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September 02, 1995 - Image 103

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-09-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Among the first perfumers in France was
Houbigant, founded in 1775. The compa-
ny's clients included Napoleon, a well-
known lover of scent. The emperor was said
to be especially fond of 4711 Cologne, made
by Mulhens in the late 1700s, as well as
Roger and Gallet's Jean Marie Farina.
Caswell and Massey of London is anoth-
er longstanding perfumer whose fragrances
are still around. Its No. Six Cologne was worn
throughout early America; even George
Washington had a bottle.
In 1730 Juan Famenias Floris left the is-
land of Minorca for England, where he lat-
er married a British girl and opened his shop,
J. Floris Ltd., still in business and still locat-
ed at No. 89 Jermyn St. in London (with of-
fices also in New York). Floris fragrances
include Lily of the Valley, Edwardian Bou-
quet and Roman Hyacinth.
Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain, whose
company bears his name and whose de-
scendants have continued his passion for cre-
ating beautiful scents, opened his first shop
in Paris in 1828. Today, Guerlain continues
to sell a fragrance calleftJicky, which made
its debut in 1889, as well as such famed
scents as Shalimar (according to a Guerlain
brochure, this perfume was "inspired by the
love of an Indian Emperor for his magnifi-
cent wife, Mumtz-Mahal, for whom the Taj
Mahal was built"), Chamade (a favorite of
actress Catherine Denueve) and Mitsouko.
As with many perfumes, there's an un-
usual and haunting story about Mitsouko
(Japanese for "mystery"), created in 1919
and inspired by the heroine of the popular
French novel La Bataille ("The Battle") by
Claude Farrere.
Mitsouko was the favorite of actress Jean
Harlow. When her husband Paul Bern died
at their home (whether he was murdered or
committed suicide is still undetermined),
the place was found drenched with her per-
fume. Incidentally, Bern's ghost supposed-
ly haunts his former house in Hollywood,
though no one has said whether the fragrance
of Mitsouko precedes his apparition.
Death and perfume also are united in two
famous murder cases of recent years.
Georgeann Hawkins was an attractive col-
lege student killed by Ted Bundy. When
last seen, she was carrying a small purse that
held a comb and Heaven Scent. And in
Missing Beauty, Theresa Carpenter tells the
strange story of Dr. William Henry James
Douglas, a prominent anatomist at Tufts
University in Boston who fell in love with,

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(continued on page 102)

STYLE • WINTER 1995 • 1 0 1

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