Monday, October 23, 2017

Pois de Senteur by Paul Poiret

Poiret Parfum de Royaute

Paul Poiret also released names under his own name instead of the Rosine label, these can be very rare to find.

The perfumes listed below were probably released in the 1920s, some of the names are also used by other well-known perfumers. You might recognize perfume names like Nuit de Noel (Caron, 1922), Cloches de Noel (Molinard, 1926), No. 5 (Chanel No. 5), Jicky (Guerlain, 1889), Mon Péché (Lanvin, 1924), Moment Supreme (Jean Patou, 1929), Les Pois de Senteur (Caron, 1929), La Vierge Folle (Gabilla, 1929), Black Tulip (Atkinsons, 1929), Nuit D'Egypte (Lionceau, 1925). I do not know if Poiret was attempting to imitate the actual compositions of these perfumes or if he just liked using the names of those popular perfumes for himself. This is a mystery, but may have been an attempt by Poiret to make some quick cash by using these popular name since he was bankrupt in 1925. The company was compulsory purchased by Coty in 1930 and disappeared overnight.

Fragrance Composition:

 Light scents especially light florals such as a sweet pea scent do not tend to fare well over the years, they tend to deteriorate quickly as many do not have good fixatives such as ambergris, musk or civet. 

Sweet pea perfumes in the 1920s-1930s often contained a prefabricated perfume base made up of various perfume essences to create a "sweet pea" accord, which for use in perfumery did not occur in nature at that time as it is one of the perfumes that seemed to defy all attempts to extract its scent which was made by enfleurage, a very costly and painstaking process which yielded little usable results. So it had to be manufactured using natural and synthetic essences to create the illusion of a sweet pea, this was usually obtained by using a combination of natural or synthetic jasmine, orange blossom, vanilla, hyacinth, tuberose and rose essences.

Today, we have headspace technology which allows one to extract the scent of the sweet pea and gives the technician an approximation of what elements are inside of the scent of the flower so that reconstitutions can be made using a dozen or more synthetic ingredients, but it is much more accurate than it was back in the early 1900s, when headspace technology did not exist and chemists had to rely on their own noses.

Here are some old recipes for Sweet Pea perfumes:

Pois de Senteur No.1
  • Coumarin…..2.85
  • Neroli A……...2
  • Rose H……..4.3
  • Sandalwood oil, East Indian…..5.7
  • Bergamot oil…….5.7
  • Verbena oil….0.85
  • Lavender oil…...1.4
  • Ionone alpha…...1.4
  • Jasmin d’Espagne (Givaudan)….8.6
  • Sweet orange oil.....8.6
  • Cinnamic alcohol….14.3
  • Hydroxycitronellal….11.45
  • Phenylethyl alcohol….11.45
  • Rhodinol….4.3
  • Phenylacetic acid….3.4
  • Methyl anthranilate….2.3
  • Heliotropol (Firmenich…..2.85
  • Jasmin enfleurage absolute (Lautier))....5.7
  • Phenylethyl phenylacetate.....2.85
If this type of compound seems a trifle harsh, a small addition of Rose de Grasse absolute will round of the edges and enhance the desired honeyed note.

Sweet Pea No. 2

  • Rose H...13.2
  • Sandalwood, Mysore...2.3
  • Bergamot oil....10.6
  • Hydroxycitronellal….13.3
  • Phenylethyl alcohol...13.3
  • Benzyl acetate….1.3
  • Wardia (Firmenich)....5.3
  • Methyl ionone...4.3
  • Jasmonone No. 4a…..16
  • Pois de Senteur (Firmenich)....15.6
  • Vetiver oil….0.8
  • Benzyl propionate….4


Six sided clear glass bottle with a wide lozenge shaped base and wide, sloping shoulders. An embossed silver and green foil label reads “Les Pois de Senteur” and is placed on the front shoulder of the bottle. The frosted glass stopper is molded with a stylized floral motif. The neck is wrapped with golden baudruche cord tied around the base of the stopper, forming a seal from which a small round metal medallion is clamped onto the thread. This small medallion is impressed with a star motif on one side and the words “Made in France” on the verso. Bottle stands 5-1/2” tall  x 4” wide x 1-5/8” deep.

This bottle was also used by Veolain.

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