HISTOIRES DE PARFUMS LOOKS TO THE PAST
Byline: Kerry Diamond
NEW YORK — Many people who make a living off the fragrance industry are concerned with what’s next. But for French entrepreneur Gerald Ghislain, perfume’s past is more intriguing. In fact, he even created his company, Histoires de Parfums, as an homage to the perfumers of the 19th century.
“We want to put some heart and passion back into fragrance,” said Ghislain, a former restaurateur who discovered his love for scent while at a perfume museum in Grasse.
The year-and-a-half-old line has only been available in the Histoire boutique on Miami’s Lincoln Road. The store, with its murals, antiques and displays, is as much a museum as a retail outlet. Plans are in place to expand the distribution, but in a limited way. Starting this September, the line will be carried by Fred Segal Apothia in Los Angeles and Jeffrey and C.O. Bigelow Chemists in New York. Ghislain also hopes to open a boutique in Paris by the end of the year.
The Histoire collection consists of four categories. The eau de parfum line features five scents, each named after a significant year in the 19th century. The floral 1873, for example, was named for the year Colette was born. The 125-ml. bottle is priced at $90, while the 30-ml. retails for $35.
The eau de cologne line consists of five scents: vetiver, lavender, naturel, ambree and chevrefeuille. The 500-ml. size retails for $45 and the 250-ml. bottle is $30.
The bath and body line, which will remain exclusive to the Miami shop, includes soap, bath perfume, candles, incense cones and massage oil in grapefruit, eucalyptus, lime blossom, lavender, mint, neroli, rose, sandalwood and tuberose. Prices range from $8 for a bar of soap to $20 for the massage oil.
The home line includes porcelain candles that glow from within when lit, garden incense, ambiance room spray, incense sticks and perfumed oil and light ring sets. The fragrance options are jasmine, orange blossom, sandalwood and vanilla. Prices range from $15 for the incense sticks to $25 for the ambiance spray to $50 for the porcelain candles.
On Sept. 1, Histoire will launch an ambitious Web site that will feature everything from “scentual horoscopes” to a perfume glossary. The address is Histoiresdeparfums.com.