Vintages Evening in Paris by Bourjois

Evening in Paris by Bourjois

05/25/08 03:55:10 (13 comments)

by: Fragrantica Team

 


Sometimes, just catching a glimpse at a familiar cobalt glass perfume bottle brings back fond memories for many a woman. Sold in department stores and drug stores for over thirty years, Evening in Paris was given to many a mother, a sweetheart or a friend as a special gift to win her heart with its enticing scent.

Evening in Paris, also known as Soir de Paris (in France) by Bourjois, debuted in 1928 as Soir de Paris in France and was an instant hit.

The name evoked the reputation of gaiety, romance and love of the French capital. It was then named Evening in Paris and 1929 for sale in the United States.

Created by Ernest Beaux, the fragrance was a soft classic sweet floral parfum with top notes of violets and bergamot, heart notes of tilleul, clover, lilac, rose and jasmine on base notes of vetiver and styrax.

It was presented in a midnight blue hemispherical Art Deco flacon designed by Jean Helleu, and produced by the Brosse glassworks. The scent became Bourjois' most successful fragrance.

By the 1950s, it was touted as "the fragrance more women wear than any other in the world," yet by 1969 it had disappeared.

The fragrance was available in parfum, eau de toilette and eau de cologne. You may also find dusting powder boxes, talc bottles, sachet bottles, soap, lipstick, bath cubes, hand lotion, perfumed bath oil, rouge, cologne sticks, compacts and face powder.

Evening in Paris was attractively packaged in gift boxes, some in the shape of stars, sailor's hats or a crescent moon. These special gift sets were often for sale around Christmas, Mother's Day and Easter.

It is possible to find the various novelties for the perfume made up of blue marbled Bakelite, white plastic or light green plastic. You might come across the horseshoes, a clam shell, a hotel door, a shoe, the grandfather clock, an owl or very rarely the Eiffel Tower & the Marble Arch presentations from the 1950s.

During the 1940s, there were wartime presentations and all packaging bears the following statement: "This is a temporary Victory package. The contents are unchanged."

Bourjois is an old company bought out by the Wertheimer family who then purchased the Chanel group.


Chanel now owns Bourjois and Evening in Paris was reformulated in 1992 by Chanel's leading perfumers. The result was a sweet, smooth, creamy, slightly wood based fragrance known as "The Most Popular Fragrance in the World."  The newly formulated perfume is still for sale today.  I received a bottle of it for Christmas about 2 years ago.

The bottles were sold from the 1920s-1960s, and their bottles changed very little, but their labels can tell us a great deal about when they were produced. The majority of bottles are cobalt blue glass, but there were also clear glass and gilded glass examples to be found.


Silver triangle labels on cobalt bottles:
During the 1920s to the 1940s, most of the labels were triangular shaped. The 1920s and 1930s saw bottles with frosted glass stoppers, these generally had cork ends. The 1940s bottle had metal and cork stoppers. (see pic on the right)

Silver curved label on cobalt glass:

In the 1930s, the bottle appeared with this curved label; later on in the 1950s, gold labels appeared on clear, gilded and cobalt bottles.

Silver rectangle labels on cobalt bottles:
During the 1940s, silver rectangular labels were used as well as silvery metal screw caps. There was also an instance of thin silver labels across the bottom front of the bottle, noting Evening in Paris in script. (see pics 1 and 2)

Gold labels on cobalt or clear glass:

These began appearing in the late 1940s-early 1950s. (see pic 3)



Gilded glass bottles:
Bottles with a gilded or silvery  finish first appeared in the late 1940s, and continued into the 1950s.

Round silver labels on cobalt glass:

These rounded silver labels appear on cobalt "Mae West" shaped bottles of the 1950's. These bottles have blue plastic caps. (see pic 4)

V shaped silver labels on cobalt glass:

These v-shaped labels started appearing in the 1960s, easy to date because of the zip code found on labels. (see pic 5)

Gold screw caps:
Date your bottle to after late 1940s and into the 1950s.
 

Bullet shaped cobalt purse flacons:
First appearing in the 1920s, they continued to be added to gift sets well into the 1950s. Older examples have black Bakelite caps and tassels.
(see pic 6)

 

 

 

 

Author: Grace E. Hummel
(cleopatras_boudoir)
Fragrantica Member

Please visit my Cleopatra's Boudoir

 

 



Previous Vintages Next


Sherihan
Sherihan

Is the Wertheimer family still owning Bourjois?

Apr
13
2013
bevren
bevren

You could buy it in Woolworths. A little tiny bottle, very cheap...

Apr
13
2013
marwa.qoura
marwa.qoura

Mom & Granny's favourite perfum :)

Apr
12
2013
dalmajen
dalmajen

Bottle no.3..That is the one my Mum always had. Funnily enough, when I see the picture, and read about this, I can still smell it in my memory! It was always on the dressing table, along with White Shoulders, and Shalimar. Oh, I wish I had those three empty bottles! As I am a bit of a bottle saver, these would of been my memory connection to my Mum. This was the one I could buy her for Mothers Day, or Birthday, as it was so inexpensive! I loved the dark blue bottle, and the visions of Paris! How I loved watching her, dab it on! I do believe it was that dark blue mysterious perfume bottle that got my love of perfume started!

Jan
13
2013
A. Rose123
A. Rose123

The newest version of this can be found online at "The Vermont Country Store" website. The version I tried in their store had dense florals -- a classic rose, jasmine and iris blend -- over dense vanilla. It's very sweet, but in a retro, makeup-powder way and I thought it was a very warm scent. I like the newest formulation, but it's a expansive PERFUME kind of scent, so don't go for this if you just want a faint, floral or citrus wash.

Jan
12
2013
Esclarmonde1151
Esclarmonde1151

Great article, thank you! I recently purchased a newer version and I quite like this version. Soon I will recieve a bit of the vintage formula, and I am looking forward to "meet the original"!

Jan
10
2013
Tulip Time
Tulip Time

My mother had this on her dressing table. It was one of her favorites and once in a while she would put some on me, but only behind the ears!

Jan
09
2013
Yamba1
Yamba1

Thanks so much for the background on this perfume.
Some years ago I bought an original magazine full page colour advertisement and I have always been intrigued about the perfume. The advert is wonderful, with the glamorous 1950's lady in her ballgown with her handsome 'date' beside the eiffel tower and the blue bottle in the foreground. Classic.

Jun
02
2011
Antosmellgood
Antosmellgood

must be such a sexy warm evocative fragrance.not able to found here in uk,if anyone know where i can smell it and touch it let me know please.i dont likebuy on ebay at all.love

Jun
02
2011
magie
magie

My grandmother and Aunt wore this when I was a child in the 60's. I was don't know if if I was more fascinated with the blue bottle or the perfume but I use to snick a little when no one was looking. I don't however remember the way it smelled. I just knew the ladies wore it and I wanted to be one. This bottle and perfume probably influenced my love affair with perfume that continues to this day.

Jun
01
2011
weegee
weegee

For many years this was bottled at a factory in my hometown, Rochester, New York. My sweetheart's older brother got a job there in 1968 while he was still in high school. It was before he got a car so he rode the bus to work. After each shift he positively reeked of E in P and said he could ALWAYS get a seat on the bus because people would move away from wherever he was standing. His friends teased him with the nickname "Rosebud"! Powerful stuff!

The little bottles were so inexpensive at Woolworth and at Neisner's, two "five and dime" stores, and as a little girl I could literally save my pennies, nickels and dimes and be able to afford to buy a bottle for my mom for special occasions.

Not a fragrance I'd ever wear (or give!) again, but for me it's 100% concentration of nostalgia in a bottle and I'm glad so many people remember it fondly, even if for the memories instead of the scent.

Bottle #3 was sold into the 1960's -- it's the one I always bought for my mom. I think it sold for less than fifty cents.

Well-researched & beautifully designed and illustrated article - well done & thank you!

Jun
01
2011
Maryel
Maryel

GORGEOUS advertising for a beautiful perfume (and falcons)! To me, the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's developed some of the best ideas in perfume advertising and done with a lot of class and style. I'd love to see the industry go back to such veiled sexiness and a glamour that captivates one’s attention.

Jan
18
2009

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