Wednesday, June 8, 2016

La Route d'Emeraude by Isabey c1924

La Route d'Emeraude by Isabey: launched in 1924. Originally created by Isabey's chief perfumer, Robert Bienaimé.

The fanciful name refers to the so-called Emerald Route. The route delivered precious stones and other valuables from the southern regions of Asia, to Iran and the Near East.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? I have no notes on the original 1924 composition, but I imagine it may be similar to the modern formula.


Bottle designed in 1924 by Julien Viard, perfume bottle and stopper, clear and frosted crystal, accented with grey patina. Box decorated with scrolling floral motifs. Molded J.Viard. 4 7/8" tall.

Fate of the Fragrance:

The perfume was discontinued probably sometime in the 1930s.

In 2012, Isabey released a modern interpretation of La Route d'Emeraude by perfumer Jean Jacques and designer Rania Naim. The name was borrowed from the 1920s perfume and was inspired by journeys to the emerald triangle of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
  • Top notes: bergamot, rose oil and cinnamon. 
  • Middle notes: Sambac jasmine, Moroccan jasmine absolute, orange blossom and tuberose. 
  • Base notes: amber, vanilla, benzoin and musk

I received samples directly from Panouge for the purposes of completing this article on the modern fragrances La Route d'Emeraude and Perle de La Route d'Emeraude.

My impression of La Route d'Emeraude:

Wow! This actually smells vintage! The perfumer has created a well blended reformulation of a long forgotten fragrance. When applied to my skin, I get a burst of zesty bergamot followed by cinnamon dusted jammy rose petals. Then, a flourishing white floral pleasure garden appears. Two types of jasmine: the night blooming Sambac jasmine and Moroccan jasmine lend their absolutes to the heart of the fragrance. This pairing of jasmine lends a sharp, green note that compliments the fresh bergamot still shining through to the lusty center of the perfume. The voluptuous tuberose, who's own sweetness enhances that of the orange blossom, suggests carnal opulence. The drydown unfurls a precious ambergris and musk base, enveloped by a sensual embrace of balsamic benzoin and dreamy vanilla.  

In 2014, Isabey introduced a limited edition extrait for La Route d'Emeraude. Known as Perle de La Route d'Emeraude, the fragrance is housed inside of a 50 ml round flacon based on the 1924 "perle" designed flacon. In this case, instead of the pearly nacre that decorated the original 1920s bottles, La Route d'Emeraude is housed inside of an opaque gilded glass flacon. The presentation box is covered in an apricot colored leather and lined with rose gold satin. The extrait is a concentrated and intensified version of La Route d'Emeraude.
  • Top notes: cinnamon, orange blossom absolute, bergamot
  • Middle notes: iris, tuberose,  jasmine essence, rose essence, ylang ylang essence
  • Base notes: musk, tonka bean, vanilla, benzoin, amber

My thoughts on Perle de La Route d'Emeraude:

This is a richer, intense version of the former perfume. The fragrance opens with a lush shower of fresh petals. This masterful blending combines honeyed orange blossoms mixed with bubblegum jasmine. Fruity ylang ylang provides a trace of a ripe tropical banana, while bright bergamot lifts the heaviness of the white flowers to give it some buoyancy. A subtle hint of a green rose plays hide and seek amongst the irises. Cinnamon adds a lively counterpoint to the slightly saccharine bouquet. A deep ambery base reveals a balsamic marriage of benzoin and vanilla layered over a powdery, musky base. This would be ideal to be worn for an intimate evening, the perfume begs one to get closer as it stays quite close to the skin with an elegantly restrained projection.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mon Seul Ami by Isabey c1928

Mon Seul Ami by Isabey: launched in 1928.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? I have no notes on this composition.

Vanity Fair, Volume 30, 1928:
"Isabey Presents A Distinguished New Parfum MON SEUL AMI Simultaneously with the advent of the smartest social season, Isabey presents Mon Seul Ami — a new and distinctive odeur. With its richly exquisite fragrance, its subtle..."


1924 Bobin Freres manufactured ,Henry Hamm designed, Isabey Mon Seul Ami perfume bottle and stopper, clear/frost glass, sepia patina, box. 5 3/4 in. photo by Perfume Bottles Auction.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

L'Ambre de Carthage c1924

L'Ambre de Carthage by Isabey: launched in 1924. Originally created by perfumer Jean Jacques as a woman's perfume.

The name evoking the ancient Tunisian city of Carthage.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? I have no notes for the original perfume.


The perfume bottles were designed by Julien Viard.

1926 Julien Viard designed Ambre De Carthage perfume bottle and stopper, made up of clear and frosted glass, accented with gray patina. Original box with stylized scrolling floral pattern. Bottle stands 2 3/4" tall.

Fate of the Perfume:

Discontinued by the 1940s.

In 2011 saw the launch of the first men's fragrance by Panouge under their Isabey label, called L'Ambre de Carthage, created by Jean Jacques. The name was recycled from the perfume originally launched in 1924.
  • Top notes: bergamot, labdanum, cardamom, thyme, cinnamon
  • Middle notes: geranium, patchouli, osmanthus blossom, jasmine, olibanum
  • Base notes: birch, musk, sandalwood, amber

I received a sample from Panouge and just applied some to my arm. At first sniff I get olibanum incense. Lots of incense. The incense reminds me of Tom Ford's Sahara Noir.  An herbal facet from the thyme, a pungent spike of geramiun and a spice fusion of cinnamon and cardamom add to the oriental composition. I didn't get much of the floral notes of the jasmine or osmanthus. Slowly the amber emerges from its slumber. I get a touch of earthy woods with the patchouli, birch and sandalwood.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Le Collier d'Isabey Perfume Presentation c1925

This rare perfume set is called " Le Collier d'Isabey " and came out in 1925. Isabey won a gold medal in 1925 , when it introduced "Le Collier d'Isabey" (the Isabey Necklace) at the Paris Exhibition. It is also known as "Le Collier Parfume" (the perfumed necklace). The presentation consisted of six pearl shaped perfume bottles arranged to simulate a pearl necklace in a demi-lune presentation case. Andre Jolivet used his "laitance de hareng" pearlization technique for the bottles.

Isabey also made usage of these small round bottles for their individual perfumes such as Ambre de Carthage, Chypre Celtique, Bleu de Chine, Violette, Gardenia and Chypre. Photo from worthpoint.

Le Parfum d'Yvonne Printemps by Isabey c1929

Le Parfum d'Yvonne Printemps by Isabey: launched in 1929. Named after the beautiful actress and wife of noted actor and playwright Sacha Guitry, who Isabey also made a fragrance for. Although in the book Femmes de Papier, the author has noted that Jean Desprez (creator of the famous Bal a Versailles perfume) was the regular perfumer for Sacha Guitry.

"Two things make women unforgettable, their tears & their perfume" -Sacha Guitry