Vintages Vintage Prince Matchabelli Perfumes

Vintage Prince Matchabelli Perfumes

12/28/08 00:23:13 (6 comments)

by: Fragrantica Team

In this article, I will discuss the history and list the various perfumes presented by Prince Matchabelli from 1927 to 1997.


The company was created by Prince Georges V. Matchabelli who was not only a previous Prince of Georgia and ambassador to Italy, but also was an amateur chemist who began creating perfumes for his friends and family as a hobby. George was a Russian exile who fled the Soviet Union and immigrated to the USA after the after the 1921 Bolshevik takeover of Georgia and Russian Revolution.

He and his wife, Princess Norina Gilli Matchabelli (an actress whose stage name was Maria Carmi), opened a small antiques shop Le Rouge et le Noir at 545 Madison Avenue. The name derived from Stendhal's novel, red for aristocracy (Matchabelli's origins) and black for clergy (The Miracle, a religious play). They later established the Prince Matchabelli Perfume Company in 1926. Perfumes were personally blended for clients. The first three perfumes were Princess Norina, Queen of Georgia and Ave Maria.

The company became known for the many color-coded, crown-shaped bottles that housed such well-known perfume brands. The crown-shaped bottle was designed by Norina after the Matchabelli crown and was introduced in 1928 with labels on the underside. Matching cosmetic cases and sets with miniature crowns soon followed. The Matchabellis divorced in 1933. Georges died in 1935, and in 1936 Norina sold the company to perfume manufacturer Saul Ganz for $250,000.

The color coding of the bottles initially:

Queen of Georgia
in red/gilded (1928)

Princess Norina
in red/gilded (1928)

Ave Maria
in black/gilded (1928)

Duchess of York
in a periwinkle blue opaline/gilded (1934)

Katherine the Great
in white/gilded (1935)

in blue/gilded (1940)

Crown Jewel
in clear/gilded (1946)

Wind Song
in green/gilded (1953)

Added Attraction
in red/gilded (1956)

The crown shaped bottles are highly collectible and some of them warrant higher prices, which is the case with the older perfume bottles. Dating your bottles: The older Matchabelli crown shaped bottles are all glass, including the cross shaped stopper. These seem to command better princes than their plastic counterparts. The older bottles have colored glass; the later bottles are colored enamel over glass. The tallest bottles stand 6 1/4" tall and the smallest measure just 1 5/6" tall. The 1950s-1960s mini versions omit the cross and have a simple brass or plastic screw cap, these bottles measure 1 5/8" tall and 1 1/4" tall.

The Perfumes of Prince Matchabelli:

    * 1924 Violettes de la Reine de Matchabelli
    * 1927 Ambre Royale
    * 1927 Imperial Violet
    * 1927 Princess Nina
    * 1928 Queen of Georgia
    * 1928 Queen of the Nile
    * 1928 Queen of Georgia
    * 1928 Queen of Egypt
    * 1928 Queen of Babylon
    * 1929 Princess Norina
    * 1929 Ave Maria
    * 1932 Aromizer
    * 1933 Princess Marie
    * 1934 Duchess of York
    * 1934 Grace Moore
    * 1935 Katherine the Great
    * 1935 Muguet
    * 1935 Carnation
    * 1935 Lilac
    * 1935 Honeysuckle
    * 1936 Cherokee
    * 1936 Prince Georges
    * 1936 Sceptre
    * 1936 Snowball
    * 1937 Infanta
    * 1937 Jingle Bell
    * 1938 Abano
    * 1939 Princess of Wales
    * 1940 Christmas Rose
    * 1940 Potpourri
    * 1940 Summer Frost
    * 1942 Call To Arms
    * 1942 Gypsy Pattern
    * 1943 Easter Bonnet
    * 1946 Crown Duet
    * 1946 Crown Jewel
    * 1947 Crown Prince
    * 1947 Summer Frost
    * 1947 Crown Princess
    * 1950 Beloved
    * 1950 Stradivari
    * 1950 Prophecy
    * 1953 Lilith
    * 1954 Summer Shower
    * 1954 Wind Song
    * 1955 Firelight
    * 1955 Odyssey
    * 1955 Christmas Angel
    * 1955 Guiding Star
    * 1955 Reprise
    * 1956 Added Attraction
    * 1956 Spring Fancy
    * 1956 Christmas Angel
    * 1956 Apassionata
    * 1957 Sybarite
    * 1957 Gay Suggestion
    * 1959 Golden Autumn
    * 1959 Sheer Madness
    * 1960 Beloved Moment
    * 1960 Sheer Madness
    * 1962 Avance
    * 1970 Cachet
    * 1975 Aviance
    * 1976 Wind Song Breezy
    * 1980 Chimere
    * 1982 Matchabelli
    * 1983 Aviance Night Musk
    * 1983 Cachet Noir
    * 1985 Decadence
    * 1988 Hero
    * 1989 Night Rythyms
    * 1990 Luna Mystique
    * 1997 Unruly

Author: Grace E. Hummel
Fragrantica Member
Perfume Bottle Identification & Appraisal Services, Antique Perfume bottles, Factory sealed discounted niche fragrances and much more for sale available at



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Thank you for the informative review. I have a bottle of Crown Jewel, altho syrupy at the bottom, that I hardly open. I do occasionally just for the heady aroma, which is oh so wonderful. It is absolutely delicious. I feel so decadent when I do open it, and close it almost immediately for fear of losing the scent.
I also own one bottle of Chimere, and enjoy the fragrance, too. Such a shame the company isn't in production anymore. They produced wonderful perfumes. If we had only known back then, I think I would have stockpiled some of them...


What about Ginger Lotus from 2001? I still have half a bottle of the cologne which I use sparingly whenever I can resist the urge to spritz it from head to toe.

When I found out that it had been discontinued, I haunted my local general merchandise store, digging through basket after basket of "clearance" items! I quickly came to hate the most recent 'wallpaper' or packaging motif for Wind Song because at first glance it looked like the one for Ginger Lotus. Each time that I caught a glimpse of green packaging I would stop with great excitement, thinking that I had found one more bottle of Ginger Lotus only to find, upon closer examination, to be yet another bottle of Wind Song.

Too much Wind Song (meh) and not enough Ginger Lotus!


Golden Autumn in a vintage crown bottle is just as wonderful as it ever was. PM didnt fool around with cheap sythetics, only real absolutes that are lost to the millenium. My mother and sister wore this every fall and it is a perfect "gold(honey ambered rose) toned" chypre. The same goes for Windsong in the crown bottle which perfect for springtime-green/pink floriental thats beyond words. They are fine art in a bottle!

I was lucky enough to find Stradivari recently. It was a little "wobbly" at first and then presented its woody/floral heart that plays enchantingly. These masterpieces are impossible to break down and offers a glimpse of how powerful this house once was...


I remember Prince Matchabelli's Golden Autumn perfume and it was just amazing. It really was a beautiful scent for fall and slightly reminded me of Balmains Ambre Gris. Tried to contact them to see if they still had the formula or any intention of re-creating but sadly did not get anywhere. I noticed that this vintage still sells $$$$ on ebay but I am sure that the scent is pretty stale. Great article on PM!!!

Ivan d' great
Ivan d' great

I remember in the early eighties in Mexico they showed this TV ads for Matchabelli, but I was a kid and never smelled the fragrance.


Whenever I hear the song "Cherish" by the Association, my olfactory memory ribbons begins to swirl. It was the fall of 1966, and I was given a bottle of Prince Matchabelli's Golden Autumn. At the ripe old age of 15, I was in love, or at least in love with love. This gorgeous woody scent, at least to my memory, provided a beautiful counterpoint to the kaleidoscopic array of autumn leaves, cackling fireplaces, and of course, Cherish. Pretty heady stuff for a 15 year old!

How I would love to experience the magic of this fragrance again!


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