Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nuit d'Perse c1911 and Nuit de Chine c1912

Nuit d'Perse by Roine: launched in 1912.

Paul Poiret invited his friends and the well to do Parisians to his extravagant parties. These parties were inspired by the opulent Orient.

His first party, christened The Thousand and Second Night, was in 1911 and the theme was all things Persian. He had all 300 of his guests clothed in special Persian style costumes harkening "The Thousand and One Night" tales as told by Scheherazade.

A special parting gift was presented to each woman who attended the party, a bottle of Nuit d'Perse (Persian Night) perfume, created by Maurice Schaller.

This rare perfume may never have actually been presented for sale under that name, but was marketed as Nuit d'Orient and then Nuit de Chine in 1912.

Nuit de Chine in 1913, one of the most successful fragrances from Rosine, was created by Maurice Schaller. The label has Chinese characters (meaning "night in the country from China", "flowers").

Fragrance Composition:

So what did it smell like? It is classified as a heavy floral oriental fragrance for women with a dominant spicy peach note layered over a sweetened ambergris chypre base. "A sweet, soft oriental odor". Made use of several chemicals: coumarin which gave the perfume a base redolent of tonka bean and Persicol which gave the top a distinctive peach note.
  • Top notes: plum, bergamot, cinnamon, fruity accord, peach 
  • Middle notes: lavender, tuberose, carnation, nutmeg, pink jasmine, clove, labdanum, rose
  • Base notes: incense, cedar, orris, civet, tonka, vanilla, Mysore sandalwood, patchouli, musk, ambergris, vetiver


Nuit de Chine was available in parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, talcum, bath powder and soap.

The parfum was housed inside a replica of a Chinese snuff bottle.

The fragrance was available in several sizes:
  • The deluxe bottles were in 1 and 1 2/3 oz sizes.
  • 1/2 oz
  • 3/4 oz

c1921 ad

Motion Picture,
"Poiret himself says: "These parfums, I offer you, ma amis, in confidence that they will fo for your soul what my gowns have done for your bodies.It is true that they are very expensive...but..what would you? Are they not parfums of the rarest excellence? Parfums by which you may at last accurately reflect your character, your personality? As an example, the Nuit de Chine— illustrated— whose oriental odour is unlike anything ever known before. ... And with the little wrappings and flacons which I, Paul Poiret, have designed with the same care as my most ravishing costume?"

Perfume Card for Nuit de Chine, photo by Drouot.

Harper's Bazaar, Volume 56, 1921:
" Poiret continues to put out delicious fragrances; one of his latest, “Chez Poiret. Rosine,” is inimitably bottled in a half sphere with an emerald glass stopper.... "Nuit de Chine," luxurious and oriental. "Nuit de Chine” toilet water in a pyramidal, globular-stoppered flask is very alluring, as is Poiret's "Rosine” in its glass hemisphere. "

The Illustrated Milliner - Volume 23, 1922:
"Les Parfumes de Rosine. At the left is La Rosa, a handsome gold and crystal container. Le Minaret: In a gold brocaded casing and red covered casket. Nuit de Chine in a gold cloth case with  applique of embroidery."

The New Yorker - Volume 8, 1932:
"Rosine: Coup de Foudre joins Nuit de Chine and Maharadjah for tigress women. "

Drug &Cosmetics Industry, Volume 42, 1938:
"ROSINE - The perfume for Marco Polo — Rosine's Nuit de Chine — is presented by Maurice Levy simultaneously with the film "Marco Polo". It is boxed in an oval of black and gold brocade, and the oval shaped flacon is topped by a knob stopper of midnight blue."

Nuit de Chine, SCENTS OF ROSINE. Design. Georges Lepape. , 1913, Paris. Glass, bakelite, paper, cardboard - GS Collection (copyright ADAGP PARIS 2013)

Photo by Drouot.

Perfume card for Nuit de Chine.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

It was still being sold in 1938.

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