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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And what a stellar pair of classics they are! Hardly a woman alive hasn’t loved wearing these two glorious fragrances…I am so glad that Sarah has shared their proud history on 8 Mai!
Great information on the perfumes after WWII-use to wear L’Aire du Temps in my younger days. I’m sure women felt so liberated and free that they did want to make fashion statements with clothes and fragrances. Enjoyed a little history lesson and seeing you too!!
How I love seeing your posts! Brava!! Hope to see you soon.