Paris, France — It’s all about a family owned house, a heady perfume, luxurious ingredients and the world of the Roaring Twenties. Habanita, the celebrated perfume of the house of Molinard is celebrating its 100th birthday this year in flaming style for its traditionally black bottle which turned into white several years ago has now been brought out in a bright red version to mark its century of existence.
Many milestones mark the memory of Habanita. It was the first perfume for women to incorporate vetiver into its formula, a plant that originated in India and an ingredient that had been used up until then only for men’s fragrances. It is an Oriental perfume, in other words a perfume with warm sensual notes made from ingredients that come essentially fro the East. Habanita would become the first Oriental perfume for women in the history of French perfume-making. Habanita harbors amber, vanilla, musk, sandalwood and patchouli in its base notes, the scents that last the longest. The 100th anniversary edition of Habanita enjoys a host of powdery effects with doses of jasmine, geranium and licorice. Habanita has always been a rich perfume, one of alchemy with its 680 different essences.
Other milestones include the advertising campaigns and packaging. When it was first brought out in 1921 it was billed as the perfume for cigarettes. In 1925, Habainta Concreta was launched becoming the first solid perfume. In 1929 the perfume was brought out as an Eau de Cologne, an Eau de Toilette, a lotion and a powder. The house has worked with the greatest of glass and crystal makers through the years including René Lalique and Baccarat who have fashioned for it flacons of exception.
The house of Molinard, joining forces with the house of Le Rouge Français has brought a scented bright red lipstick celebrate the birthday revolving around organic ingredients and the lipstick joins other Habit scented product including a perfumed body oil and a perfumed hair mist.
And as Habanita is passed on through the generations from mother to daughter, the house of Molinard has been in the hands of same family for five generations with Célia Lerouge-Bénard currently at the helm as the managing director. Molinard is based in the perfume-making capital of the world, Grasse in southern France where it was founded in 1849.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette