Giveaway: La Cour Parfumee | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Giveaway: La Cour Parfumee

June 23, 2010

Giveaway: La Cour Parfumee

During the reign of Louis XV, perfume reached new heights of popularity at court. The term la cour parfumee was used to describe Versailles due everyone’s generous use of the luxury item. Although doctors warned that inhaling too much fragrance was bad for the mind and soul, fragrance clung to bodies, dresses, hair and wafted through hallways.

Preferred fragrances went in and out of popularity over time. The scent of bitter orange blossoms inspired Louis XIII, he loved neroli. Naturally the popularity of any perfume with notes of neroli soared. Unique fragrances were made solely for Louis XIV, and Louis XV’s mistress Madame du Pompadour was a great patron to perfumers.

Marie Antoinette favoured flowers – loved flowers! She had a passion for their beauty but importantly, their fragrance. During her early years at Versailles, the hallways and rooms of the palace were peppered with fresh blooms, constantly cared for and replaced. As you could imagine, it was quite an experience to walk through the hallways, a fragrant experience!


Pimpernel Clothing, a company that makes lovely period inspired garments, has just released their first line of fragrance: Pimpernel fragrance for men, eau de toilette.

Made and inspired by the “oldest perfume house in France… a supplier of fragrance to King Louis XV and his court at Versailles” this eau de toilette is:

“perfect for a nocturnal visit to a lady in waiting at le Petit Trianon, and reminiscent of those lazy Summer afternoons sipping champagne on the lawn while evading hawk-eyed chaperones.”

 Oh la la!

One winner will be drawn to win a 100ml bottle of the fragrance, which is presented in a period style glass bottle with an atomiser spray.

Two additional winners will receive 10% off on a bottle.

I find the fragrance to have a very nice twist- timeless yet modern enough to wear and not overpowering.  Surely the court would have clamoured for it.  Winners will be announced on Wednesday June 30, 2010. 

To Enter:
To enter, please leave a comment on this post and answer the following:
What modern day fragrance do you think would have been a hit at the court of Versailles and why?
(thanks Heather!)


  1. I have only recently discovered you, Lauren....and I'm so loving your posts! Reading about Europe's royalty has been a favorite past time of mine for several years now....and has heavily influenced the designs of my handbags.
    Do you have any of Louise Muhlbach's books? I have been fortunate enough to collect all 21 of them in a matching set over the past five years! They are lovely historical novels that she penned in the late 1800's about Europe's royalty. You can learn more about here at:

  2. Tokyo Milk's Dead Sexy: smells sweet like candy and yet has a naughty side that's got to appeal to gossips at Versaille.

  3. I have to go with the retro bombshell favorite Fracas by Robert Piguet. It's French, of course, and full of white florals. Most especially tuberose and lily of the valley. I can't imagine anything more seductive or intriguing. And what two words describe the court better, after all?

  4. My experience is somewhat limited in fragrances. I stick to BOD mostly, because it's cheap, and I like to use a lot of scent. That said, I would have to go with Revert Eco by Rue 21. It has hints of Italian Mandarin, and Vanilla. It smells sweet, but is still a masculine fragrance. It it used with less chemicals than some other fragrances, and I can tell in the scent. It smells natural. I think this is a type fragrance that men might have enjoyed at Versailles. Also, it's just really delicious smelling. lol

  5. I am really enjoying your posts. I think Joy by Jean Paton would have been a hit - smells of roses with a hint a jasmine. It is also my favorite. I've loved it for years and used to visit my friend who worked at the frangrance counter just so I could smell it - lol.

  6. I have to put my 2 cents in and say Marc Jacob's Daisy! But I will leave the giveaway to someone more deserving :)

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  8. My pick is Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals. Any of them would do well, they run the gamut from crisp & clean to sultry, spicy & sweet. The one in particular that I would pick is the pink grapefruit & cucumber. The scent is always present but never intrusive. There is an underlying fresh, softness from the cucumber, coupled with some light, bright notes, that do not come off as over citrusy from the pink grapefruit & faintly sweet ones from the combination. I think it would be very well received in Versailles because of it's enchanting fragrance, but avant-garde in that the scents are blended from vegetables & fruit, making it a little more unusual or possibly exotic in a world where florals, spices & musks were more usual.

  9. I would have to say Gardenia perfume. Its nice green flower bottle would drive those of the court crazy! It has a nice flower hint to it so Marie Antoinette would be all over it as well. The perfume has such a rich smell to it but it is also so nice to smell. Walk through it and you'll feel like you are in the 18th century. I have always felt that it belonged in that century; funny I know have a chance to post it.
    I suppose Juicy Couture's perfumes have a naughty smell to them as well. Hmm... Those like Madame du Barry would love it. I bet ALL of Louis XV mistresses would have it. He'd pay for it of course...

    Here is my pick:
    Juicy for mistresses and Gardenia for the rest of the court!

    I hope it's ok that I mentioned two! You can pick which ever one you like better, though.

    Good luck, Lauren. Hope you pick a real winner!

  10. My pick is Kiehl's Musk, earthly, timeless. When I think of the smell, I can easily imagine it wafting through the courtyards of Versailles.

  11. My pick is Oilily Spanish Rose. The sweetness of the perfume is incredible and would only suit a queen.

  12. My pick is the Axe Effect, any scent, because everyone wants to be a pimp, and it makes both men and women drawn to you when you wear it. Without electricity back then, the best accomplishment was to be wanted by everyone, this delightful scent would have helped a lot of people get some booty.

  13. Jean Patou's "Joy" for what it is: a classic, womanly, gorgeously balanced scent. It is the olfactory equivalent of a 1750s pannier skirt — flattering, adaptable, and luxurious. Marie would have LOVED the most expensive perfume in the knowne worlde, with its 28 dozen roses and 10,600 jasmine flowers that go into every ounce of extrait.


    *The Countesss MoriVond*

  14. Dawn said :I think Laura Mercier's Neroli eau de parfume would be loved just for its Neroli base and the fact that neroli is one of nature’s most effective antidepressant oils used for treating all types of negative emotional conditions and states of anxiety. It would only add the party atmosphere. Also her Eau de Lune with its rose, plumeria, and other floral notes would enjoyed by the queen.(due to her love of flowers)

  15. Good day,Lauren, about the question...well I've tought about it and I think the perfume that would have hit at the court would've be Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs Eau De Toilette. I know it's a very simple perfume but it is very feminine and it has this romantic, fresh and flowery fragrance, there for, I think Marie would have loved it, and since she was a fashion icon at her time, people at court woudl follow her steps.

  16. This is a difficult question! I think I would suggest something exotic... I wear Monoi Tiare oil (coconut oil with Tahitian Gardenia) in my hair, and sometimes on my skin. It's a lovely warm fragrance that shows itself best when the skin is warm. It makes me think of sultry summer afternoons and would waft very well with the flick of a fan...

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  18. Blogger Tea Duchess said...

    I think my 2 favs would have been popular. Angel by Thierry Mugler and Forbidden Fruit by Lolita Lempicka. Forbidden Fruit for its light, floral scent and cute play on words would have been a huge hit at court. Angel is more seductive and perfect for spraying those lovely French linen sheets to help set the mood for a night of decadent fun.

  19. I'm going to say Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden, because it has a hint of lime which is just exotic enough to entice the interests of the French court, without being so heavy it would overwhelm them.

    On an unrelated note, I recently received the Versatile Blogger Award and I would like to pass it on to you, if you have not already received it, in recognition of the interesting and informative posts you produce daily. Thank you and keep it up!

  20. Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Matin Calin for its warmth and milkiness, reminiscent of tranquil country days at the Petit Trianon.

  21. Channel #5 ;)
    it's so classy and sophistacated ...
    and as weird as it sounds, please let's forget the brand's name and let's stick to the perfume's fragance: Ed Hardy LOve & Luck What else represents the French Court in a better way?

  22. Dear Lauren,
    I think that Hermes' Orange Verte would have been very popular with both the gentlemen and the ladies. I think it would have reminded the residents of Versailles of the orangerie there and it's freshness would have been welcome in the summer heat. I can imagine the fragrance of the orange blossoms there would have been very heady.


  23. I'd nominate one of "The Perfumed Court" series--ten fragrances based on the 18th century French court. Perhaps Eau de Fleurs d'Oranger du Roi, because Louis XV loved orange blossom, and we always want to please the king!

  24. This is fun! I have been checking this wonderful blog for a while and figured I'd apply for the giveaway haha!
    I believe a wonderful fragrance for 18th century Versailles would be D&G's Anthology collection. There are 5 scents all named after tarot cards, in French! Le Bateleur, L’Imperatrice, L’Amoureaux, La Roue de la Fortune,and La Lune. I own the collection and I believe the scents could all be unisex, though there are certain fragrances I could imagine on specific people from the era in question. Marie Antoinette would be wonderful in La Lune. It is very light and fresh. Du Barry would probably like L'Imperatrice for it's sweet and alluring scent. Axel von Fersen would be dashing as ever in La Roue de la Fortune. L'Amoureux for Lamballe... it is also quite light and innocent. And though Le Bateleur means "The Fool"... it is a very luxurious and sexy scent, so let's give it to the locksmith "Vulcan" type, Louis XVI! Just what he needs after a hot and sticky day in the forge! :)

  25. I nominate Knowing by Estee Lauder. Roses, minosa and tuberose-and sillage that does not quite...the Queen would love it.

  26. I think the perfect fragrance would be Paris by Yves St. Laurent. I love this perfume it reminds me of roses, violets and a little bit of licorice. It is always fresh and romantic plus it is named after the city of romance and love. Only thing better than a perfume named after the city of romance is if it were named after Versailles itself.

  27. Hello Lauren,
    My choice for a fragrance would be Chritian Dior's J'adore. I wear it when I think of love, and being lovely. It is rich, yet light, gentle, yet passionate.

  28. I would go with Chanel No. 5. Timeless, classic and elegant.