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Monday, July 29, 2013

Guerlain c1906

Harper's Weekly, Volume 50, 1906:

"PARISIAN SKETCHES - RUE DE LA PAIX 

Rue de la Paix! A magic name which by itself evokes all the marvels of elegance, art, and good taste, and to the glare of which all the pretty butterflies - the strangers - come to burn their wings, glittering symbol, the reflections of which, like the lustre of an incomparable diamond, fascinate the "elegantes" of the whole world. And who has created this repute! 
It is all due to those firms which, through their products have established this impeccable repute, and imposed names that are bound to be handed down to posterity. London, New York, Berlin, Vienna, St Petersburg, and so many other capitals will strive to rob Paris of the secret by which it attracts strangers: there will never be but one Rue de la Paix.

The old established firms, and we quote them at random - Au Coc, Cuvillier, Doucet, Guerlain, Mellerio, Worth, - and others have given by their taste and the excellence of their manufacture such value and notoriety to this famous Rue de la Paix that a curious exodus of industries has been witnessed: the jewellers abandoned the Palais Royal, the perfumers left the eccentric quarters, and those very ones who, up till then, had dreamed of but large figures, have felt compelled to come and establish themselves, at a great cost, in that selfsame Rue de la Paix, in the hopes that within the pall of the standard brands, their products would enjoy abroad the privileges attached to that name of world-wide repute.

Let us take an example at random which applies to all these old names: was there ever in any part of the globe a new and delicate perfume which puzzled you, you could hear this sentence. "Here is a perfume that surely comes from the Perfumer of Rue de la Paix," and neither name nor address were given; every one knew that it came from Guerlain's. 
In the affluence of competitors, it may perhaps soon become impossible to content one's self with the indication of the profession, the standard brands will have to defend their name, the "elegante" will require to add that, if her lace is delightfully scented, it is to Guerlain she owes it, although Guerlain's perfumes bear their true signature - so the Parisiennes tell us in their delicate subtility!"


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