History of fragrance and perfumes by Lanvin

Jeanne Lanvin, fashion designer

History in Perfumery - Lanvin's 5th Sense

In 1924, when Jeanne Lanvin created Lanvin Parfums SA at 4, Rond Point des Champs-Élysées, she was guided by the conviction that perfume was a vital part of her vision of fashion and life in general. It was a matter of style. Her experience as a milliner taught her the importance of accessories. Olfactory accessories are just another way to win over ladies' hearts.

She began her preparations well in advance, trying out some initial fragrances. Her first perfumer was a lady of Russian origin, Marie Zéde. Irisé was her first scent, followed by Kara Djenoun, a name that resonates with Egyptian spendour, Le Sillon, Chypre, Comme-ci Comme-ca, J'en Raffole, La Dogaresse, and more. No fewer than fourteen fragrances had been launched by 1925.

Completed in 1924 and launched in 1925, My Sin was Maria Zéde's final creation and her first resounding success, dominating markets in the USA in particular with its rich and surprising mux of aldehydes, and floral, animal and woody scents.

Lanvin Parfums Laboratory in Nanterre 1925
Lanvin Parfums Laboratory in Nanterre, 19251

A multitude of living olfactory emotions followed. The stakes were raised in 1925, with the arrival of a young perfumers named André Fraysse (then only 27) whose talent had been noted by Jeanne Lanvin.

He joined the Nanterre Laboratories and Arpége was his first creationg in 1927. A stroke of genius. Lanvin's most iconic perfume. This success was followed by many more olfactory delights: Pétales Froissées and L'Âme Perdue in 1928, Rumeur in 1934, Prétexte in 1937... and Scandal, which has hailed by perfume industry colossus Edmond Roudnitska as one of the greatest leather scents ever when it was launched in 1933.

By World War II, Lanvin was already one of the world's leading perfumes.

Jeanne Lanvin fashions
Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designs

Lanvin's perfume sampler, 1930s

Lanvin's Perfume Sampler

In the 1930s Lanvin presented their perfume sampler, a telephone booth type contraption, in the USA. Once inside, you could select the fragrance you wish to sample by pressing the appropriate button. A puff of clean air followed by a puff of atomized perfume flushed through the ventilated cabinet, filling the room with the desired perfume sample. Another puff of fresh, clean air is then dispersed to allow the patron to sample another Lanvin scent for testing.2

Marguerite Lanvin, daughter and inspiration for Jeanne Lanvin
Marguerite Lanvin, daughter of Jeanne Lanvin3


  1. http://www.lanvin.com/#/en/fragrances/lanvin-s-history-in-perfumery (Oct. 2011)
  2. http://1000fragrances.blogspot.com/2008/11/sampling-lanvin-perfumes.html (Oct. 2011)
  3. http://www.toutenparfum.com/historique/lanvin/lanvin.en.php (Oct. 2011)

View all Lanvin perfumes and fragrances

Lanvin perfumes

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