It's not uncommon that perfume newbies sometimes come across fragrances with the name "Guerlain" in their presentation and get confused as to whether it pertains to the classic, revered family house (now under LVMH ownership) or it involves a fake. (Sad as it might be, the latter is not unheard of, with dubious specimens cropping up like "vintage" Louis Vuitton fragrances beyond the known etc.) The answer to this is neither.
Two other Parisian perfume companies, Marcel Guerlain & Hughes Guerlain, are in fact totally legit and have been producing beautiful perfumes for years. Although Marcel Guerlain, who has been producing fragrances and cosmetics from his beautiful 86 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore in Paris boutique since 1923, shares a surname to one of the heirs of the Guerlain family, these names are not affiliated with the Pierre-Francois Guerlain family.
The confusion was no less annoying in the years preceding WWII than it is today: Marcel was legally forced to eventually change his company's name to Societe des Parfumeurs Francais. USA advertisements bear the inscription "no connection with any firm of similar name" before it. The Guerlains also took their own measures, giving rise to the "nous n'avons pas de prenom" campaign (i.e. we have no first name).
The often impressive Marcel Guerlain bottles were developed with the help of Andre Jollivet and other designers of the time.
|Marcel Guerlain Caravelle via worthpoint.com|
Marcel Guerlain perfumes include:
1923 Le Roy le Veult
1924 Pavillon Royal
|Marcel Guerlain Royal Pavillon via worthpoint.com|
1924 Pate D'Or
1925 Masque Rouge
1925 Mai Wang
1927 Le Roi Le Veult
1927 Tabac Fleuri 8
1927 Tabac Fleuri 9
1927 Masque Rouge
1927 Contes Choisis
1929 Redoute Masque/ Rouge Redoute
|Marcel Guerlain Rolls Royce via liveauctioneers.com|
1929 Rolls Royce
1930 Le Cadre Noir
1930 Les Fleurs
1930 Pois Senteur
1930 Special 5
|Aimee byHughes Guerlain via 1000fragrances.blogspot.com|
It's interesting to note that the other company named in the title of this article, Hughes Guerlain, was founded also by Marcel Guerlain himself, alongside several other companies involved in the production and distribution of cosmetics and perfumes.
Extrait 9 (1920s)
Extrait 14 (1920s)
Chypre de Hughes Guerlain (1930s)
Toutes Fleurs (1940s)
In conclusion, though less celebrated than the famous Guerlain classics, the products by Marcel Guerlain and Hughes Guerlain are not to be scoffed at, being beautiful and worthwhile in their own right.
Certain chronologies via Museu del Perfum