May 8th is a national public holiday in France celebrating the end of World War II in Europe (V-E Day). The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of this important date.
As part of this year’s celebrations, I attended A Sound and Light Show at Les Invalides in Paris, ‘Ami Entends-Tu?’ which pays homage to French Resistance fighters. The title of the event is also the name of a well known song of the French Resistance, whose words remind us the violence and horrors of war — of suffering, death, pain, and destruction.
As a perfume writer, I was also reminded that arts and culture are among the casualties of war, and that an end of fighting and violence very often corresponds to a renaissance in the arts.
A quick look at La Classification Officielle de Parfums (the perfume reference book of the Société Française de Parfumeurs) confirms that only 6 fragrances were launched in France during the 7 war years of 1939-1945. Whereas in the years immediately following the end of fighting, there was a surge in perfume launches, with a whopping 9 launches in the the single year, 1947.
Among the fruits of this fabulous post-war perfume renaissance are two outstanding fragrances:
Christian Dior’s ‘Miss Dior’, created by perfumers Jean Carles and Paul Vacher as a sophisticated and feminine green chypre fragrance, contrasting freshness and warmth.
Nina Ricci’s fragrance, ‘L’Aire du Temps’, created by perfumer Francis Fabron, a floral bouquet with a spicy carnation heart note, and well beloved for its bottle with the symbolic doves of peace on the cap.
Among the fruits of Peace: Culture and Art
The costs of war? What price the Human Spirit?
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