This Is What Perfume Looked Like in 1908

Victoria Hoff
PHOTO:

Courtesy of Guerlain

As self-professed beauty nerds, we're always down for a good history lesson. (These retro makeup products? So cool.) But while it's certainly fascinating to consider, say, the evolution of contouring, fragrance is an entirely different beast: The industry is steeped in artisanal tradition and centuries-old techniques, and to this day, it's an integral part of French culture and history. (Grasse, the regional home of the country's fragrance industry, is a very popular tourist destination.)

If we're talking about the history of French fragrance, it's only natural for that conversation to drift toward Guerlain. Founded in Paris in 1828, it's one of the oldest functioning French perfume houses—and the brand is rightly proud of its roots. For proof of this, we need only look to its signature quadrilobed perfume bottle: First manufactured by the crystal artisans at Baccarat in 1908, it was designed to mimic a 19th-century apothecary bottle. And many of Guerlain's most famous fragrances—Shalimar and Jicky, to name a couple—have been housed in reinterpretations of this original design.

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