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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Parfums Carven: A Story of Clever Marketing & Great Fragrances

Just after World War II ended, Carmen de Tommaso, a French-born who originally studied architecture and interior design, opened a couture house with the aid of three businessmen friends who had happened to have been war prisoners together. Ailed by her minute size, what we call 'petite" nowadays, de Tommaso had the idea to cater to women who also had a comparable figure. To inflect her brand with a more Parisian (rather than Andalusian) flair, as her base of operations was Paris, Carmen, like Charles Revson (of Revlon), substituted a letter in her name and became Mademoiselle Carven ever since.


What made for the success of this couture house, one among many starting in the mid-20th century Parisian landscape, such as Dior, Piguet, or Balmain? Simple, original ideas and the proper dose of marketing.

Please refer to this link to read my article on the History & Vintage Fragrances of the French company parfums Carven.

12 comments:

  1. I'd love to see the house camp back pretty much like Piguet did. Now, I haven't had the pleasure of smelling the older Carvens but the experience with current Ma Griffe is quite good. I find it rather pretty but not fragile, there's a certain aloofness behind which I quite like! Perfect as a masculine as well.

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    1. Alex, and imagine, it was even better!
      I do hope they're on the track to making it prominent again. I think Puiget did a great job with the classics, I'm a bit confused by the newer ones, though. I trust that Carven will keep it steady and not too confusing. :-)

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  2. I never see a Carven scent when shopping here anymore. Last time .... maybe in the 70's! LOL Shame.

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    1. Yeah, shame indeed. I see Ma Griffe and Vetiver regularly and of course the newer ones, but for much longer for the classics?

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  3. Thank you Elena, a wonderful article on Fragantica about one of my absolute favourite perfumes - Ma Griffe. I also remember liking Intrigue very much too in the late 80's and had forgotten all about it (and that it was a Carven perfume!) until I read your article :)

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    1. Thank you very much Eva for your kind comment and for sharing your memory of Intrigue with us here.
      Enjoy, these are wonderful, old world, true class perfumes!

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  4. Miss Heliotrope06:59

    Thank you - great to learn more. I love Ma Griffe - it is one of my regulars, sharp green being my sort of thing - & then it becomes more than that. I purchased mine merely at the local (not very upmarket) shopping centre, and the price, for such a beautiful scent, was wonderful. It has that style of being a classic that is not as overused as many -

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    1. MH,

      I think it's a remarkable perfume in that it remains irresolute and fresh in a sense of cleanness but not sterility (does that make sense?) It feels "groomed". Gotta love that.

      Enjoy!!!

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  5. Miss Heliotrope02:11

    It does make sense - clean as in everything (& me) were fresh when I put it on, but that's the outside, and MG reminds that while all is clean, there is an inside (or underneath) without going any further than a subtle reminder of skin - although touching is another question again...

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    1. Good description actually!!

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  6. It has been two months since I got my sense of smell back, gone for 8 years. And I have a full bottle of Ma Griffe, screw top EDT, vintage, I guess, that I got an estate sale for 25 cents and still in the cellophane wrapper. This will be my spring perfume.

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    1. HURRAY for the regaining of sense of smell and I say that most sincerely, Nadine!!
      Thanks for following my blog and for commenting and hope that now the blogs will be even more enjoyable.
      Ma Griffe is a great scent and for 25 scents...unbeatable!! (WOW!)

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