Rosine - Paul Poiret
I have been fortunate enough to obtain Paul Poiret's legendary Nuit de Chine in the Eau de Cologne, EDC form. Nuit de Chine was created for Parfums de Rosine by perfumer Maurice Shaller in 1913. He started with Poiret as a glassmaker but was discovered by accident to have a genius for creating perfume.
The original name of this fragrance, Night of the East, quickly became Night of China, written in French and Chinese, and inspired by a famous operetta in the Belle Epoque. When introduced, Nuit de Chine was considered quite expensive (which is something considering the wealth of Poiret's clientelle). The advertising stated: "I don't preach the economy, I'm speaking only about elegance. Buy Nuit de Chine!"
Nuit de Chine is a forgotten masterpiece and a delicious fragrance constructed over the sandalwood note and falls within the amber sweet family. It features notes of sandalwood, patchouli, musk, amber, pink jasmine, cinnamon, clove, vetiver, labdanum, and a fruity note that is either Persicol or Chuit Naef (which were base/specialties at the time).
Just a bit of background information. In 1911, Paul Poiret became the first couturier to enter the long-established French perfume industry. That same year he set up two companies, one for each of his daughters. For Martine, the youngest, he established Les Ateliers de Martine. For Rosine, the eldest, he established Parfums de Rosine. Poiret never linked his name to either the names of his perfumes or to perfume company he had established for his daughter. He fell victim to the stock market crash of 1929 and died impoverished and forgotten in 1944.