De gustibus non est disputandum

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Perfume house established by Jean Francois Houbigant in 1775.

Houbigant Fougère Royale (1882) was the first perfume to use the synthetic coumarin, and is thus sometimes called the first modern perfume. Quelques Fleurs, introduced in 1912, was “the first modern floral-bouquet perfume” (Scents of Time, p. 95). Both fragrances were discontinued in the 1950s, then relaunched in the 1980s. Fougère Royale is no longer made; Quelques Fleurs, along with the flanker Quelques Fleurs Royale, is now almost all that remains of the Houbigant prestige fragrance line (others include Houbigant Apercu, first released in 1925, and Duc de Vervins).

Other historical Houbigant fragrances that were originally introduced as prestige scents, such as Chantilly (1941) and Raffinee (1982), have long since been repositioned as mass-market fragrances.

Houbigant’s ownership is too complicated to relate in detail. The firm filed for bankruptcy in 1993, then was acquired (along with Dana) by Renaissance Cosmetics in 1994. Renaissance filed for Chapter 11 in 1999; its brands were acquired by New Dana Perfumes, later renamed Dana Classic Fragrances. Dana Classic Fragrances still sells Chantilly and a few other Houbigant perfumes, but they do not use the Houbigant name.

FYI - Vintage Chantilly by Houbigant can be had for a song on ebay.

Quelques Fleurs l`Original
Quelques Fleurs Royale

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