Happy 190th birthday to Guerlain!3 min read
Founded in 1828 by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, perfumer-chemist, Guerlain celebrates also in 2018, 190 years of creation this year. For nearly two centuries, the House has been exploring the different facets of beauty in perfume, make-up and skincare. For the occasion, Guerlain unveils unpublished sagas that trace the History of the House at the origin of modern perfumery, through several events to be sure to leave a track for ages. By Alexis Lery
190 years of perfumes reunited in a “rotonde”… (photo credits: Alex Plato)
Intimately linked to the city of Paris, to women but also to the revolution of cosmetics and perfumes, the legendary Maison Guerlain started in 1828 under the visionary impetus of Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain.
Driven by the desire to always arise a real lot of emotion, surprise and dream, Guerlain continued its history with Aimé Guerlain, who revolutionized the world of perfumery. Indeed, he succeeded to combine for the first time, a series of natural (along premium synthetic) materials, in order to give birth to Jicky perfume (launched in 1889). Otherwise, modernity became gradually ready to deal with tradition, notably with those refilling perfume gauge, presented into these large multicolored flasks.
Lately, three generations of perfumers followed each other to transmit the original spirit: Jacques Guerlain, Jean-Paul Guerlain and today Thierry Wasser. Proud of its 1,100 olfactory creations plus numerous innovations in cosmetics, the giant Guerlain sublimates every day ladies and gentlemen. Among some masterpieces, we could count on the creation of their lipstick baton, in 1870 with Do not forget me, also anticipating the orientalist trend with Mitsouko (1919) or responding to the growing tanning cult, with the launching Terracotta powder (1984). Several other series are regularly unveiled, reaffirming the legacy of this internationally popular House, endlessly giving wings to the roots of Guerlain.
This birthday celebration was also lead during different parts, like one at the Marriott George V spread through 3 prestigious evenings and one in the famous flagship store, baptized Atelier Guerlain, located in the 68 Champs Élysées! An occasion to meet the Russian ambassador of the brand Natalia Vodianova, some fashion influencers and even the Guerlain muse, directly coming from Hong-Kong, named Christine Kuo (in photo).
An occasion to rediscover the classic perfumes that contributed to the excellence of the Maison Guerlain, witness of a certain French know-how, proudly perpetuated here.
Also, a chance to admire the slightest details of a Guerlain perfume decoration and packaging concealing hours of work in the most varied disciplines.
The olfactory creation of course, directed by Thierry Wasser (whose caption is illustrated here). But also the homemade production of concentrates, until the filling of the bottles and their completion: barbichage, baudruchage, wax seal and seal Guerlain, an art of bottle-making that the table ladies locating at the factory in Rambouillet, transmit, from generation to generation, as a the manner of companions.
To create and offer the exceptional, the House has always sought unique know-how: art glassmakers, engravers, illuminators, fine gold gilders, jewelers and jewelers, embroiderers, waxers, ceramists, sculptors on paper.
Like this personalization made it possible on the mythical Eau de Cologne du Coq, "white bees" flask, a Pochet model created in 1853.
Among these virtuosos, several illustrious Maisons have particularly marked the history of Guerlain: Baccarat, Pochet and today Gripoix or Lesage.
By the time, Jacques Guerlain was already working on the founding of the Comité Colbert. This institution preserves the pearls of French know-how and now brings together the largest luxury houses. Today, the Ministry of Industry distinguishes the Maison Guerlain as a “Patrimoine Vivant” label company for its contribution to the reputation of French excellence.
At Guerlain, fairies exist… They are nicknamed the “Table Ladies”. Magicians of the flask who, for several generations, knead and paint the silk threads with art and precision to complete the most beautiful bottles. They offer them their luxurious dimension. Makes them so unique and so precious.
No machine could replace the table ladies. The Shalimar perfume is adorned with a sophisticated silk thread that require no less than seven different knots before being carefully combed. For example, the quarter-lobed flask of L’Heure Bleue gets an extravagant barbichage.