Hello and welcome! Please understand that this website is not affiliated with Coty in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

The main objective of this website is to chronicle the history of the Coty fragrances and showcase the bottles and advertising used throughout the years.

However, one of the other goals of this website is to show the present owners of the Coty perfume company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the current Coty brand might see it.

Also, this website is a labor of love, it is a work in progress and is always being updated with new information as I can find it, so check back often!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

L'Origan by Coty c1905

L'Origan by Coty: launched in 1905.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women. It begins with a fresh, spicy top, followed by a spicy floral heart, layered over a woody, powdery sweetened amber base.
  • Top notes: Bourbon ylang ylang, neroli, peach, pepper, coriander, mandarin orange, bergamot
  • Middle notes: clove buds, violet, orchid, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, nutmeg, cinnamon, spicy carnation, orris
  • Base notes: Bourbon vetiver, labdanum, opoponax, cedar, Mexican vanilla, Mysore sandalwood,Venezuelan tonka bean, Tibetan civet, Indian musk, musk ambrette, frankincense, Virginian cedar, Siamese benzoin, ambergris

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L'Origan made use of the ambreine accord (by Samuelson), which is formed between bergamot, vanillin (or ethyl vanillin), coumarin and civet, with woody (vetiver, patchouli 4% and sandalwood) and rose notes (Calkin and Jellinek 1994). This was also used in the following oriental ambery fragrances: Shalimar by Guerlain, Must de Cartier and Obsession by Calvin Klein.

Other aromachemicals also play their parts in the construction of L'Origan: eugenol, methyl ionone, vetiveryl acetate, musk ketones, heliotropin, cinnamic alcohol and nitromusks.

In addition to the ambreine accord, L'Origan features six other specially compounded bases: Dianthine (Naef/Firmenich), Iralia (Firmenich), Coralys (Samuelson/Naef/Firmenich), Foin Rigaud (De Laire), Flonol (De Laire), and Bouvardia (Schimmel). The original formula also included Chiris floral absolutes of tuberose, jasmine, and orange blossom.

Dianthine lends a spicy, carnation bouquet, while Iralia forms sweet, floral woody notes on a methyl ionone base. The marriage of these two notes was used successfully in the Coty perfume L'Ambre Antique. The Foin Rigaud was a new mown hay synthetic, Flonol is an orange flower base, Eugenol intensifies the clove like facet of carnation while Bouvardia provided a jasmine effect in the heart of the fragrance. Coralys helped to give the perfume it's powerful Oriental vibe.

A 1931 chemistry book gives the following ingredients to create the L'Origan type perfume:
white carnation flower oil, Orrisin M (by Agfa), Heliotropine, Coumarin, Vanillin, Havannia Base, Ambra Grisea, Jasmine Base, Red Rose Synthetic, Vetivert Bourbon Oil, Bergamot, Musk Ketone

The rich, sweet, floral oriental beauty of L'Origan paved the way for the fantastic 1912 Guerlain creation, L'Heure Bleue. However, this genre of perfumes lied dormant until 1976 when a revival of the style was used in the signature perfume of Oscar de la Renta. This was followed by other modern fragrances such as Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt, Saint Laurent's controversial Poison, and Cacharel's LouLou. 

All of these shared a characteristic accord between ylang ylang and eugenol (carnation), the Schiff bases of orange blossom or tuberose, methyl ionone (except Poison), and vanillin, with additional notes of heliotropin and coumarin.

Connie, a reader of my blog, graciously sent me some very old samples of Coty perfumes, which I call the "Big Three".  Emeraude, L'Aimant and L'Origan. These perfumes have stood the test of time and have remained popular for decades.

L'Origan, this is old L'Origan, c1920-1930s era, gorgeous and definitely done right. I really enjoyed reviewing this one, I detected notes of oranges, honeyed roses, a kick of pepper with coriander, orchids, sexy musk, sweet ylang ylang, powdery ambergris and labdanum, and woody cedar and sandalwood notes. An hour later I can still smell citrus, pepper and cedar notes.


1926 ad

Fate of the Fragrance:

In 2004, to celebrate the firm’s 100th anniversary, Henri Coty, François’s son, commissioned the re-creation of his father’s L'Origan perfume, to be housed inside a French crystal flacon. These were sold in a limited number of just 200 only available to the French Market, and the perfume was reformulated by Daphné Bugey. Bottom of the bottle is marked in raised letters, "Bottle Made In France". This bottle measures 2" tall x 1 1/4" square. Other perfumes in this limited edition set included: Jasmin de Corse, Emeraude, and La Rose Jacqueminot. The perfume set was celebrated with the launch of a book Coty: The Brand of Visionary by Editions Assouline.

Cheaper reformulations existed in some forms and this old stock was sold mostly by discount internet retailers. The reason for the reformulations was most likely due to the fact that some of the characteristic bases that made L'Origan such a beautiful scent are no longer available and that IFRA may have placed restrictions on some of the ingredients.

Unfortunately, by 2005, Coty discontinued L'Origan, but I suppose that is just as well because the modern incarnations of this classic paled in comparison to the glorious vintages. 

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