Thursday, July 18, 2013

Habanita by Molinard c1921

Habanita by Molinard: launched in 1921. Interestingly, the fragrance was first created to perfume cigarettes, which was a fad during the 1920s. Other companies such as Bourjois also had perfume for cigarettes as well with their Ashes of Roses scent. The idea behind perfuming cigarettes was to cover up the stale smell of the smoke as well as make it more enjoyable, especially to women.

San Diego Magazine, 1980:
"Paving the way for unisex was La Habanita by Molinard. In the early 1930s, reports Seftor Gonzalez, a class act for a gentleman smoking a Havana-Havana in a restaurant or other public place was to put a drop of La Habanita on the cigar. This rendered the smoke inoffensive-a gesture many of us would appreciate still."

Habanita, the very name suggests a woman from Havana. One could perfume her cigarettes either with a small sachet that could be tucked neatly into the pack itself or a liquid which could be applied to the cigarette itself. The popularity of the scent drove Molinard to create a perfume so that the woman could apply the scent to herself. The perfume reportedly is composed up of over 600 different ingredients.

As was the trend back then to ascribe a fragrance to a woman's physical traits, Habanita was recommended to be worn by brunettes.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women. I believe that the notes shown below are for the original scent.
  • Top notes: bergamot, peach, vetiver, raspberry, orange blossom and strawberry
  • Middle notes: jasmine, orris, ylang ylang, heliotrope, Oriental rose and lilac
  • Base notes: musk, vanilla, ambergris, benzoin, leather, oakmoss and cedar

From a 1949 Molinard catalog:
"This splendid perfume blends differently, but ever harmoniously, with each person who wears it.Its tenacity, its peculiar personality are legendary. Flacon cristal Baccarat en coffret luxe."

Reformulated in 1988.

The eau de parfum was launched in 2012.
  • Top notes: mastic, petit grain and geranium 
  • Middle notes: ylang-ylang, heliotrope, vetiver, jasmine, mimosa, Centifolia rose, nutmeg from Java and Virginian cedar
  • Base notes; musk, ambergris, patchouli, Mysore sandalwood, oakmoss and Madagascar vanilla.

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