Perfumes of Yesteryear

I recently had an appointment near the Opera Garnier and decided to walk around the area, which I infrequently visit. I stopped on the rue Saint Augustin and curiosity pulled me into a shop that had a window display of soaps, perfumes, and silk bowties.

Richly steeped in history, Oriza L. Legrand Parfums is a house founded in 1720 and made face creams, rice powder, and perfume for the Royal Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The business was sold and relocated to the rue Saint Honoré in 1811. In 1860 Antonin Raynaud takes over to expand the perfume lines and becomes one of the first companies to develop scented products besides perfumes. In 1900, Oriza L. Legrand is awarded the Grand Prize for Excellence at the L’Exposition Universelle.

The Ladurée green colored walls had shelves lined with Marseille milled soaps dating as far back as 1886 with scents such as violet, Spanish jasmine, lavender, honey, and verveine wrapped in eye appealing colored paper. A wooden table had perfume bottles with illustrated Art Nouveau style labels and scents with romantic names such as Reve d’Ossian, Horizon, Deja le Printemps, Jardins d’Armide, and Relique d’Amour and were created in the early 1900s. Scented candles had some captivating combinations including La Treve des Confiseurs, which had notes of orange jam, cinnamon, honey, and cedar and Fin Comme l’Ambre had notes of amber, patchouli, musk, and vanilla.


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