Posted 10 months ago
I just added this awesome bottle of Guerlain perfume to my growing collection of antique perfume bottles/perfume. It was sitting in a lit up carrousel type display case when I noticed it.
Guerlain building in Paris
Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue
The House of Guerlain was owned and managed by members of the Guerlain family from 1828 to 1994. It was acquired in 1994 by the LVMH group, a multinational investment corporation specializing in luxury brands.
 The beginning
The House of Guerlain was founded in 1828, when Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain opened his perfume store at 42, rue de Rivoli in Paris. As both the founder and first perfumer of the house, Pierre-François composed and manufactured custom fragrances with the help of his two sons, Aimé and Gabriel. Through continued success and the patronage of members in high society, Guerlain opened its flagship store at 15, rue de la Paix in 1840, and put its mark on the Parisian fashion scene.
The success of the house under Pierre-François peaked in 1853 with the creation of Eau de Cologne Impériale for French Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugénie. This perfume earned Pierre-François the prestigious title of being His Majesty's Official Perfumer. Guerlain went on to create perfumes for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Queen Isabella II of Spain, among other royalty.
 The second generation
With the death of Pierre-François in 1864, the house was left to his sons Aimé Guerlain and Gabriel Guerlain. The roles of perfumer and manager were divided between the two brothers, with Gabriel managing and further expanding the house, and Aimé becoming the master perfumer. The House of Guerlain thus began a long tradition whereby the position of master perfumer was handed down through the Guerlain family.
As Guerlain's second generation in-house perfumer, Aimé was the creator of many classic compositions, including Fleur d'Italie (1884), Rococo (1887) and Eau de Cologne du Coq (1894). However, many would argue that his greatest composition was 1889's Jicky, the first fragrance described as a "parfum" and among the first to use synthetic ingredients alongside natural extracts.
 The third generation
A Guerlain boutique on the Champs-Élysées, in Paris.
The business was handed down to the sons of Gabriel Guerlain: Jacques Guerlain and Pierre Guerlain. Jacques, Aimé's nephew, became Guerlain's third master perfumer; he was the author of many of Guerlain's most famous classics, which are still held in high esteem in the modern perfume industry. Many of his perfumes are still sold and marketed today. Among Jacques Guerlain's most important creations are Mouchoir de Monsieur (1904), Après L'Ondée (1906), L'Heure Bleue (1912), Mitsouko (1919), Vol de Nuit (1933), and Guerlain's flagship fragrance Shalimar (1925). Jacques composed his final perfume, Ode (1955), with the assistance of his grandson, the then-18-year-old Jean-Paul Guerlain.
 The fourth generation
Jean-Paul Guerlain was the last family master perfumer. He created Guerlain's classic men's fragrances Vétiver (1959) and Habit Rouge (1965). He also created Chant d'Arômes (1962), Chamade (1969), Nahéma (1979), Jardins de Bagatelle (1983), and Samsara (1989), as well as Héritage and Coriolan in the 1990s. Jean-Paul Guerlain retired in 2002, but continued to serve as advisor to his successor until 2010, when racist remarks made on French television by Guerlain regarding the racial inspiration for his scent Samsara, led to his termination. With no heir from inside the family to take over, the role of master perfumer is no longer tied to family succession.
 Purchase by the LVMH Group
In a decision widely seen as a break with tradition, the Guerlain family sold the company to the luxury goods conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) in 1994. Though Jean-Paul Guerlain remained as an in-house perfumer until 2002, other perfumers were brought in after 1994 to compose perfumes for Guerlain, and Jean-Paul had to submit his compositions against those of others. Fans of the house viewed the LVMH purchase as a step towards the cheapening and commercialization of the legendary firm's legacy. Most were unhappy with the first post-LVMH release, the 1996 sweet mimosa floral Champs-Elysées, composed by Olivier Cresp, whose entry was selected over that of Jean-Paul Guerlain.
Among the outside perfumers to compose perfumes for the firm after 1994 was Mathilde Laurent, who worked for Guerlain at the end of the 1990s and in the early 2000s. She composed Aqua Allegorica Pamplelune (1999) and Shalimar Light (2003, reattributed to Jean-Paul Guerlain and relaunched in 2004 following reformulation). Maurice Roucel, a perfumer of Symrise, composed L'Instant de Guerlain (2004) and Insolence (2006). As the niece of Jean-Jacques Guerlain, some though Patricia de Nicolaï would have been a candidate for the position of Guerlain's in-house perfumer, thought the presence of a glass ceiling in the company prevented her selection for position.
In May 2008, Thierry Wasser was named the in-house perfumer for Guerlain. Wasser, a Swiss perfumer who used to work for Firmenich, created Iris Ganache (2007) and Quand Vient la Pluie (2007) for Guerlain before his appointment the following year. Jean-Paul Guerlain is staying on in an advisory consultant role, both for fragrance design and ingredients. Wasser will work closely with Sylvaine Delacourte, Guerlain's Artistic Director.