Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Packaging and Advertising for Coty Chypre

Advertising and presentation are icings on the cake of a great fragrance and in the case of Coty Chypre they evoke the lovely aesthetics of La Belle Epoque and the years that followed.
Considering the success it had on the market and the avalanche of fragrances it inspired, this is not coincidental. The outer shell must represent the inner beauty thought the ancient Greeks, attributing divine powers to the visually pleasing and uniting exterior beauty to inner goodness and fortitude of mind in their καλος καγαθος concept.

In the case of Chypre by Coty, it was especially in the 1930s that the art deco imagery materialised in wonderful examples of artistic merit, such as the interwoven letters of the name Coty spelled on the cylindrical box that contained the perfume bottle. This is a clever product signature that is even today imitated in style in the crests of many brands and to me is mostly reminiscent of the curved lines of Annick Goutal (as reprised on the round glass holders of her candles).
Another example of extrait bottle uses the popular white bakelite material of the 1920s as a cap on a square little container.
In later years the cap became metal, the bottle lost its round shape to become rectangular, while the box took on the image of a little green tree with orangey fruit, echoing the pale green label of the perfume bottle and perhaps bergamot rind, as befits the composition of a proper chypre.
Yet another incarnation of indeterminate vintage puts the bottles in unusual deep iridiscent blue with the familiar logo of chypre in slanted typeface on a medaillon emblazoned on it. This comes from Damosels Domain on Ebay.

The art deco aesthetics can be witnessed to its advantage on the picture of the beautiful outer box from the 1930s, on which bent girls -as if harvesting grassy plants- are placed on relief, lighter than the background, on a sage-coloured carton.
An ancenstor of Coty, who incidentally was a Corsican, had assisted Napoleon Bonaparte in the disastrous Russian campaign for which he was dubbed Baron by the Emperor and consequently awarded a crest to use as an emblem on his belongings. François Coty took this elegant and bold design of an eagle holding three balls in his talons, enscribed in an oval with latin inscription "omnia domat virtus" (=virtue conquers all things), resting under a crown; he used it on his legendary masterpiece, Chypre.
For a beautiful page on heraldry with images of carvings please click here.

Interestingly this advertisment from the 1930s had a Copintreau liqueur avdertisement on the reverse side!
The advertising copy for Chypre run thus:
Chypre de Coty
Cette spécialité et ses accessories - creations COTY ont été soumis au contrôle d'usage, qui en garantit la qualité irréprochable. Les matiéres premiéres qui entrent dans la composition de cette spécialité ont été selectionnées avec le plus grand soin, ce qui explique la finesse et la grande réputation des products Coty. Toutes nos spécialités sont vendues sous le nom propre de "COTY," sans aucun prénom

Which I translated thus:
Chypre by Coty
This product and its accessories -COTY creations, have underwent usage control that guarantees their irreproachable quality. The raw materials entering the composition of this product have been selected with the utmost care, which results in the finery and great reputation of Coty products. All our products are sold under the name "COTY" without any other front name

In 1947 Coty announced the return of a world renowed perfume, his beloved Chypre of course, in an advertisement that makes us dream, featuring again the cylindrical box in a gorgeous green shade with curvaceous typeface in golden yellow. Have a peek clicking here.
An old-fashioned 1953 vintage British ad that evolved around hand kissing and being mentally trasported to Paris through the scent of Chypre can be found clicking here.

A Titan of perfumery was born and his liver remains still intact all those years later. Treaure hunting has never felt so good!

Pics come from ebay,damosels-domain, the lightyears company.


  1. Chypre was my grandmother's favorite. She was born 1902. In the 1960's I bought some too because it reminded me of her elegance. Sometime in the 1970s it was no longer available and I remember tracking some down in the Frankfurt area of Philadelphia and went there on the trolly to get the last bottles a druggist had. I still have some.

  2. How utterly fascinating for you!
    Well, if you consider parting with one of them at any time, do mail me. :-)

  3. I just came across a full bottle of Chypre that was my grandmothers. It is in a pristine green box that is cloth lined. The bottle is small oval and gold. I can't find a picture that looks the same as the perfume I have. Can you tell me what I might have and what it could be worth?

  4. Newmommykai,

    thanks for stopping by and for your question.
    I haven't seen an oval bottle for Chypre, are you sure you don't mean the rounder one, depicted on the review of Chypre here on PS?
    To get a feel of the prices, I would advise watching Ebay auctions, this is very much a what- the-market-will-bear thing. Wish I could state a price ...

  5. Hmmm... I will keep looking for a picture of what I have. The one I have looks nothing like the bottles shown here on your site (a small flat gold oval front and back with little gold lid, maybe a sample size? or a department store promotion??). But it does have the Chypre and Cote insignia and labeling... what a mystery! :)
    Thanks for your reply.


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