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THE QUADRILOBE BOTTLE


Thierry Wasser has re-created a large selection of vintage Guerlain perfumes that can be discovered at Maison Guerlain's workshop "Il était une fois Guerlain". Among them, we find Rue de la Paix (1908), Kadine (1911), Pour Troubler (1911), Vague Souvenir (1912), and Chypre 53 (1953). These fragrances, along with others, originally came with the same bottle design, namely the quadrilobe bottle. Today, the bottle is known mainly as the bottle for Jicky. The quadrilobe bottle was named after its stopper, which resembles a quatrefoil ("quadrilobe" in French).

Before Ode (1955), it was common practice for Guerlain to reuse a bottle design for more than one fragrance. The quadrilobe bottle even counted as what we'd call a standard bottle, as it was used for so many different fragrances. In fact, the pre-1955 Guerlain catalogue only counts six bottles that were linked to one single perfume: the tortoise bottle (Parfum des Champs-Elysées 1914), the fan-shaped bottle (Shalimar 1925), the Djedi bottle (1926, itself a reworking of the biscuit-shaped standard bottle from 1916), the snuffbox bottle (Liu 1929), the keg-shaped bottle (Sous le Vent 1934, albeit reused for the special edition Marie Claire in 1998), and the inkwell bottle (Véga 1936).

From Ode onwards, every new Guerlain perfume came with its own bottle design (not counting the masculines until the eagle bottle for Derby in 1985), to give it a unique and easily recognizable appearance.

All in all, when Guerlain reuses the heart-shaped stopper bottle for La Petite Robe Noire, it’s really not that much of a blasphemy that some perceive it to be. After all, the bottle already contained three other scents before it: L'Heure Bleue, Fol Arôme and Mitsouko.
(December 2015)


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