13 February 2011

Well Said: Edmond Roudnitska

“A beautiful perfume is the one which gives us a shock: a sensory one followed by a psychological one."

So said Edmond Roudnitska (1905—1996), creator of memorable scents, notably several for Christian Dior, among them Diorama (1948), Diorissimo (1956), Eau Savage (1966), Diorella (1972), and Dior-Dior (1976).

In honor of Roudnitska, today I splashed on Moustache, the 1948 fragrance that he and his wife, Thérèse, created for Marcel Rochas. Though Moustache has been discontinued, supplies of a recalibrated version can be found online but nothing beats the long-ago real thing. As Bruce Everiss, writer of the blog Bruce on Shaving, explains, "If you are looking for Moustache then the new formulation is in a rectangular frosted glass bottle with a silver cap. The original is in a cylindrical fluted glass bottle." For an example of the latter, see the '60s advertisement below.

Word to the wise: Proctor & Gamble, owner of the Marcel Rochas marque, should bring back Moustache—the Roudnitskas' 1948 formula, please. And that distinctive bottle too.


My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Diorissimo is my absolute favorite. Thank you Mr. Roudniska!

m.e.w. said...

It continues to amaze me that the grandes marques and others don't rerelease some of these venerable old scents. With the fashion houses revisiting old patterns and designs, it seems only logical to dust off the perfume archives as well. Thanks for introducing me to Moustache; I'd like to try to track some down, if for nothing but curiosity's sake since I am a strict "adhérente" of Creed's Royal Water and Chanel No. 5.

columnist said...

A true saint then. My mother used Diorissimo, and whenever I smell it, it reminds me of her. I used Eau Sauvage in my youth, and could easily use it again.

Penelope Bianchi said...

I am going to try to be brief!
A scent is extremely important with an intimate couple.
20 years ago; my divine and attractive husband and I decided to search for a "scent" for each of us!
We did a "blind study"; I would wear testers of different perfumes.....(they used to give them away).....and I was good at repeating the same ones.......really gaming....

There was one he LOVED ....no matter what! It won!
Samsara by Guerlain.

His was problematical. Men's fragrances.......are just a problem. I have no idea why. But really......nothing was even close to being good. (Old Spice and that blue stuff...."Aquavelva"????.... just over in boarding school)

We went to "Annabelle's" in London during the test....and he came out of the men's room......and I said......"What the heck is that???" He said....."I have no idea.....It is in the men's room!" I asked him to go back.....he went back; Habit Rouge!! by Guerlain!!"

Smart Mr.Birley.....beyond smart Mr Birley.....beyond elegant and brilliant..."Habit Rouge" was the scent.....and it still thrills me every single day!

Interesting....both scents we selected....were by Guerlain......Samsara.. for me..........and Habit Rouge for him. someone knows what they are doing there. Shalimar was my first perfume when I was 13 and my darling stepfather took me perfume shopping.
Something that all fathers should do with daughters!!!

I will never forget that wonderful experience!

ps is "4711" still around? That is what my stepfather wore.........he was wonderful. I will always love that smell......too.

I haven't smelled "Vetiver" also Guerlain? will do soon!

Penelope Bianchi said...

wow......I learn so much! "Creed's Royal Water"?
I will Google immediately!

Unknown said...

I love being shocked by a fragrance. In my 20's it was Creed's Millesime Imperial (I've been told it's been lightened up since then). And just recently I discovered Kilian's Back to Black (tobacco, honey, cedar, patchouli) which smells different depending on my mind frame. For my husband I recently discovered Tom Ford's Oud Wood. (In fact, Tom Ford's whole line is a treat to smell if you have the time). Wonderful quote!

columnist said...

"I haven't smelled "Vetiver" also Guerlain? will do soon!"

I now wear Vetiver by Guerlain. It is completely captivating.

Topaz said...

Lovely post. And Ms. Bianchi, lovely story.

Newell Turner said...

Oh, Well said!