The Great Perfume Houses of France

  The home of great perfumes is undoubtedly France. And the village of Grasse in the south of France (and nearby Eze) are synonymous with French Perfume. Grasse is a pilgrimage for all great perfume lovers - as well as many perfumeries to visit, the countryside is laden with the scented flowers that characterise the classic French fragrances. Here grows Jasmine, Tuberose, Roses, Irises and Lilies especially cultivated for their scent.

Paris, of course, also has long associations with perfume, and many of the great French houses are still to be found head-quartered in central Paris.

Coty - 1904 - Francois Coty, originally born in Corsica, moved to Paris in 1900. Renowned for creating the Chypre genre of scents, he released his first perfume in 1904, and was a pioneer in using designer bottles by the likes of Baccarat and Rene Lalique. Guerlain - 1828 - - Founded by Pierre Francois Pascal Guerlain the Paris perfume house found fame in 1853 by being named His Majesty's Official Perfumer and made perfumes for Queen Victoria and the Queen of Spain. Guerlain coined the pyramidal architecture of perfume design. Galimard -1747 - - Founded by Jean de Gallimard, this historic perfumery based in Grasse supplied perfume to the court of Louis XV. Their approach to creating fine fragrances has changed little in 250 years still using the local Grasse flowers.

Molinard - 1849 - - In 1849, a chemist named Jeune Molinard  concocted excellent perfumed waters in the secrecy of his laboratory which he then sold from a small boutique in Grasse. Today the perfumery is still run by the family.

Chanel - 1921 - - In 1921 the perfumer, Ernest Beaux, created for Gabrielle Chanel what would become the greatest selling perfume of all time, the iconic and timeless No.5. With it's characteristic aldehydic formula it revolutionised fragrance design.

Fragonard - 1926 - - named after the french artist Jean-Horore Fragonard, this perfumery based in Grasse, as well as making fragrances, also runs perfume museums in Paris, Grasse and Eze.

Creed - 1760 - -
The House of Creed was founded in 1760 when James Henry Creed opened his first shop in London. It rapidly became a favourite of the aristocracy in England, France, Austria and Spain. In 1854 Creed moved to Paris and to today it is still run by the Creed family

Houbigant - 1775 - Jean Francois Houbigant established his perfumery in 1774 at no. 19 rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris. Supplier to the nobles of France, he counted Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria amongst his clientele. perfumer Paul Parquet is credited with creating the Fougere genre. 

Caron - 1904 - - Ernest Daltroff founded the Caron house in 1904 producing its first commercial perfume in 1911. Ernest was driven by love to create his perfumes. Caron remains devoted to fragrance, one of the few remaining pure perfume houses today.

Other renowned French Perfume Houses

  • LT Piver - 1813
  • Roger & Gallet - 1862
  • D'Orsay - 1865
  • Les Parfums des Rosine (Paul Poiret) - 1911
  • Worth - 1922
  • Corday - 1923
  • Bourjois - 1925
  • Nina Rici - 1946
  • Christian Dior - 1947
  • Balmain - 1947
  • Lancome - 1950
  • Hermes - 1951
  • Estee Lauder - 1953
  • Givenchy - 1957
  • Yves Saint Laurent - 1964
<< Previous


 Next >>