Created by Lanvin in-house perfumer Andre Fraysse and another perfumer Paul Vacher, Arpege was launched in 1927. It was named after the musical term arpeggio in honor of Jeanne Lanvin’s only daughter Marie-Blanche, a talented pianist and was created in honor of her 30th birthday. A refined, elegant and warm scent created with over 60 natural ingredients, Arpege is a floral aldehydic fragrance that features notes of aldehydes, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, iris, vetiver, ambrein and benzoin.
It was reformulated in 1993 and while the reformulation is really quite pretty it doesn't hold a candle to the original vintage scent.
From an article in the Ottawa Citizen from 1961, it was noted that Andre Fraysse had been with the firm for 35 years and that the secret formula to Lanvin perfumes was known only to him and the company president. Copies of the formulas were stored in a sealed envelope in a bank vault. Each individual perfume contained a mixture of at least 50 different ingredients and when Fraysse died, instructions for making the perfumes would be given to his successor. Fraysse began working with Lanvin in 1925 and was then an unknown. He created their first fragrance, My Sin and Crescendo was the first new fragrance to be launched since 1937. Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska had once said that he considered Fraysse to be the best perfumer of them all.
Interesting to note, is that Arpege is part of the Smithsonian's collection of cosmetics and personal care products displayed at the National Museum of American History.