By  on August 3, 2007

PARIS — Parfums Givenchy is feting its 50th anniversary by relaunching 10 scents.

This October, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned beauty brand will launch globally Les Parfums Mythiques, a collection of six women's scents and four men's fragrances, some of which had previously been discontinued.

"When you turn 50, you look back at your past, where you've come from and what you have achieved," said Alain Lorenzo, Parfums Givenchy's president and chief executive officer.

One scent, a floral aldehyde called L'Interdit (Forbidden, in English), was created in 1957 for Audrey Hepburn, Hubert de Givenchy's friend and muse. Its name recalls Hepburn's reaction when de Givenchy informed her of his plans to commercialize the scent. "I forbid you," she declared.

Other fragrances brought back to life include Le De from 1957, created as a gift for Givenchy's haute couture clients. Monsieur, Givenchy's first men's scent, introduced in 1959, was intended to epitomize the founder's discreet aristocratic elegance, while Vetyver, also from 1959 and containing three types of vetiver notes, was for de Givenchy's personal use. In the lineup, as well, is Givenchy III, a women's fragrance, which bowed in 1970 and takes its name from the address of Givenchy's ateliers.

"These earlier scents epitomize quintessential Frenchness and Paris," said Françoise Donche, Givenchy's head of olfaction, adding the later scents tend to evoke French and American culture and olfactive trends at the time of their launch.

Eau de Givenchy, for example, a women's scent created in 1980, is a fresh, light fragrance, with notes of grapefruit and hints of honeysuckle, while Xeryus, a men's fragrance concocted in 1986, marks the era of what Donche termed "Wall Street and body-building." Insensé, meaning foolish and irrational, which came out in 1993, was a men's woody floral.

Extravagance d'Amarige, a women's fragrance from 1998, is a green flora, while Organza Indécence, a women's scent introduced in 1999, is woody and spicy.

While Givenchy sought to reproduce the original scents as closely as possible with Givaudan perfumers, new regulations mean some ingredients are no longer available and so some juices had to be slightly tweaked.

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