In the early 1920s it was the French fine fragrance houses that dominated the market, especially once Chanel No.5 was launched in 1921. However, a British fragrance house, Girard, had been popular since the turn of the century, and now approximately one hundred years after it first went on sale, the brand has been revived with Boots becoming the exclusive stockist of Girard.
The original Girard was a modern brand, sitting alongside contemporaries such as Chanel, Floris and Penhaligons, with some of its advertising illustrated by Gladys Peto, a member of the legendary Bloomsbury Set. At its height, Girard offered fifteen different fragrances and now some of these original recipes have been reconstructed to form part of the new range.
Two original recipes from the 1920s have been reinvigorated and will be launched as a celebration of the brand's heritage. Bouquet d'Orient is a rich spicy oriental fragrance with top notes of Bergamot, Lemon and Neroli giving way to a floral heart of Rose, Ylang Ylang and French Violet Leaves to name but a few. These all rest on a warm resinous mélange including Madagascan Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Myrrh and a hint of Patchouli. In contrast Lysval is a floral perfume with a cascade of flowers including Ylang Ylang, Indian Jasmine, Rose petals and Orange blossom, supported by a particularly French base which contributes to a Springtime floral essence.
The lead perfumer on the project was Beverley Bayne at CPL Aromas. She said of Girard: "The challenge was to update the fragrance, keeping as close to the original signature as possible whilst still appealing to the modern nose. These fragrances are like fine French wine - the charm of them is that they are meant to be savoured and have great depth."
Because Girard was always such a contemporary fragrance house, it is only fitting that some new fragrances enter the fold on its relaunch. Three additional fragrances have been created to accompany the original recipes, all evoked by some of women's favourite destinations around the world - Bali Sunrise, New York Nights and Provence Spring. Bali Sunrise is a luscious green, floral and fruity fragrance, New York Notes focuses on a citrus top note with warm base whilst Provence Springs is a fresh floral perfume.
Girard Brand Development Manager, Helen Tarver said: "The beauty of archives is that you never know what you're going to find. When I found a whole batch of original recipes and marketing materials in the archives I felt instantly excited that I had found some "buried treasure" that was worth resurrecting."
Boots is the UK's leading retailer of health and beauty products, including fragrance, as well as health information.
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