It’s about that time perfume lovers—time for our bi-weekly look into the history of some of the great perfume houses from around the world. This week, we’re going to take a look at the chic history behind the Givenchy Couture House…
Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born in 1927 to an aristocratic family in the French city of Beauvais. He showed an interest in fashion, fabrics, architecture and design from a young age and left his home at the age of 17 for the promise of opportunity in Paris.
In 1952, after 8 years of various apprenticeships under renowned designers, Hubert de Givenchy opened his first Couture House in Paris. Givenchy established his unique brand by launching a bold and beautiful separates collection.
Shortly after opening his Couture House, Givenchy met the woman who would become his iconic muse. He was sent to dress Audrey Hepburn for the movie “Sabrina” and it’s said that something just clicked between them. The two style icons went on to enjoy a 40-year friendship.
Givenchy’s first fragrance—which was released in 1957—was originally created as an exclusive homage to his muse. L’Interdit Perfume by Givenchy is said to possess a unique mix of fashion, grace and spontaneity, much like the woman who inspired it. Even the name of the fragrance was inspired by Audrey Hepburn; upon learning that her personal fragrance would be released to the general public, Hepburn apparently shouted out this French exclamation which is akin to the English term “oh my!”
The next fragrance Givenchy released was a widely distributed men’s fragrance called Monsieur. Ever since it’s release in 1959, Monsieur has been considered the quintessential expression of French, masculine seduction and impeccable elegance.
Givenchy continued to release elegant fragrance after elegant fragrance for years. Hubert de Givenchy himself created Givenchy Gentlemen Eau de Toilette in 1975. 1984 saw the release of , which is a powerful and seductive fragrance for the multi-facetted woman…. To name each and every one of Givenchy’s exquisite fragrances would take an article all on its own.
Hubert de Givenchy sold his company to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy in 1988, though he did not retire until 1995. But the elegance and glamour of the Givenchy name still lives on today.