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!


The History of Coty - 1870-1900

Francois Coty, whose original name was Francois Marie Joseph Sportuno, was born on May 3, 1874 in Ajaccio, Corsica. Until his death, the perfumer proudly asserted his family ties with the illustrious Bonaparte's.It was said that he was a descendant of Isabelle Bonaparte, an aunt of Napoleon Bonaparte. Whether this was fact or fiction, this prestigious affiliation would be useful for Sportuno to get elected Senator from Corsica in 1923 and then mayor of Ajaccio in 1931.

But the childhood of young Francois is paved with tragedy and drama. His mother, died when he was only four years old. His parents were Jean-Baptiste Spoturno and Marie-Adolphine-Françoise Coti, both descendants of Genoese settlers who founded Ajaccio in the 15th century. His parents died when he was a child and the young François. Leaving Francois as an orphan, the boy was raised by his great-grandmother, Marie Josephe Spoturno, and after her death, by his grandmother, Anna Maria Belone Spoturno, who lived in Marseille.

Forced to interrupt his studies, he finds, through his family relationships, employment as a dry goods salesman in Marseille and then did a stint as a local newspaper editor. His strongest ambition, was to go to Paris.

The family clan gave him the opportunity to visit the city of his dreams. After spending some years in military service, François met a fellow Corsican named Emmanuel Arène. A politician, writer, and future senator, Arène became François's mentor, offering him a job inParis as his secretary. In 1898, Francois was hired as a committed member of a family friend, the Senator Emmanuel Arena. At only twenty-four years of age, the young Corsican was at the heart of power in Paris. In Paris François married Yvonne Alexandrine Le Baron.

It was then that his fate takes an unexpected turn. At the Palace of Luxembourg, François had established a friendly relationship with Leon Chiris, the Senator of Alpes-Maritimes. As the Mayor of Grasse, the cradle of perfume in France, a member of the Chiris family, longtime manufacturers and distributors of perfume. Chiris is also an important inventor of industrial odors. He created a factory using new methods of extraction of natural substances from volatile solvents.

The History of Coty - 1901-1920

Francis Sportuno, bored as parliamentary attaché, he moved to Grasse to begin a new life in 1902. Antoine Chiris's son, Leo, introduced him to the mysterious world of perfume. Francis also made the acquaintance of pharmacist Raymond Goery, it was then that he discovered the art of combining essential oils and elementary scents (and later worked for him by becoming the first pharmacist to be working in a perfume factory). It was during this long learning process that Francois developed his perfumer's "nose". Coty began to learn about perfumery from Goery and created his first fragrance, Cologne Coty. At the Chiris factories in Grasse, Coty studied perfumery and began work on a fragrance, La Rose Jacqueminot, named after a highly fragrant breed of long stemmed roses first grown in France in 1853 who were named as a tribute for the famous heroic general of the Napoleonic war.

Francois Coty purchased a large stock of rose essence from the essential oil manufacturer Alber Camili, who had declared bankruptcy. The inexpensive prices due to the company going out of business made it easier for Coty to buy large quantities in bulk. Other people helped Coty in the blending of his fragrances, though lesser known, they were instrumental in the creation of the perfumes. His friend Comte Augustin de Vallon and his wife, Comtesse Lesia (a fellow Corsican native). Vallon owned a large swath of property named Jardin Vallon that included acres of flowers to be used in the perfume industry. Jardin Vallon also manufactured the concentrated essences for making perfumes. As Coty's success grew, the demand for more essential oils and other aroma extracts meant that he could file more contracts with Jardin Vallon. Jardin Vallon was able to fulfill the contracts of the essences requested by Coty and subsequently became a major supplier of jasmine to Coty's fragrance factory.

But the development of new fragrances is not everything that needs to be done in perfume making, as one must be able to sell them. On his return to Paris in 1904, Coty set off to sell his scents to department stores, boutiques, and barbershops, but initially met with little success.

Blending scents in the afternoon through the evening, and assisted by his wife Yvonne, who packaged the sample bottles into small satin pouches to make them more presentable, Francois made the morning rounds of shopping department stores that specialized in perfumery .

On one occasion he decided to adopt his mother's maiden name, Coti, it was much easier to pronounce than Sportuno, and it was then made easier by transforming the "i" to "y".

The name "Coty" seemed most internationally prestigious and Francis thinks it was time that he exported his perfume. However, the beginning was difficult. No trader wanted to take the risk of unknown scent.

It is said that Coty tried unsuccessfully to market the perfume to several department stores. At the Parisian store, Le Grands Magasins du Louvre in 1903, Coty tried to gain attendance with the director of the store, Henri de Villemessant to convince him into purchasing an order for the store. When de Villemessant refused to see Coty, an exasperated Coty came back a few days later with more bottles and cleverly flicked one of the Baccarat crystal perfume flacons onto the floor of the cosmetics department, where it shattered and the fragrance blossomed into the room.

Soon everyone present and Villemessant himself wanted to know “what that was”. The female customers wanted to know where they could get this mystery scent, and the manager looked to Coty and his armful of bottles. The clients were so spellbound by the scent, they had purchased the entire stock within a few seconds. The manager informed them that the last bottle had been sold but that a new consignment of the perfume would be in within a week. Coty got an order for $15,000 worth of his perfumes. The department store saw the immense potential of Coty's perfumes and offered him counter space in order to sell his wares. It was this stroke of genius that helped propel Coty’s illustrious career.

Was this tale true or was it a clever marketing ploy? There is a rumour that Coty had hired women to act frenzied and inquisitive about the perfume. A fact was that Coty's mother in law worked at the department store and may have had a hand in helping him and his perfume to gain acceptance.

A deal was made between the department store that evening Coty received an order for twelve or fifty bottles (the references vary) of La Rose Jacqueminot and Coty and his wife Yvonne spent the night in their kitchen pouring the elixir into tiny vials. Their perfume factory had been their modest apartment and had just enough space for a tiny laboratory and a sewing room where Yvonne would create the silk perfume pouches to hold the flacons. Using her training as a milliner to good use, she tied gold string and binding onto the bottles to make them even more attractive, a process used by other perfumers, called baudruchage. Within days, 500 bottles of La Rose Jacqueminot were sold.

Another fact is that at the end of 1904, La Rose Jacqueminot was a true triumph of blended synthetic products. The fragrance was based on cabbage roses and composed of aldehydes, attar of roses, jasmine, violets, sweet and green spices and synthetic materials called ionone and rhodinol. It is described as a creamy, dark and rich honeyed rose, slightly animalic, powdery, mossy with jammy rose notes. A rose chypre to end all desires...of orange blossom then comes jasmine, rose, heliotrope, and ylang ylang. 1904 was also the year that Coty launched his company.

A larger second run of La Rose Jacqueminot was rapidly produced with Coty’s newly purchased Laloue factory inventory from Grasse. Frederick Firmenich supplied Coty with ingredients on credit for the making of this perfume.

With blending and selling, there was only one last step on the ladder to success: the perfume bottles themselves. For his perfumes, Coty wanted only the finest bottles without exception.

Baccarat supplied the large containers for La Rose Jacqueminot and eventually produced thousands of the slim, classic bottles that most collector’s associate with the scent. The early labels for the perfume were designed and engraved by Yvonne’s brothers Henri, Paul, and their uncle, Alphee.

But Coty was not satisfied by the fact that other companies also used Baccarat flacons and he wanted to be unique from all others.. Coty then joins with his neighbor, Rene Lalique in 1908.

Later, the perfume was housed in elegant bottles by Rene Lalique and the perfume labels were designed by Lalique for usage on his bottles.

Lalique, the sculptor who usually only created jewelry and ceramics, had created a beautiful bottle molded of pressed glass with applied brown patina in the crevices, represented a woman leaving the petals of a flower. Used for L'Effleurt, it created a prestigious sensational showcase for the perfume.

Lalique designed the bottles for Coty's early scents, such as Ambre Antique and L'Origan, which became bestsellers. He also designed the labels for Coty perfume, which were printed on a gold background with raised lettering. Lalique's designs for Coty were in the Art Nouveau style that was prevalent in the period, and incorporated classic Art Nouveau themes such as nature, flowers, and female figures.

Coty, entranced by Lalique's exquisite designs, but displeased by the high cost of manufacture for the mass production of his fragrances, later used the same molds and shapes in his own glassworks factory to reduce costs. Bottles made after 1920 were made by Coty’s own glassworks in Pantin and his flacons were fitted with presentation cases made at his boxing factory in Neuilly

Besides pioneering the concept of bottle design, Coty was responsible for making perfume available to a mass market. Before Coty, perfume was considered a luxury item, affordable only to the very rich. Coty was the first to offer perfumes at many price points. His expensive perfumes, in their Lalique and Baccarat bottles, were aimed at the luxury market, but he also sold perfume in smaller, plainer bottles affordable to middle and working-class women. Coty perfume bottles, though mass produced, were carefully designed to convey an image of luxury and prestige.

c1931 ad

The collaboration between the two men lasted until the death of Francois Coty.

In the early 1910s, the catalog of the house already had a score of perfumes. By not following the popular the practice of the great perfumers of the time - Balmain, Poiret, Paquin or Callot Soeurs - who favored one type of fragrance they seek to be "the" reference point, François Coty was set apart from the rest. He aspires to create a fragrance for every woman.

This bold strategy, oriented towards the mass market, Coty summed up his approach to business when he said:

"Give a woman the best product to be made, market it in the perfect flask, beautiful in its simplicity yet impeccable in its taste, ask a reasonable price for it, and you will witness the birth of a business the size of which the world has never seen."

Coty also invented the idea of a fragrance set, a gift box containing identically scented items, such as a perfume and matching powder, soap, cream, bath salts, lipstick and cosmetics. With blending some of the perfumes in the process of the cosmetics, Coty, left the age of the craft to enter fully into the industrial age.

Besides La Rose Jacqueminot, Coty introduced several other perfumes during the first few years of the 20th century including: L'Ambreine, Jasmin de Corse, L'Effleurt, fresh semi oriental floral La Jacee, the sweet ambery oriental Ambre Antique, and the floral woody Le Vertige. The most famous of these early perfumes is the beautiful L'Origan, which is classified as an oriental fragrance for women. It begins with a fresh, spicy top of Bourbon ylang ylang, coriander, pepper and a fruity note of peach, followed by a spicy floral heart of clove buds, orange blossom, rose, carnation and violet, layered over a woody, powdery sweetened amber base of Mysore sandalwood, Siamese benzoin, Virginia cedar and Mexican vanilla.

In 1908, Coty relocated his manufacturing headquarters to Suresnes, just outside Paris. He acquired property in the area and began to build what would become "La cité des Parfums", a large complex of laboratories and factories that manufactured his products. There, 50,000 square meters of workshops and laboratories were located alongside a glass works that could produce up to 100,000 bottles per day. La cité" had 9,000 employees who and were all dressed in pristine white coats. This allowed Coty to meet the burgeoning demand for his products in France and abroad.

In 1912, he bought the Château d'Artigny near Tours and set out to rebuild it. Over a period of 20 years, Coty rebuilt d'Artigny in a grandiose fashion, installing custom-built kitchens, ballrooms, and a large fresco depicting himself, his family, friends, and even his mistresses.

Perfumes launched during this time were Au Coeur des Calices, the perennial favorite Muguet des Bois. The oriental L'Or, with its rich notes of tobacco and flowers, was relaunched later on.

It was at Suresnes in 1917, that one of the greatest successes of the house was launched, the perfume Chypre. It is classified as a fresh mossy aldehydic chypre fragrance for women. It begins with a fresh top note of citruses, followed by a classic floral heart of carnation, rose, and jasmine, layered over a warm, mossy base of Mexican vanilla, Indian musk, Mysore sandalwood, Venezuelan tonka bean, Tibetan civet and oakmoss.

During the first World War, importations of Coty products to the United States from France were halted and American retailers has to rely on selling the only stock that remained on their shelves. Although the war ended in 1918, it wasn't until 1921 that regular importations to America resumed in full speed according to the newspaper ads I read.

(However, I did read that distribution to France and Italy were not disturbed). I believe that this was because raw materials needed to be grown, purchased and imported and perhaps access to bottles was not readily available. During WWI, Lalique's first factory was forced to close, but the construction of a new factory was soon begun in Wingen-sur-Moder, in the Alsace region. It was completed in 1921 and still produces Lalique crystal today.

After World War I, demand for French perfume grew at a rapid pace. Many American soldiers had been stationed in France during the war and they brought back Coty perfumes to their wives and relatives. Coty realized the importance of the lucrative American market and began to widely distribute his products in the United States

In the 1920's, Francois Coty extends its empire outside of France, from distribution agreements in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany and Romania, and also in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. 

The History of Coty 1921-1930

In early 1920, Coty had become one of the richest men in the world. This refined aesthete then starts collecting beautiful women and prestigious homes.

Coty and Yvonne had two children, Roland and Christiane. Despite his marriage, Coty was well-known for his numerous mistresses and illegitimate children. Coty's generosity is legendary with his mistresses. The most loyal, or more loved, received a monthly blank check. He was known to house his lovers in Paris' Hotel Astoria, and to lavish money and gifts on them. His premier mistress was Henriette Daude, a former Coty shopgirl who bore him five children. Adding to scandal were the illegitimate births -and apparently there was a lot - but the industrialist did not spare money for the future of mother and child.Coty's love life was widely publicized in the French liberal newspapers, to the detriment of his public image.

Coty had a penchant for acquiring and remodeling property. His first major purchase was the Château de Longchamp in 1906, near the Bois de Boulogne, once the property of the famous French civic planner, Georges Haussmann. Coty used it as a laboratory in which to design his fragrances, bottles, packaging, and advertisements. During the 20s, he resided with his family in a mansion at Avenue Raphael in the Bois de Boulogne, which Coty had rebuilt with etched-glass panels, a stair rail, and a glass ceiling dome designed by Lalique and a stone tower designed by Gustav Eiffel. After WWI, Coty gave up the lease and the building stood vacant and was destroyed by vandalism, the Lalique dome was smashed and the tile floors were crushed.

His taste for the majestic castles was also scoffed by worldly columnists of the time. But Coty was always thinking bigger was better. Having acquired the chateau de Longchamp, near the Bois de Boulogne, the billionaire acquired a perfumery in 1912 that of Artigny, near Tours, and in whose place he built a sumptuous seventeenth century style castle provided with the most modern of amenities: an electric gate, air conditioning,an ice maker, etc.. In Paris Coty lived in a mansion on the Champs-Elysees, where he received much company by other industrialists, politicians, artists, writers and journalists.

Coty's most famous acquisition was the hunting pavilion of Louveciennes near Saint-Germain-en-Laye, designed by Claude Nicholas Ledoux for Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV. Coty had Louveciennes rebuilt to match Ledoux's original plan, but englarged it to include a perfume laboratory and a third story. He also bought the Château Saint-Hélène in Nice, the Villa Namouna in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and Le Scudo in Ajaccio, Corsica. Though he owned multiple large residences, Coty often lived in a hotel on the Champs-Élysées. He was something of a recluse, disliking crowds of any kind, and hiding behind his public image.

In 1921, with the help of executive Jean Despres, Coty created an American subsidiary in New York to handle the assembly and distribution of its products in the American market. The American offices assembled their own Coty products from raw materials sent by the Parisian factories, thus avoiding the high tariffs on luxury products in the United States. This allowed Coty to offer more competitive prices on its products.

Coty (England) Ltd., was formed in 1924 to handle distribution in the British Isles, while Coty S.A.R. (Societate Anonimă Română), formed in 1927, because of tariff restrictions in the Balkans, manufactured at Bucharest finished products from essential materials imported from the parent company in Paris for distribution in the Balkan States. Both these companies were established on a satisfactory earning basis.

Societe Francaise des Parfums Rallet carried on a business dating back to 1842 in Russia anddestroyed by the Russian revolution, only to be revived in France after the first world war.

Les Cultures Florales Mediterrannes is the fifth unit of the European group, having been organized in 1925 to develop an independent source of supply for jasmine and orange blossoms. About 50 acres near Cannes are planted with jasmine, while 94 acres have been planted with orange trees near Naples. By 1932, this acreage was expected to produce at low cost the greater part of the essences used in the business.

1921 also saw the introduction of the classic Emeraude, classified as an oriental fragrance for women. It begins with a fresh, citrusy top, followed by a sweet floral heart, layered over a sweet, balsamic, powdery base. The 1920s also saw the release of Paris (a floral perfume inspired by the successful Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant), Le Nouveau Cyclamen, La Fougeraie Au Crépuscule (said to be Francois Coty's final perfume before his death in 1934), and L'Aimant.

Coty soon expanded his product line to include cosmetics and skin care, and expanded his distribution network to Europe, Asia, and Latin America. By 1925, 36 million women worldwide used Coty face powders. His most popular product was his Air-Spun face powder, launched in 1934. Coty collaborated with famous costume designer Léon Bakst to create the look of the Air-spun powder box.

Coty commissioned Rene Lalique to refine and develop the powder puff theme for the AirSpun powder boxes. At the same time, Coty met Georges Draeger, the best known engraver of the period, and called upon him to study the problem of reproduction. Together Lalique and Draeger submitted the final design to Coty in 1913 - an overall motif of white powder puffs with gold and black handles set off against a gold brush-stroked background of orange. The only trade name identification on the top of the box was a tiny lettering of the name "Coty," no bigger than 6 point type, on one side of the box cover. All other descriptive matter was relegated to the bottom of the box, thus not marring in any way the beauty of this thoroughly feminine French package. 

Buyers in Paris from all over the globe saw the package, realized its vast merchandising possibilities and ordered it for every highway and byway of the world.

It became so popular that soon afterwards Coty launched the Air-Spun powder scented with his most popular perfumes, such as L'Origan, L'Aimant, Paris, and Emeraude. By the 1940s, the powder puff box was reserved exclusively for L'Origan. Coty introduced differentiating designs for its other three famous scents— Paris, Emeraude and L'Aimant in 1937.

Industry fulfilled, the "Napoleon of the perfume" has new ambitions. He dreams of a national destiny. In 1923, he bought his Senate seat in Corsica, widely distributing subsidies through the contacts he has maintained on the island. The invalidation of his election pushes toward the press, whose power fascinates him.

In 1922 he was offered the prestigious newspaper Le Figaro and created a little later L'Aime du Peuple or "The People's Friend", a right-wing newspaper in which he denounced the dangers of Bolshevism in a lengthy column. He decided to sell his papers at 10 cents, or 15 cents less than his competitors, allowing it to publish 700,000 copies, and setting a record time! Coty also launched a sports daily, before creating his own distribution chain.

In 1928, his American business alone was appraised at some 90 million dollars.

After 1929, Coty's fortunes began to diminish considerably. Both Figaro and L'Ami du Peuple had been losing money for years and his perfume business had been affected by the 1929 Wall Street crash. But it was his divorce that most contributed to his financial ruin.

The History of Coty 1931-1940

The crisis of the 1930's offered him, he believed, an opportunity to go into politics. Elected mayor of Ajaccio in 1931, François Coty flirts with the far right. But the economic crisis which thrive on leagues and fascist movements will be fatal. The industry has indeed sunk millions into his journals. Millions that can no longer provide the house Coty, whose sales have collapsed since the early 1930's. He died almost ruined in 1934.

Creator of the National League of Youth French and French Solidarity,a fascist league who became famous before the Palais Bourbon February 6, 1934, Francois Coty did not hide his sympathies for Mussolini. Its influence, however, must be relativized. Elected Senator from Corsica in 1923, he saw, just after his election invalidated.

Founded in 1932, the National League of French youths suffered a stinging defeat in legislative elections held that year, garnering just 20,000 votes. As for French Solidarity, François Coty in the numbers swelled artificially using massively proletariat Maghreb, allowing the "Duck chained" to rename the mouvement "Silidariti French. 25,000 members strong, the movement participated in the day, 6 February 1934, but did not survive the death of his generous donor.

Coty was also a fierce anti-Semite. In a long series of articles in L'Ami du peuple, he accused Jewish bankers and financiers of enacting "bloody, rapacious, inhuman, tyrannical policies" that had ruined the world. He blamed Jews for establishing communism, for robbing France of its pre-war wealth and glory, and for creating a worldwide economic depression. According to Coty, Jews had allied themselves with Germany and were responsible for its increasing militarization. His incendiary writings did not go unnoticed; on July 1, 1933, he was found guilty in court for libel against Jewish war veterans' groups in France.

The day after his death, the castle Artigny, their pride is placed in receivership.

Dec 3,1931 The Evening Independent:

“Wife of Perfume Maker Gets Big Court Judgment”Monsieur Francois Coty, noted Paris millionaire perfume manufacturer, a large part of whose fortune has come from sales of his products in the United States, faced today the prospect of having to pay an additional $5,200,000 for the next ten years to his former wife as compensation for her share in building up the business.

A Paris court issued the order. Mme. Coty divorced the manufacturer in 1929. They were married in 1900. He borrowed money form her brother and they opened a laboratory in which she also worked in order to keep the secret of the perfumes within the family. Their fortune rose to nearly $35,000,000 by the time they were divorced and Madam Coty claimed half of it because there was no marriage contract.
Monsieur Coty paid her $12,000,000 and she claimed an additional $5,200,000. When the order was handed down in the civil court yesterday M. Coty’s attorney pleased that the manufacturer did not have the money, asserting that the state of business in he United States resulted in huge losses to his interests there. "I have already paid out more than $20,000,000. To be forced to pay out another million at one blow would be a catastrophe", said Monsieur Coty"

In 1929, Yvonne Alexandrine Coty divorced Monsieur Coty and married Leon Cotnareanu. Their divorce settlement stipulated that Coty would pay his ex-wife several millions of francs in three installments, but in 1931 Coty defaulted on the last payment, citing financial hardship. Over the next few years, divorce courts ruled in favor of Yvonne, and granted her ownership of most of Coty's fortune and his newspapers.

He died in 1934 at his home in Louveciennes, of pneumonia and complications after an aneurysm.

“Wife of Perfume Maker Gets Big Court Judgment”

M. Francois Coty, noted Paris millionaire perfume manufacturer, a large part of whose fortune has come from sales of his products in the United States, faced today the prospect of having to pay an additional $5,200,000 to his former wife as compensation for her share in building up the business.

A Paris court issued the order. Mme. Coty divorced the manufacturer in 1929. They were married in 1900. He borrowed money form her brother and they opened a laboratory in which she also worked in order to keep the secret of the perfumes within the family.

Their fortune rose to nearly $35,000,000 by the time they were divorced and Madam Coty claimed half of it because there was no marriage contract.. M. Coty paid her $12,000,000 and she claimed an additional $5,200,000. When the order was handed down in the civil court yesterday M. Coty’s attorney pleased that the manufacturer did not have the money, asserting that the state of business in he United States resulted in huge losses to his interests there.

The crisis of the 1930s offered him, he believes, an opportunity to go into politics. Elected mayor of Ajaccio in 1931, François Coty flirts with the far right. But the economic crisis which thrive on leagues and fascist movements will be fatal. The industry has indeed sunk millions into his journals. Millions that can no longer provide the house Coty, whose sales have collapsed since the early 1930s. He died almost ruined in 1934. The day after his death, the castle Artigny, their pride is placed in receivership.

"I missed one thing: I never managed to capture the essence of honeysuckle", "said Francois Coty, shortly before his death in 1934, one of his friends who told him:" Everything you wanted, you've got. "Francois Coty was certainly fulfilled with money, women, power, fame.

But eternity has eluded him, even if the stage of Ajaccio, Corsica in his native bears his name. And if the company he founded at the beginning of the century still exists.

Subsidiary of the German cosmetics and cleaning products Benckiser, based in New York, Coty Inc.. is today, with a turnover exceeding $ 2 billion, the leading manufacturer and leading distributor of perfume in the world public. A development that would not necessarily displeased Francois Coty, who dreamed him that "every woman has her own subtle fragrance, the one that suits his style and that really expresses his personality."





The History of Coty 1941-1950

In 1940, Jardin Vallon, one of Coty;s aroma extracts suppliers, closed down. The Coty company was forced to find other quality perfumery essences, including the exquisite jasmine extracts that were previously supplied by Jardin Vallon.

In 1940, Lilly Dache introduced perfumed millinery in association with Coty Parfums. Hats whose linings and and headbands are impregnated with sachet in the wearer's favorite Coty scent, Emeraude, Styx, L'Origan, Chypre and L'Aimant.

Lilly Dache worked closely with Coty at times as well as becoming president of one of Coty Inc's, divisions in 1954. It included Lucien Lelong perfumes, Marie Earle cosmetics and Lilly Dache's own perfume and hair products company.

The History of Coty 1951-1960

In a 1958 press photo, a series of shelves from Coty's lab in New York was shown holding raw materials that were held in the cold storage vault before processing. On the first shelf was musk pods from India, civet from Tibet Inside of a Zabu horn), and benzoin from Siam. The second shelf held ambergris, vanilla beans from Mexico, and tonka bean from Venezuela. The other containers were filled with various essences.

The History of Coty 1961-1970

In 1963, Yvonne sold Coty Inc. to pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, with the stipulation that no member of the Coty family would be involved in the company.Under Pfizer, the company began to distribute its perfumes almost exclusively through drugstores, instead of in department stores as it had previously done. In 1992, Pfizer sold Coty to the German company Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH, which owns it today.

Magnum Import Company

The Magnum Import Company was an importer from New York who repackaged French perfumes for sale to the American market during the early 1920's.

A 1922 newspaper ad reads: "MAGNUM is a delightful new innovation in a purse size bottle containing the most ... includes Coty, Houbigant, Caron, Rosine, Dedon, Guerlain, Grenoville, D'Orsay. $1.50"

Magnum was wholly independent from these companies.

The purse sized bottles were NOT designed by Lalique, these were originally attributed to Lalique in the original book Lalique Perfume Bottles by Mary Lou and Glenn Utt. The Utts have since then published a widely circulated addendum retracting their attribution a few years later.

These bottles are of clear glass in an oval shape with prominent shoulders, molded with a reptile skin pattern, long neck without a lip, and a tester stopper with a long dauber. The reptile motif is identical on the backside of the bottle and the stopper has the same pattern.

The labels were manufactured by the American company Stanley Manufacturing Co, one of the most important creators of deluxe labels, specializing in antique bronze colored metallic labels in high relief embossment.

Early labels stated: "Magnum of Rue de la Paix, contents made by (perfume company)".

It seems that the Magnum Corp never obtained permission to decant the Perfume Companies' fragrances into their own bottles and Magnum was sued. Later after the lawsuit the labels stated the following: "MAGNUM containing (perfume company name and perfume name) re-bottled by Magnum Import Co. NY NY Wholly Independent of (perfume company)"

The 3 1/4” bottles were sold in small little satin lined cloth pouches with a snap cover and a label that matches the one on the bottle.

A bottle is also shown in the book Commercial Perfume Bottles by Jacquelyne Jones North and valued at $125.

Another bottle is shown in the 2005 Art & Fragrances Perfume Presentations auction catalog and its estimated value is $960-$1,440 for a rare Guerlain example with pouch.

These hard to find perfume bottles were in use for a very short time as there was a lawsuit in 1923 between the Magnum Import Company v. Coty. (262 U.S. 159). The lawsuit states that "The District Court found that the defendants in all these cases were infringing the rights of the complainants in their trademarks and the use of their trade-names, but thought it sufficient to permit the defendants to continue their rebottling and repacking of complainants' perfumes and powders if, in the form in which resold, the bottles or boxes bore a legend reciting all the facts and not giving any more prominence to the fact that these were complainants' perfumes or powders than to the fact that they had been rebottled and repacked by defendants."

The bottles were still being advertised in 1925.


Volnay of Paris France & Suresnes France. Established in 1919 by Rene Duval, who had previously worked for perfumer Coty and established Brahma perfumery in 1912, producing Oriental style presentations.

Volnay soon became very successful and had opened branches in London, Milan, Brussels, New York, South America and Australia. Volnay also produced perfumes for other companies such as Fontanis.

Volnay created some of the finest presentations utilizing unusual names and eclectic styles inspired by exotic and romantic themes. Best known for the use of a pearlized finish on their perfume bottles, such as the one for Perlinette in 1925.

Julien Viard created some gorgeous flacons for Volnay. These bottles were manufactured by Depinoix.

Lalique manufactured some bottles for Volnay, including the ones for Gri-Gri, Chypre Ambre, Ambre de Siam, Violette, Mimeomai, Jardinee and Mousse Ambre.

Galleries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette. This fabulous department store was founded in 1893 and boasts 7 floors of fashionable clothing, perfume, haberdashery, food, and all sorts of other designer and gourmet attractions.

The ground floor houses mostly cosmetics and perfumes, and is quite possibly the largest perfume store in the world! In the early part of the 20th century, many department stores started creating their own in-house perfumes and cosmetics, both in America and in Paris.

Around 1911, they introduced perfumes under their own label. The perfumes Royal Origan, Lafayette, Mai au Bois, La Fenaison and Moia were created for Galerie Lafayette by the famous Francois Coty.

Ernest Coty

Original shop established by M. de Bertalot at 8 bis, rue Martel, Paris in 1917; Ernest Coty and his wife with financial support from the perfume exporters Orosdi-Back acquired the business; managed by Leon Orosdi. Intentionally traded on similar lines, even down to the packaging as Francois Coty, who took them to court; this ruined business although Ernest Coty produced his own fragrances and cosmetics under own name till the mid 1930’s.

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