toilettes debuted, Chinchilla and Zibeline. Zibeline went on to have a very successful future with the advent of the Secret de Venus Huile line of bath & body oils . Chinchilla was discontinued in 1963.

By 1928, the uber exclusive Les Fourrures Blondel brought their perfume Le Sauvage (The Savage) onto the scene. The perfume was contained in an elegant Baccarat crystal flacon with a unique design etched on the front, it depicted an Native American trapper with a recently killed fox slung over his shoulder, while behind them an elegant Parisienne is shown wearing a lavish fox stole. By today’s standards, this objectionable design would cause an outrage. Later, Blondel launched other perfumes without a fur theme, they were also located in the same building as the Myon Perfumery at 11 place de la Madeleine in Paris.

From a August 26,1945 article in the Milwaukee Sentinel by Dorothy Parnell:

"PERFUME POCKETS IN NEW FALL COATS! 
The perfume pocket is the latest fashion and beauty trick in New York. It is the joint inspiration of two top glamour creators, Esther Dorothy, the fur designer and Bernadine de Tuvache, perfumer. 
Each coat in Esther Dorothy's new winter collection has in its lining a miniature pocket, only about an inch in width and depth, placed high at the left side just under the shoulder pad. Out of it peeps the corner of what looks like a doll's chiffon handkerchief, but is in reality a tiny square of maline tied around a piece of cotton holding a drop or two of perfume. These little perfume amulets are to be worn instead of putting perfume on your furs and have the practical advantage of giving you a chance to change your perfume at will , and most important preventing the actual injury to precious pelts when it comes repeated burning by the alcohol in perfume."

The suitable perfumes for fur wearing are the pure parfum extraits. Since the early 1900s, furriers have advised against applying perfume that contains alcohol to your furs. The alcohol tends to dry your fur out. Use this information at your own discretion. Furs are very susceptible to moth damage, but no one likes the smell of mothballs, it seems to last forever, Instead hang your fur coat on a padded hanger (not in plastic--plastic attracts moisture--a no no for fur) or roll it up in white cotton sheet and keep it in a box filled with cedar chips under your bed or in a cedar chest. Or take it to your furrier and let them keep them locked up in their refrigerated storage.


A 1934 article in the Kentucky New Era newspaper stated that a famous perfumer suggests that rather sweet odors such as gardenia should be applied to fox furs, spicy perfumes on shirt haired varieties, and subtle elusive scents on luxury furs such as mink, ermine and sable. He also says to use an atomizer to apply the scent, as it will remain on the individual hairs much longer when it is sprayed.

A 1930 article states that a perfume used on sable is heavy and reminiscent of sandalwood and the perfume for ermine is lighter, with a dash of attar of roses inits composition.

Dorothy Gray's Lady in the Dark perfume, created especially for furs, had a fur pompom atop a box covered with material which feels like luxurious velvet (1941).



Bibliography:

  • The Art of Perfume by Christie Mayer Lefkowith, 1994
  • The Progress Meatless Cook Book and Valuable Recipes and Suggestions For Cleaning Clothing, Hat, Gloves, House Furnishings, Walls and Woodwork And All Kinds of Helps (sic) For The Household by Lotta M. Lake. Copyright 1911
  • Emblem 75 by Henry Peacham, 1612
  • The New York Times, Uses For Perfume, December 25, 1910
  • Scentzilla website
  • Perfume Shrine website
  • The Scented Salamander website