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Europeana Fashion Focus: ‘Orgueil’ Perfume by Lucien Lelong, 1946

'Orgueil' perfume by Lucien Lelong, 1946, Courtesy Stiftelsen Nordiska Museet CC BY NC ND

The perfume is a creation by French couturier Lucien Lelong. It was commercialised right after the end of WW2, and its name ‘orgueil’, meaning ‘pride‘ in French, was an homage to the endurance of the French population during the hard times of the war. The photo was taken by photographer Erik Leonard Holmén in 1947.

The perfume is described as an aldehydic fruity floral chypre fragrance with soft floral and spicy oriental undertones; in its bouquet, it is possible to distinguish plum, peach and sweet pea as top notes; carnation, tuberose, jasmine, iris, rose, cloves, nutmeg as middle notes; oak moss, sandalwood, ambergris and leather as base notes.

Lucien Lelong was born in Paris as the son of the owner of a textile shop. He studied at the Hautes Etudes de Commerciales and opened his fashion house in Paris in the early 1910s. Although he did not design his creations himself, he was able to gather a group of talented designers and support them in their first steps into the couture world: two people part of his network were, for example, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain.

Lucien Lelong is credited with having done a great deal to preserve the couture industry in France during the difficult years of the Occupation, and this perfume stands as the celebration of the victory of perseverance in their democracy.

The object is part of Stiftelsen Nordiska Museet Archive.

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