Parfums Gres : History and Tradition

Madamegres

If like me you are an avid admirer of Parfums Grès, from Cabochard to Cabotine and if you are interested in learning more about its history, a wonderful website Parfums Grès will be a great discovery. Besides photos and background on Alix Grès herself, the website features excerpts from Michael Edwards’s French Perfume Legends that revolve around the history of the house as well as a timeline of the entire collection. I have discovered a few fragrances that were new to me: Grès pour Homme (1965), Quiproquo (1976), Eau de Cologne Grès, Eau de Grès (1980), Alix Grès (1981). The water hyacinth scented Chouda (1959) has also captivated me.

Photo: Madame Grès evening gown with peplum, silk jersey, 1940, taken by George Platt Lynes. Please see more information about this stunning gown and photograph from The Met Museum.

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13 Comments

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    What a lovely idea a Gres website. This image of a woman captures the essence of feminine allure it’s fragilty and also its strenght. How I adored Cabochard and it’s younger sibling L’air de Cabochard. Bpth are exuisite with Cabochard being to my nose ( tres humble ) the chypre fantasy scent the latter (L’air” ) a sweeter varietal. I always enjoyed that feel good feeling upon sniffing Cabochard’s initial burst of scent. I loved the top note ad well of the more leather – like drydown.
    Anyway, L’air de C is not in official circulation I’m sad to report except for discount fragrance houses. The fatal error un my opinion was the nozzle.
    Thank you dear Vic. I shall check this excitibg new website .
    By the wat FIAF is having a fragrance event on Dec. 7th @ 7 PM at its headquarters on 60th between Park and Lex. Wpuld you be interested in going ?
    Madelyn E November 28, 2006 at 2:03am Reply

  • Lisa Carol: Thank you! Wonderful, and very inspiring, site! I always found Mme Grès, in her turbans, to be such a rolemodel in the male dominated fashion business – she sure was “cabocharde” (in the positive way).
    Amongst the leather chypres, which I generally like, Cabochard is probably the one I like the least. The current version is plain vile, the vintage a lot better, but still nothing like Bandit or Jolie Madame. I find that the floral element in Cabochard doesn’t come through as one would wish, as it does in the before mentioned, and you end up with “undiluted” leather and tobacco. But of course, it is a very confident, “don’t you dare mess with me” scent, and some days you need it! November 28, 2006 at 4:06am Reply

  • aryse: Ohhhh Victoria…I have a curious idea !!!!Is every woman “cabocharde” or “cabotine” ? In fact, I think they are only charming.

    I agree completly with you about GRES POUR HOMME.I was wearing it long time ago and it is really beautiful.His scent, beginning with lavender and mixted after with leather, moss, musk and vanilia give a great perfume.In my opinion, it is the best perfume of GRES, just after the leathering CABOCHARD.
    But, unfortunatly, it is discontinued for a long time.

    There was an other perfume for men in 1982 : GRES MONSIEUR, very spicy and with pine needle, but not so good.It is also discontinued.Did you try it ? November 28, 2006 at 7:39am Reply

  • Judith: Thank you so much for this link! Vintage Cabochard is one of my favorite perfumes, and I am excited to discover some new one from this line, as well as to learn more about its history. November 28, 2006 at 8:05am Reply

  • luccia: That photo is stunning, that dress is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Why don’t they remake it? That would be really great… November 28, 2006 at 9:52am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Madelyn, it is wonderful to see fans of Parfums Gres. I was searching for Chouda information last night, and I came upon this website. It was such a wonderful discovery!

    I would have loved to attend the event on the 7th, but it looks like I will be in Paris then. Perhaps, after the holidays we might have time to meet up. November 28, 2006 at 9:56pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Lisa Carol, I absolutely agree with you on Madame Gres being a rolemodel. She was such a fascinating individual, not to mention incredibly talented. In general, I find her style as well as that of Madeleine Vionnet to be inspiring. They made women look like goddesses. November 28, 2006 at 10:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Aryse, I love that idea! Sometimes I think that many of us have both sides. There are days for me when I need Cabochard to prop up my Cabotine side, while on others it is the opposite. :)

    What a shame that I have never tried Gres Monsieur. I will try to look for it now, and I hope that I will be able to find some to sample. Your description sounds amazing. November 28, 2006 at 10:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, sometimes I hate google, but when it uncovers gems like this one, I cannot be more pleased! Like you, I am an avid admirer of vintage Cabochard (I do not have kind words to say about the modern version though). November 28, 2006 at 10:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Luccia, I really cannot agree more. I saw that photo at the Met and I was mesmerized. November 28, 2006 at 10:05pm Reply

  • Cindy: Please tell me what connection you have with the Parisian shop “Parfum Gres”. I have not been able to locate this shop since I was in Paris many years ago. I wrote to them at the last address I had and the letter was returned to me. I phoned them with the last numbers I used years ago, when I used to order Cabochard by the gallon … phones no longer valid.

    I would appreciate your assistance to contact this shop. Cabochard is the most amazing perfume ever conceived. December 18, 2006 at 7:15pm Reply

  • John Green: It is becoming very difficult to find Cabochard Perfume (Parfum) do you know who is distributing it so I can still buy it for my wife. the department stores and others online just have toilet water and sprays January 31, 2007 at 6:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: John, did you try contacting someone through their website (link above)? I do not know where the parfum is still sold. I only see vintage bottles of it on Ebay. January 31, 2007 at 6:13pm Reply

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