There are few fragrance houses still as relevant after almost 200 years as the wonderful Paris-based house of E. Coudray – which can trace its roots back to the reign of Louis XVIII, no less, and the year 1822.
The Paris-born founder was a doctor-chemist, Edmond Coudray (the ‘E’ in E. Coudray), who went on to enjoy a spectacular career, creating eaux de Cologne, pomades, creams and soaps for the crowned heads of France, Italy and England – including Queen Victoria, for whom the perfume ‘Reine Victoria’ was made.
Others gloried in names like ‘Gants Poudrés’ (powdered gloves), and ‘Rêve de Reine’ (the Queen’s dream). And in 1829 he also wrote a book, charmingly titled L’Art d’Être Belle (‘The Art of Being Beautiful’).
You can read more about their fascinating history in our page dedicated to E. Coudray and their regal begininnings, but for now let’s get our noses into why, exactly, they remain so popular today…
‘A creamy and refined ambrée fragrance, the scent of Ambre et Vanille was created in 1935 and has remained one of the most beloved and enduring of E. Coudray’s compositions. Moving from an opening of complex citrus aromas into a gorgeous floral bouquet with delicate spice notes, the eponymous amber and vanilla subtly colour the fragrance throughout, adding an enticing gourmand quality to the scent.’
E. Coudray Amber et Vanille £65 for 100ml eau de toilette
‘A gorgeous floral fragrance originally released in 1950 to great acclaim, Givrine has been updated for modern tastes by the highly regarded nose, Evelyne Boulanger. After a delicate citrus opening, complex floral accords shine through for a cosy, inviting aroma. Light and ephemeral, the scent is an image of grace and poise.’
E. Coudray Givrine £65 for 100ml eau de toilette
‘Created by perfumer Randa Hammami, Iris Rose is a rich composition redolent of the classic floral scents that have for so long typified our expectations of elegance. Building from a sumptuous base of vanilla, patchouli and white musk, the fragrance opens up into a beautiful patina of subtle rose aromas, the top notes serving to lightly floriate the base notes rather than overpower them. The cumulative effect is light and breezy, yet firmly grounded, an ideal fragrance for a spring day or summer evening.’
E. Coudray Iris Rose £65 for 100ml eau de toilette
‘Created by prolific nose Christophe Raynaud, Musc et Freesia is a sparkling and bubbly floral composition with surprising hints of fruity green accords. With delicate raspberry leaf in the top notes, and a sumptuous bouquet of peony, cyclamen, lily and freesia in the heart, Musc et Freesia is a luxurious and delicately balanced scent that brings out the best qualities of its constituent components.’
E. Coudray Musc et Freesia £65 for 100ml eau de toilette
‘Launched in 1983, Jacinthe et Rose is one of the modern icons within the current E. Coudray range. Developed by Evelyne Boulanger, Jacinthe et Rose is a floral composition of exquisite nuance. The lush aroma of peach gives the scent a full-bodied quality, while sparkling top notes of vodka and bitter orange serve as an intriguing counterbalance to the sumptuous scent.’
E. Coudray Jacinthe et Rose £65 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy them at Roullier White
There several more to tempt your fancy, including the fabulously opulent (and very boudoir-esque) body oils and sumptuously rich bocy creams – all in beautiful packaging that just begs to be displayed. And with their characterful yet never overwhelming scents, E. Coudray offer the most charming selection of fragrant offerings that are perfect to wear in our currently sweltering climate…
Written by Suzy Nightingale