VINTAGE - Coty La Rose Jacqueminot Parfum
Year Introduced: 1904, Introduced in the US in 1906 - Feminine
Notes: Top notes of aldehydes, tea rose, Bulgarian rose, Jacqueminot rose and green accords; middle notes of jasmine, cabbage rose, Damask rose, violet, ylang-ylang, honey, orange blossom, lavender, clove, nutmeg and cardamom; and base notes of oakmoss, ambergris, musk, Mysore sandalwood and tobacco
La Rose Jacqueminot was the first fragrance created by Coty. It was named after a highly fragrant variety of long-stemmed cabbage rose that was first grown in France in 1853 and was named in tribute to a famous heroic general of the Napoleonic war. It is described as a creamy, dark and rich honeyed rose, slightly animalic and mossy with jammy rose notes.
The story goes that Coty tried unsuccessfully to market the perfume to several department stores. At the Parisian store, Le Grands Magasins du Louvre, Coty tried to meet with the director of the store, Henri de Villemessant to convince him to purchase the fragrance for the store but de Villemessant refused to see Coty. Coty then "accidentally" dropped perfume bottle onto the floor of the cosmetics department, where it shattered and the fragrance filled the room. Soon everyone wanted to know what that beautiful smell was.
There is a rumor that Coty had hired women (some say friends of his wife) to act frenzied and inquisitive about the perfume. A fact was that Coty's mother in law worked at the department store and may have had a hand in helping him and his perfume to gain acceptance.
One version of this story claims that the bottle smashed was Coty's last bottle. Another version claims that he sold his remaining sample bottles on the spot. A deal was made with the department store and that evening Coty received an order for twelve bottles of La Rose Jacqueminot to be delivered the following day. Coty and his wife Yvonne spent the night in their apartment kitchen filling bottles and Yvonne used her training as a milliner to create the silk perfume pouches to hold the flacons and tying gold string and binding onto the bottles to make them even more attractive, a process called baudruchage. The art of baudruchage, a traditional technique used in prestige perfumery, ensures that the bottle is tamper-proof. A fine membrane, the baudruche, is placed around the neck of the bottle, before the gold thread is tied around it, to ensure a perfect fit to the contours of the flacon “shoulders”, and to seal in the fragrance.
Within weeks, stores were demanding La Rose Jacqueminot and Coty's business was launched. Within a matter of months he had made his first million.
La Rose Jacqueminot was also the favorite fragrance of Grand Duchess Olga Romanov.
An excerpt from The Non Blonde:
The danger in getting into vintage perfumes is that sooner or later one of them will break your heart. The one that did it to me is La Rose Jacqueminot by Coty. It was one of Francois Coty's first creations, originally released in 1905 (according to Roja Dove. Other sources point to 1906). My bottle is the 1980s reissue of the eau de perfume, so it's not that I'm even yearning for something all that old and unattainable, but knowing that this beauty is gone and would probably not be seen again is painful.
I'm not even a rose person, but this is a very dark and thick rose. I don't know if it ever had lighter top notes that my bottle has lost or if it always been about red wine and roses right from the start. It's a date night perfume, low lights, silk and velvet, black eyeliner and hushed tones. There's quite a bit of spice in its heart which makes me think of faraway places. I smell cardamom, nutmeg and a dirty wood base, a touch of oud, maybe, sandalwood and tobacco. It's rich, romantic, completely devoid of sunshine and so beautiful it makes me dress up to deserve it. La Rose Jacqueminot makes you realize just how much we've lost when Coty turned into a dreck for the masses company it is today, and that's a big part of the heartbreak involved.
An excerpt from Parfumieren Blogspot:
Could the Grand Duchesses have been the recipients of a Coty coffret? It would certainly explain their group fascination with Coty perfumes--and the neat division of their spoils, scent by scent and sister by sister.
One envisions the presentation box's arrival in the Imperial nursery at the Alexander Palace. Tatiana, or "The Governess" as they call her, superintends its placement on the tea table and smacks away Anastasia's curious hands. There's a flurry of excitement as each bottle is unstoppered and passed around; cries of delight and declarations of ownership as one fragrance after another fills the air.
Over and over, Olga, the eldest, quietest, and most studious of the sisters, returns to one bottle in particular. The heavy, exhilirating attar of roses it contains reminds her so of her beloved Livadia Palace and languid summers in the Crimea, where the air itself is perfume. She reminisces about her first full-dress ball last autumn, when she turned sixteen. A pink silk haute couture gown, gauzy layers as things wisps of cloud...pearls and diamons...a thousand miles of dance floor traveled in a neverending waltz...
And banks and banks of roses...
A dab or two on her skin veils Olga in flowers and something more -- a thrilling amplification of the scent of her own warm skin, carrying with it the unmistakable essence of womanhood. The thought excites and discomfits her. It's like being uncovered, the private self she keeps carefully contained now made disturbingly public, en decollete.
At the same time, the temple architecture of La Rose Jacqueminot's notes seem distinctly ceremonial, made for a high priestess uttering sacred prophecies in some fluid, archaic tongue. It's a slow, wise, knowing language, neither innocent nor demure, and though she's never admit it to anyone, Olga thinks she might actually understand a smattering of it --
"Darling," Maria exclaims. "What is that? It smells so rich and heavy. Would Mama approve?"
Undoubtedly not. But then, the Empress' idea of fragrance is verbena eau de toilette -- a faint green shimmer on skin, like dew dissipating from a blade of grass -- and Atkinson's Essence of White Rose, which she prizes chiefly because it is so very "clean".
La Rose Jacqueminot is not clean. It is animalic, heated, pent-up and ready to spill over. It is all the flirtations and stolen glances of summer reduced to a dangerous distillate. It is the decadent weight of the heaviest satin or the thickest sables. It is a color richer than any Olga has ever worn. She dabs again, and the atmosphere around her fairly turns cerise.
No, she thinks to herself, Mama would most certainly not like it.
Out loud, she says, "This one belongs to me."
From a 1925 ad where Coty assigns their fragrances to various types of women:
The delicate loveliness of blonde women is told by La Rose Jacqueminot.
La Rose Jacqueminot has been discontinued. It was reissued in 1986 as part of The Chateau Collection along with Chypre and Les Muses and those three fragrances have also been discontinued. We are decanting from an original parfum version of this fragrance.