Great Perfume Houses Part 9

Welcome back perfume lovers! For the 9th installment of our bi-weekly presentation of the great perfume houses we’ve decided to leave Europe altogether. This week we are taking trip to the U.S. to look at the history of one of our top fashion houses, Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren may be the youngest fashion house we’ve looked at thus far in this series, but don’t let that fool you, the brand took the fashion world by storm and still dominates worldwide today. Polo Ralph Lauren—the companies’ original name—was founded in 1967 by Ralph Lifshitz (who changed his name to Ralph Lauren.) Polo began with a line of men’s neck ties and one year later in 1968 Lauren’s first men’s wear line, also under the name Polo, was launched.

The popularity of Polo Ralph Lauren was instantaneous. Within a year of launching his men’s wear line Lauren’s company had its own boutique within Bloomingdale’s department stores. 1971 was a good year for Ralph Lauren; Lauren’s own store in Beverly Hills, CA was established and his women’s wear line was launched.

Ralph Lauren Corporation was formed as an umbrella company to oversee the expanding Polo line as well as the other clothing, fragrance, accessory and home decor lines that eventually followed. Both the clothing and fragrance lines of Ralph Lauren are meant to reflect a classic American style; each line offering a different twist.

In 1978 Ralph Lauren Polo partnered with L’oreal to introduce their first fragrances, the iconic men’s scent “Poloand the elegant women’s scent “Lauren.” These classic fragrances opened the door for a plethora of scents that would follow, including the popular women’s scent “Romance.” Ralph Lauren continues to wow the fragrance world to this day, releasing popular scent after popular scent.

People love this classic American fashion house and Ralph Lauren himself stays intricately involved in the operations of the corporation to this day. If you’re looking for a scent or a clothing line that will never go out of style, look no further than Ralph Lauren.

Fragrance Families-It’s All Relative

If you are an avid perfume wearer you probably know more about fragrance families than you even realize. Maybe you aren’t completely well-versed in the actual terms. You may not know the difference between a floral and an oriental scent by name, but chances are, your nose can (and does) tell the difference. More often than not, the fragrances that one person enjoys all fall into the same fragrance family. Sense of smell is the savviest of the senses; so one’s nose often understands what they enjoy more than their mind does. After reading this blog go check out your fragrance collection. I bet at least 90% of your scents come from the same fragrance family.

Although there are quite a few fragrance families, we are just going to go over the four most common here…

Floral

The floral fragrance family is generally considered the most popular fragrance family. The name pretty much speaks for itself. Floral fragrance s can be based around a single flower or a floral bouquet. Fragrances in this family usually smell very romantic and pretty. Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana is an example of a delightful floral scent.

Oriental

The oriental fragrance family includes rich and spicy scents. These warm, sensual scents often include musk, vanilla, exotic resins and wood. You might also notice notes of cinnamon, cloves, amber and incense. If you’re looking for a great, intense oriental scent try Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.

Fresh

This fun fragrance family is zesty, clean and effervescent. Fresh scents are most often fruity, green or herbal. There are a few different subcategories in the fresh family including fruity-floral, aqua and citrusy scents. Dot by Marc Jacobs is a great fragrance to try if you’re a fan of a fruity-floral scent and looking for something young and flirty.

Woody

Woody scents are the earthiest of the fragrance families. Scents in this family include notes of wood, moss, dirt and damp leaves; think fragrant forests or roaring camp fires. There are a few variations within this mature fragrance family including woody oriental, dry wood and mossy wood. Estee Lauder’s Sensuous is the perfect example of a woody scent.

Great Perfume Houses Part 8

We are back to France again for part 8 of our ongoing series-Great Perfume Houses. This time around we are going to be focusing on the illustrious House of Dior.

Born in the year 1905 in Granville, France; Christian Dior grew up in a small seaside town on the coast of Normandy, France. Christian was the second of five children born to wealthy fertilizer manufacturer Maurice Dior and Isabelle Cardamone.

After spending time at the Lelong Fashion House, and a brief call-up to military service, Christian Dior founded his own fashion house on the 8 of December 1946. With help from cotton-fabric magnate Marcel Boussac, Dior presented its first collection in February of 1947. His ‘Corolle” line embodied a voluptuous design that accentuated the shapes and silhouettes of the female figure, but many were critical of his early designs. Due to war-time shortages and an altered fashion market during the war, many women protested Dior’s designs because of the amount of fabric he used. After initial shock, Dior’s designs- pinched waist, soft shoulders, and full skirts- helped to reinvent women’s fashion as well as return Paris to the center of the fashion world.

Although Dior has since received world recognition for his clothing line, he also released his first signature fragrance in 1947, Miss Dior. Dior asked Jean Charles and Paul Vacher to “to create a fragrance that is like love“.  The scent is created from notes of gardenia, galbanum and bergamot; carnation, iris, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose and narcissus, a suitable tribute to Dior’s flower garden at his childhood home in Greenville. He then names it after his sister Catherine, who had just returned from the war after being identified as a member of the French Resistance and held by the Gestapo since 1944.

While on holiday in 1957, Christian Dior passed away at the age of 52. Although reports are mixed on the actual cause of death, the world lost a fashion icon. In his place his 21 year old assistant, Yves Saint Laurent, took up the torch of the Dior House.