Guerlain House – INPI Treasures
Guerlain is a French perfume, cosmetics and skincare house, which is among the oldest in the world – 192 years old. Many traditional Guerlain fragrances are characterized by a common olfactory accord known as the “Guerlinade”. The house was founded in Paris in 1828 when the perfumer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain opened his first perfume store on 42, Rue de Rivoli in Paris. It was run by the Guerlain family until 1994, when it was bought by the French multinational company LVMH. Its flagship store is 68, Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Pierre-Francois composed and manufactured custom perfumes with the help of his two sons, Aime & Gabriel. His unique approach was to personalize perfume for a specific person, place or event. Honore de Balzac commissioned his own eau de toilette during the writing of Cesar Birotteau, and the periodical La Sylphide, le Journal des Elegances, scented each issue with a different fragrance by Guerlain.
Guerlain catered to the high society of Paris, and obtained a very loyal following. The perfume house was so successful that Guerlain decided to open a flagship store at 15, Rue de la Paix in Paris in 1840. The house was at its peak in 1853 with it’s fragrance Eau de Cologne Imperiale. This perfume gained Guerlain the prestigious title of His Majesty’s Official Perfumer of France. This in turn led him to create perfumes for other royals such as Queen Victoria of England, the Empress Sissi of Austria, the Queen of Belgium and Queen Isabella of Spain as well as other crowned heads of royalty.
Pierre-Francois passed away in 1854 and his sons inherited the perfume house. Aime became the master perfumer, a tradition that would be upheld for the next master perfumer in lineage. Gabriel managed and further expanded the house. Aime, created several fragrances for the perfume house, these include Fleur d’Italie, Rococo, and Eau de Cologne du Coq and his greatest creation, Jicky.
In 1873, Guerlain received a medal of merit at the Universal Exposition held in Vienna .
In 1875, Aime Guerlain sought to patent his “Woman Flags” logo for the house of Guerlain in Great Britain. In 1893, it was trademarked in France.
Aimé Guerlain, President of the Chambre Syndicale de perfume; juror exhibitions of 1878 and 1889, participated in the Moscow exhibition in 1892.
Guerlain won a silver medal for their perfumes at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1882.
In 1914, Guerlain moved to 68, Champs-Elysees Paris. The business was then handed down to Gabriel’s sons, Jacques & Pierre Guerlain. Jacques became the third master perfumer and created many fragrances in his lifetime. His creations include Eau de Coq, L’Heure Bleue, Apres L’Ondee, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Ode, and Mitsouko. These perfumes were so successful that some are still sold today.
In 1939, Jean Michel Frank gave the Institut Guerlain in Paris an updated look both inside and out, with simple, utilitarian furnishings by Chanaux & Cie. The painter Christian Bérard, was hired by Frank to design trompe-l’oeil effects to simulate Neo-Classical architectural panels on the walls of the boutique. To suggest natural shadows and light, used hues of white, black, mauve and grey, which fooled the eye and provided a three dimensional effect.
Using the trompe l’oeil mural design, Margarita Classen-Smith, a well-known textile artist and restorer, painstakingly cut pieces of grosgrain ribbon to mimic the brushstrokes of Berard’s design and then handsewn them onto sunny yellow felt. These surrealist fabric panels were then hung onto the walls as “wall paper” where they still hang today.
Jacques grandson, Jean-Paul Guerlain is the fourth generation master perfumer and has authored several perfumes and men’s colognes including Vetiver, Habit Rouge, Samsara, Nahema, Jardins de Bagatelle and many others. “Perfume is the most intense form of memory,” said Jean Paul Guerlain.
Today Thierry Wasser is Guerlain’s newest perfumer of Guerlain house.
Guerlain house has never stopped reinventing itself and protects, through numerous industrial property titles, its inventions, its brands but also its designs.
Today, the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) preserves this rich heritage, focusing on a few treasures.
First patents and trademarks
For 192 years Guerlain house has been inventing and reinventing perfumery, cosmetics in a word, beauty. The first patents filed by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain date from the end of the 1830s. For example, we can count this 5-year patent filed on April 15, 1843 for the manufacture of a toilet soap (1BA11058 , INPI Archives).
On April 16,1845, he also filed a 15-year patent for an arrangement of so-called pivot toothbrushes (1BA1274, INPI Archives).
His son and successor, Aimé Guerlain, will also file several industrial property titles, in particular this trademark registered in 1875 for a Nivea Cream intended to whiten the skin (INPI Archives).
Today creams Nivea known to to everybody. Although the magical formula was not invented by Guerlain. It was in 1911 that Dr Oskar Troplowitz, in possession of the Eucerit, a miracle formula invented by Dr Isaac Lifschüts, obtained the first emulsion of oil in water. This was a stable emulsion, “a pretty mayonnaise”, how it was called in press. His employer Paul Beiersdorf finds it so white, so creamy, that he immediately calls it “Nivea”, “snow” in Latin. And in 1912, he launched the brand on the German, British and Austrian markets. In 1932 to propose new product on French market he gave a manufacturing license to another pharmacist in France, Jacques Peloille. But the same name Nivea was registered by the Guerlains in 1875. Guerlain house produced a sunscreen face cream intended not just protect skin from the sun, but also to whiten it. Only in 1942 the name and the mark was ceded by Guerlain house to the German company.
20th century inventions
The invention of cosmetics and perfumery continued throughout the XXth century as evidenced by certain patent filings. This is the case, for example, with this invention patent No. 556905 filed on January 10, 1922 by the Guerlain Company for a powder box (INPI Archives):
Another example resides in this patent n ° 715889 filed on April 23, 1931 by the Guerlain Company for a case for lipstick sticks and others (INPI Archives). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Thursday 6 June 1935, page 12, talks about Guerlain’s Tropical shade of lipstick, this was a shade for their Rose du Moulin lipstick range.
Other patents have been filed until today, in particular for inventions specific to cosmetic containers or to the compositions of beauty products.
In addition to and in parallel with the protection of the brand represented by the Guerlain house and its multiple inventions, another industrial property title completes the protection of Guerlain products: designs and models. Intended to protect the appearance of a product, the design contributes to commercial success by distinguishing itself from potential competitors. Regarding the heritage of industrial titles filed by Guerlain, these designs retrace the evolution and essence of the brand.
The first design kept by the INPI is a make-up case filed on 06.11.1909:
Cosmetics and their various containers once again occupy a large part among the deposits, for example this lipstick case, the design of which was registered on October 31, 1951:
The universe of the house of Guerlain also revolves around the bottles of its greatest perfumes, including the famous Shalimar. It should be noted that several deposits concern the shape of this bottle, which is so particular in the history of the brand.
Iconic Guerlain flacons
Flacon Chauve Souris. Design for perfume Shalimar flacon called Chauve Souris (The Bat) created in 1924. Urn shaped flacon designed by Raymond Guerlain and produced by Baccarat to hold only the extrait of Shalimar. The bottle was also produced by Pochet et du Courval, Saint Gobain des Jonqueres and Cristal Romesnil (1920s). This bottle came in several sizes from miniature to a huge factice. A rare example had a clear stopper, instead of the usual blue wash. Baccarat flacon #597. Shalimar was renamed No.90 for a short time during a lawsuit concerning another company who was using the name Shalimar for their perfume. You may find a rare No. 90 bottle with a clear translucent stopper, made by Baccarat. The earliest bottles feature a small hole drilled into the base of the stopper, in which threads would go through to seal and make a tassel. This feature dates these bottles to 1927-1936 according to a 1927 advertisement I have in the photo gallery showing a bottle with the hole in the stopper.
Flacon Rayonnant. Another iconic bottle was the subject of a design registration: the bottle of the perfume entitled Vol de Nuit. Flacon Rayonnant (Radiance) 1933-1983 created by Baccarat. it was also used for Sous le Vent. Other bottles were made by Pochet et du Courval. The bottles range from a smoky green to clear. The bottles were often made in limited editions over the years. Stylized to look like the movement of an airplane propeller, a nod to the novelist/aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his book Night Flight (Vol de Nuit). This perfume was created in 1933, when the design was also registered, in homage to the history of aviation and perhaps even more particularly to Saint-Exupéry since the perfume bears the same title as the book by the aviator appeared two years earlier.
Flacon Abeilles (Bees) – created 1828 and in use until today. Iconic honeycomb or bee flacon inspired by column in the Place Vendome is an ode to the royal family’s coat of arms. The bee symbolizes immortality and resurrection. This flacon used for eaux de cologne and eaux de toilette. Made by Pochet et du Courval. Originally created to house “Eau de Cologne Impériale” for the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. Its decorative bees were a symbol of Napoleon and have since then, become Guerlain’s house symbol. You could get your bee bottle personalized with your monogram or the bees painted with gilded enamel.
Flacon Bouchon Coeur (Heart Shaped Stopper) created in 1912 and in use until today. Flacon originally created to house extraits of L’Heure Bleue, Fol Arome and Mitsouko. Later used for special edition fragrances such as Le Petite Robe Noire, Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, Shalimar. Flacon manufactured by Baccarat, Pochet et du Courval,Verreries Brosse, Cristalleries de Nancy and Cristal Romesnil. Designed by Raymond Guerlain in collaboration with Baccarat.
Flacon Bouchon Quadrilobe (Quatrefoil Stopper) created in 1908 and in use until today. Flacon quadrilobe was made by various manufacturers such as Baccarat, Pochet et du Courval and Cristalleries de Nancy to hold extraits for various perfumes. Some later bottles hold eaux de toilette or eaux de parfum. Baccarat flacon #24. Created in 1908 for the fragrance Rue de la Paix and has been used since as the ‘house bottle’. The labels known as ‘etiquette laurier’ because of the laurel leaf borders, except for the perfume Coque D’Or, Dawamesk, Liu and Fleur de Feu which show a more ‘modernist’ design.
Flacon Amphore (Amphora) 1955-1982. Used for extraits of Ode, Shalimar, Chant D’Aromes, Liu, Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Muguet, Chamade, Sous le Vent, Vol de Nuit, Une Fleur. Bottle made by both Baccarat and Pochet et du Courval.
Flacon Montre (Watch) 1936 – 1999. Flacon created by Pochet et du Courval to hold eaux de cologne, first used with Cachet Jaune in 1936, also held various other scents such as Shalimar, Mitsouko, Jicky, Fol Arome, Chamade, Chant D’Aromes, Liu, L’Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, Sous Le Vent, Chypre 53, Parure and more. A 1950 article reads “Guerlain recommends spraying a room with their famous Shalimar eau de cologne. This is a lighter form of their famous perfume. Because it is lighter, it is less expensive and can be used more lavishly.”
Flacon Noeud Papillon (Butterfly Knot) 1937-1956. Baccarat created this bottle to contain the extraits of Dawamesk, Kriss, Champs Elysees and Coque d’Or. The bottle was available in cobalt blue glass, and cobalt with a gilded overlay. Bottles were also made by Pochet et du Courval. the stoppers were originally smooth but were later altered to facilitate opening. Baccarat flacon #770.
Flacon Vinaigrier Ottoman 1870-1915. Beautiful ancient amphora styled flacon, sometimes you may find this with enameled designs. Extremely rare and exceptional bottle decanter-style “Vinaigrier Ottoman” colorless glass, molded, pressed cylindrical section, the lobed bulbous belly, high funnel neck, richly decorated with polychrome painted designs of oriental hand stopper olive red and blue painted richly accented with gold, created by Pochet et du Courval glassware. Model available at that time on special order. Stands 21 cm tall.
Flacon Etruscan was created in the early 1900s to hold Lotion Vegetale. The cap was made up of gilded metal cast with a foliate motif. The bottle was made by Pochet et du Courval. The luxury edition had gilding on the shoulders and the base of the bottle. The classic bottle has no gilding, except on the stopper.
Flacon Carre (Square) 1879 – ? Created by Pochet et du Courval to hold eaux de toilettes, eaux de colognes and lotion vegetal. It was mostly used in the 1870’s and 1880’s to hold the fragrances from Guerlain; and its apothecary shape was typical of the bottles used by all fragrance houses at that time.
Flacon de Cave (Wine Flacon) 1830-1938. Also known as Flacon Chinois. Bottle created by Pochet et du Courval and used for eaux de colognes, eaux de toilettes. May be gilded.
Flacon Empire 1902-1959. Flacon created by Pochet et du Courval to hold extraits of various perfumes such as Apres L’Ondee, and Sillage. Bottle, with gilded drapery, originally created to house the perfume Bon Vieux Temps.
Flacon Escargot (Snail) 1902-1962. Flacon created by Pochet et du Courval to hold extraits of Mouchoir de Monsieur, Voilette de Madame and Ai Loe. Triangular shaped bottle; the stylization of the Guerlain name across its shoulder, becomes the body of a snail from which it takes its name.
Flacon Goutte (Teardrop) 1923-2001. Bottle created by Pochet et du Courval to hold eaux de toilette only. Bottle also made by different manufacturers over the years. Created as the standard Eau de Toilette presentation. The frosted glass stopper is made of two cockle shells; the label depicts two dolphins known as ‘Etiquette Dauphin’. “Toilet water in an oval bottle with atomizer top is new, $5.” ( 1939) “Guerlain now has a $5 size of toilet water in all the popular fragrances such as Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, Coque D’Or, Liu, Mitsouko, Sous Le Vent and Jicky.” (1940, Drug and Cosmetic Industry, Volume 46).
Flacon Lalique 1925-1963. Bottle created by Lalique to hold extraits of Bouquet de Faunes and Jasmin. The maiden’s face on the front of the bottle was taken from the entrance to the Guerlain boutique at 68 Avenue Champs-Elysées, Paris, France.
Flacon Louis XVI 1902-2002. Flacon created by Pochet et du Courval to hold extraits of Apres L’Ondee, Muguet, Mouchoir de Monsieur, Violette a deux Sous, Aux Bon Vieux Temps, Sillage, Avril en Fleurs, Ai Loe and others. Flacon has also been used for special limited editions such as Chamade. The original box is white, cylindrically shaped and has Guerlain Paris in gold leaf.
Flacon L’Urne Antique created in 1830. 1830 Guerlain perfume bottle and stopper, used for various scents, clear glass, molded address label. Bottle stands 4″ tall.
Flacon Mauresque (Moorish) 1910 – ? Bottle created by Pochet et du Courval for various perfumes. Beautifully enameled decoration. Based on a 17th century Persian or Moorish perfume flacon in the Guerlain family collection. This flacon was also used for other Guerlain perfumes. Specifically tailored for custom perfume. Guests can choose perfume bottle shape, stopper shape, decoration and color of flowers.
Flacon Opaline 1951 – ? Created by the Cristal et Bronze company and designed by R. Noirot, this flacon is decorated with enameled butterflies, it is meant to resemble the mid 19th century French opaline cologne bottles so popular in the Victorian era. The bottle held various standard Guerlain perfumes such as L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Jicky, Shalimar and it was also seen without any specific perfume name in the cartouche on the front of the bottle.
Flacon Brun Fume (Brown Smoke) created in 1933. Flacon made by Baccarat to hold extraits of Candide Effluve, A Travers Champs and Guerlinade. Candide Effluve was reissued in this Baccarat flacon as a limited edition in October 2007. Baccarat flacon #744.
Flacon Lanterne (Lantern) 1935-1943. Flacon created by Pochet et du Courval to hold extraits of Jicky, Rue de la Paix, Cuir de Russie, Jasmine, Sous le Vent, and others. The bottle was reissued in 1999 to hold a limited edition extrait of Guet Apens.
Flacon Petit Beurre (Little Butter Pat) 1916 – ? Limited edition flacon created by Baccarat and Pochet et du Courval. Housed various Guerlain fragrances such as L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Rue de la Paix, Candide Effluve, A Travers Champs, Fol Arome, Quand Vient L’Ete , Kadine, Guerlinade, Une Rose, Pour Troubler, Vague Souvenir and Champs Elysees.
In the mid 1980s, Guerlain had the idea to create the Les Meteorites Collection. The collection was made up of gilded metal and colorful cloisonne enameled containers that could be refilled. “The Meteorites stand for GUERLAIN’s exclusive style”.
Les Meteorites refillable natural spray limited edition from Guerlain Paris-15 ml Parfum de Toilette . The shape of the vaporizer is reminiscent of the forebearer’s fob watch. Both sides are covered with the intricate, multi colored, rosette-shaped “cloisonne” enamel. The Les Meteorites Collection included small round 15ml purse spray flacons which could be recharged by inserting a new inner flacon of perfume. The scents available at the time were Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Jicky, Chamade and Chant D’Aromes.
The products in the METEORITES line have established a prestigious reputation thanks to their unique design linking tradition and innovation.Ten lipsticks, a compact mirror and three face powder shades helped to round out the collection. In 2000, Guerlain released Les Meteorites, a powdery violet and iris based perfume.
Other designs of Maison Guerlain
With regard to bottles and the world of Guerlain perfumery, deposits are very numerous and also concern advertising elements and product packaging which also reflect the identity of the brand.
Guerlain House created silk scarves collection and leather goods to contribute to the identity of Guerlain. The silk scarves incorporated all the bottles of the Guerlain House.
Design n ° 941149 filed by the Guerlain Company for a silk scarf (INPI Archives):
Handbags collection has been also launched in 1990s:
Design n ° 934417 filed on 08/27/1993 by Guerlain S.A for a leather bag (INPI Archives).
Thus, the archives of the creations of this great French luxury house today kept by the INPI retrace the history of nearly two centuries of inventiveness, endlessly renewed tastes and know-how that continue to grow. sustainably fuel the brand’s brilliance.
In exclusive interview with Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE Jean Paul Guerlain expressed his passion.
"Guerlain is one of the most famous company using mostly natural oil. Chanel too, but we are surely one of the last perfume company using mostly natural oils. I specially love natural essence. I always loved the rose, and I always used a lot. In many perfumes were rose, and my grandfather also used it a lot. But I was loving so much the rose that I created perfume called Nahema which mostly based on the rose essential oil. And I must say I was very young at that time. My uncle and my father were the two bosses of the company happily for me. They never asked me to price what I was creating. There was so much rose in Nahema that I thought they would have never launched it. I created lots of very successful fragrances. And I still work more or less for my pleasure. The perfume making is more, I would say, it's not so much chemistry as cooking. But it's very very close to cooking because of the way [we mix] and in the taste, and all, that it's not so far as cooking”.
Exclusive Interview by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE, 2015
RUNWAY MAGAZINE presents INPI treasures – innovations in fashion. The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) examines and issues industrial property titles (patents, trademarks, designs and models) in France. Created in 1951 under the supervision of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, it is the heir to the institutions that have preceded it since the end of the 18th century. As such, the INPI is responsible for the management of these public archives and has thus become one of the memories of innovation in France. It watches over a rich heritage, made up of all patents since 1791, trademarks since 1857 and designs since 1910: nearly 7.5 million documents, or 145 linear kilometers carefully preserved. The fruit of generations of inventors, engineers, industrialists, creators and even artists, these archives are of unique historical and documentary interest and represent a still little-known iconographic source.
Special Thanks for contribution:
Grace Hummel, perfume historian and author of of the Cleopatra’s Boudoir blog.
Isabelle Rousseau, Director of public relations for Guerlain house