Vintages Vintage Prince Matchabelli Perfumes

Vintage Prince Matchabelli Perfumes

12/28/08 00:23:13 (15 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.

History:

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)

Beloved
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
(cleopatras_boudoir)
Fragrantica Member
 
Perfume Bottle Identification & Appraisal Services, Antique Perfume bottles, Factory sealed discounted niche fragrances and much more for sale available at cleopatrasboudoir.com

 

 



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Gigi The Fashionista
Gigi The Fashionista

Luna Mystique by Prince Matchabelli is my only perfume from this line. Brings back memories. My mother used to wear it and she let me borrow it as a teenager when I was taking my driving test. Citrus and white flowers. Matchabelli created some great fragrances. I will look into getting some vintages. Thank You Fragrantica

Jan
05
2016
Southern Blonde
Southern Blonde

Wind Song smells like L'air du Temps but it's spicier. I prefer L'air du Temps. I have never worn a Prince Matchabelli so I'll have to look into the perfumes available for purchase and see if the notes in them are notes I like. Sounds like this is a fantastic fragrance line.

Jan
04
2016
lemonzest
lemonzest

What a lovely article! Wouldn't it be fabulous to have notes...descriptions...and testers on all those lost beauties?

The next door neighbor lady when I was growing up had a green crown-shaped bottle on a mirror tray in her bathroom. However, I only ever remember her wearing Emeraude; she wore it every time she would take us kids anywhere in her Chevrolet Chevelle....

Cachet was great back in those days. Remember the ads that claimed it smelled different on every woman? A fragrance as individual as you are. Doesn't every perfume work like that? Anyway as a teenager I was caught up with that idea; like a magic-8 ball or mood ring, it promised to reveal some complex hidden side of me to the world. Well, it did smell nice, and I miss it now.

Great article!!!

Jan
04
2016
glitteralex
glitteralex

Grace Hummel is unparalleled in her knowledge of perfume and bottle history. How lucky we are to have this database as a public resource!

Jan
04
2016
antihero
antihero

My mother had the green/gilded bottle. I was facinated with the bottle's beauty as a small child. I dared not open it because already I treading on thin ice just looking through my mother's things.
What a magical time that was.

Apr
20
2015
lunamystic
lunamystic

Thank you so much for the article. To this day sitting on my mothers dresser is a crown shaped wind song bottle ( mid 50's era) with extremely dark brown,thick liquid in the bottom. That smells so good compared to what you get in the bottle these days. It was the first gift my father bought and gave her, while they were dating( hopefully it's in my inheritance;). My husband bought me a bottle of
Luna Mystique in 1990 when our daughter was born, it became my signature scent. It is the fragrance that upon being discontinued led me down this rabbit hole! I still have a small amount in a bottle for very special occasions, every time I wear it so many people ask me what is that wonderful perfume are you wearing? :)

Apr
18
2015
juji
juji

I grew up with PM, so reading about and rediscovering the perfumes is so nostalgic for me! I have a full bottle in the glass crown of Added Attraction. It is just so warm and pretty! I would love to try the Golden Autumn someday! Sounds marvelous! Oh by the way, I was able to discover after two days of Internet digging, that Added Attraction was given as a gift with the purchase of a Chevrolet car back in the 50's which is why it's so hard to find. The notes aren't Anywhere to be found, Grace, and yes, I'm still sending you a sample to figure those out!

Apr
18
2015
veda
veda

I own a vintage mini of "Beloved" and it is marvelous!!

Apr
17
2015
miracleborgtech
miracleborgtech

Wonderful article! Inspired me to get out my vintage bottle of Windsong and wear it! I had forgotten how bold and lasting this scent is! I didn't really understand the color coding of the bottles till reading your article, and the background of the Prince and his actress wife makes me wish they would make a movie. Fleeing the Soviet Union, opening an antiques shop, founding a perfume company with royal clients - a cinematic formula for sure! Thank you for this review!

Apr
16
2015
SorceressOfTheDark
SorceressOfTheDark

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...

Aug
14
2013
SadieBluesLady
SadieBluesLady

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!

Aug
14
2013
krmarich
krmarich

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...

Aug
13
2013
Jerine123
Jerine123

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!!!

Aug
13
2013
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.

Jul
30
2012
musicaficta
musicaficta

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!

Dec
23
2011

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