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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coque D'Or c1937

Coque d’Or: (Golden Shell) created by Jacques Guerlain in 1937 and is a play on words named after the 1907 Rimsky-Korsakov opera, The Golden Cockerel (Le Coq D'Or).

Fragrance Composition:

What does it smell like? It is classified as a lush, velvet, fruity chypre fragrance for women with a musky base.
  • Top notes: anise, fruity notes, lavender, bergamot, aldehydes
  • Middle notes: jasmine, carnation, cyclamen, orris, vetiver, patchouli, tolu balsam, musk
  • Base notes: oakmoss, civet, vanilla


Presented in Cristalleries de Baccarat Art Deco blue bow-shaped bottle, design # 770, almost entirely covered in a gilt ‘shell’, known as the ‘Noed Papillion’ in 1 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.  It was also made by Pochet et du Courval. This perfume and bottle was designed to pay tribute to Jacques Guerlain's close friend, Diaghilev.

This bottle came in two versions, cobalt blue with an all over gilded "shell" and a cobalt blue with minor  gilded accents, it also held two other Guerlain perfumes, Kriss and Dawamesk.

  • Coque D'Or was launched in 1937 and sold til 1953,
  • Kriss was launched in 1942 and sold til 1947.
  • Dawamesk was launched in 1945 and sold til 1955.

The bottle was made in the gilded version from 1937 til about 1945, after 1945 it was only made in the cobalt bottle with gilt accents as the factory that did the all over gilt work a destroyed during WWII, and the bottle design was discontinued in 1956.

The first luxury presentation case, designed by Jean-Michel Frank, held the Noed Papillon flacon and was made up of limed oak wood, and inlaid with a lattice design in white plaster, and the rest of the box was covered in white plaster. The second version of this box, a less expensive option, was made up of paper imitating the wood and plaster effect of the more expensive case.

Also available in a 3oz Quadrilobe bottle (parfum), the Amphore flacon (parfum), and in the Goutte flacon (eau de toilette).

photo by drouot

«COQUE D'OR» Flacon en verre, panse rectangulaire, orné au dos de la femme aux drapeaux. Etiquette des lotions végétales, titrée. Bouchon boule. H: 23 cm

Stage, 1937:
"Guerlain has its new Coque d'Or in a regal gold- and-royal-blue bottle, which fits into a white, silk-lined box you can use for those sapphires and emeralds of yours."
Stage, 1938:
"Or, if this hostess is a favorite of yours, a bottle of Guerlain's Coque d'Or, which smells like we imagine Heaven."
The New Yorker, 1938:
"Guerlain's most recent, Coque d'Or, is very heavy, and therefore a controversial matter.."

Drug & Cosmetic Industry, 1938:
"Guerlain can always be depended upon to bring out one beautiful presentation a year. Last year about this time it was "Vega' and now its is "Coque D'Or" a bouquet. Coque D'Or is presented in a smart bottle in the shape of a bow of gold ribbon, hence the name. The sides of the bottle are gold and the top is of a rich blue by Baccarat. The box in which it comes is lovely enough to hold jewelry. In natural oak decorated with white and gold, the box is in keeping with the new Guerlain shop on Place Vendome. It is available in one size only containing 2 ¼ oz and retailing at $40.” In a 1938 article in The Stage magazine, it mentions that "Guerlain's exquisite Coque D'Or, newly put out in smaller size ($22.50)."

Esquire, 1939:
"Guerlain's dry, modern Vol de Nuit for the girl of Tomorrow, the lush, velvet Coque d'Or for the girl of tonight."

Drug Topics Redbook, 1940:
"Coque d'Or, Guerlain:
  • Extract. l oz $22.60 
  • Extract. 2 1/4 oz $40.00 
  • Toilet Water. 3 oz $6.00 
  • Toilet Water. 8 oz 10.00 
  • Toilet Water. Pint. $20.00."

Drug and Cosmetic Industry, 1940:
"Guerlain now has a $5 size of toilet water in all the popular fragrances such as Shalimar, Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, Coque d'Or, Liu, Mitsouko, Sous le Vent and Vega. The bottle is the same type as the $10 size and an atomizer top."
Realities, 1946:
"Il me reste encore quelques minutes pour aller chez Guerlain, place Vendôme. Ici, beaucoup d'activité. Des vaporisateurs remplis des divers parfums jettent à la tête des clientes des arômes très forts. Deux créations : Kriss, Coque d'Or."

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown. Still being sold in 1955.

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