So today I have a great guest post from author Jan Moran, I hope you all enjoy this post. I am very excited to share it with you and its to celebrate her amazing new book Scent of Triumph.
Blog Post for Ali’s Bookshelf
Award-Winning Vintage French Perfumes
By Jan Moran
I’m so honored to be taking over Ali’s blog for the day! And I’m happy to share my novel, Scent of Triumph, a suspenseful historical saga about a young French perfumer.
This is the last stop on my blog tour, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing insights from my writing, as well as beloved vintage perfumes. Why perfumes? Because in Scent of Triumph, the protagonist, Danielle Bretancourt, comes from a long line of perfumers. Perfumery is her profession and her passion, so vintage perfumes are prominent in the story.
Scent of Triumph takes places during the 1940s, with World War II as a backdrop. Today I’m featuring a duo of historic perfumes from two important perfume Houses: Guerlain and Dior. From 1925, Guerlain’s Shalimar was heralded as the first “Oriental” perfume, a blend of flowers with essential oils that originated in Asia. It was created just after World War I. In 1947, Miss Dior debuted as World War II ended. Though two decades apart, both perfume compositions reflect joy and jubilation in the return to peace.
Shalimar by Guerlain (1925) - Shalimar is an intoxicating, yet subtly sensuous blend that has endured for decades. With a long-lasting base of spices and aromatic woods, it became the archetype for Oriental blends. A highly distinctive and dramatic fragrance, it was designed for the woman who is sensual, sophisticated and uninhibited...another grand entrance-making perfume from Guerlain.
A 1925 composition, Shalimar is reflective of its period, of a cosmopolitan Paris in the midst of celebration after World War I, of the Roaring Twenties, of exhilaration and new life. This attitude is mirrored in the zesty citrus top notes. Heady florals flow into a spicy base that is particularly rich in vanilla, incense, and sandalwood.
In creating Shalimar, Jacques Guerlain was inspired by a love story told to him by a Maharajah visiting Paris. The Guerlain company shared the story with us:
More than 300 years ago, Shah Jahan succeeded to the throne of his father, Jahangir, and became the third Mogul Emperor of India.
Jahan loved only one woman. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal.
Some say he loved her unto madness, that she was not his wife but his fever. Victories, empires and riches were dust as compared to her...in his eyes, she alone was the balm that made life bearable.
When she died, Jahan's hair turned white. He would burst into tears at the mention of her name. In her memory, he built one of the world's greatest wonders–the Taj Mahal at Agra.
But the Taj Mahal is only an empty monument. While Mumtaz was alive, Jahan created a series of gardens for her at Lahore, gardens the like of which had never been seen before. He called them the gardens of Shalimar, the Sanskrit word meaning "abode of love."
From every corner of the Earth, the most fragrant and delicate blossoms were brought. Deep pools were built with crystal fountains and terraces paved in marble. The rarest birds were summoned to sing here and lanterns were hung to rival the stars. In the gardens of Shalimar the lovers were truly happy, and Mumtaz bore fourteen children to her beloved Jahan.
Jacques Guerlain decided that the perfume should be called Shalimar, not Taj Mahal, because, you see, Taj Mahal marks the end of the story, and this love story can never end....
The flacon was designed by Raymond Guerlain and is also a reminder of the fountains in the gardens of Shalimar. The ornamental stopper in sapphire blue evokes the flow of the fountains' water. Voluptuous and enveloping, Shalimar is a fragrance of eternal romance.
Miss Dior by Christian Dior (1947) - A classic, impeccable floral fragrance, Miss Dior was created by French couturier Christian Dior. Christian Dior once said, “Perfume is the indispensable complement to the feminine personality, and the finishing touch of a dress.”
Miss Dior was launched in 1947–the year Dior introduced his New Look. The New Look was actually a throwback to the pre-World War II years, full skirts, tiny waistlines, gloves, and bare shoulders, a far cry from the despondent styles of the war years. When consumers flocked to update their wardrobes with the New Look, they also snapped up his new fragrance, Miss Dior. The fragrance represented the re-emergence of the feminine, elegant style of the Belle Époque.
Today, the perennial French debutante Miss Dior is enjoying a resurgence, or second debut. So who has worn Miss Dior? From today’s Natalie Portman, who serves as the current spokesmodel, to Princess Grace and Marlene Dietrich. And for a special treat, watch the video on the history of Miss Dior on the Dior site.
Thanks for sharing your platform today! If you’ve been following my blog tour, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Visit me at www.janmoran.com to learn more about fragrance and Scent of Triumph. Please sign up on my email list to be notified of my upcoming books. Au revoir!
Jan Moran's latest work is Scent of Triumph, a historical-suspense novel, on all Amazons worldwide in print and kindle: US http://amzn.to/VvQNir, UK http://amzn.to/PFiHUy. Also for the Nook, iPad, Kobo and other formats: http://bit.ly/ZGkzOg. She is the Rizzoli Books bestselling author of Fabulous Fragrance I & II. A perfume and beauty expert, she is the creator of Scentsa, a touch screen fragrance finder in Sephora stores. Follow her blog on Goodreads, or on the web at http://www.janmoran.com, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janmoran, and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/janmoranbooks. “Scent of Triumph [is a] World War II epic.”— Los Angeles Times From Jan: "I love smart and fierce female protagonists. I set the story during World War II and gave Danielle the profession of perfumer, which I'm quite familiar with. I hope you enjoy it, and if you'd like to Skype me into your bookclub meeting, simply send me a message!"