Alfred D'Orsay
Engraving depicting Comte Alfred d’Orsay – Anonymous (1852)
Alfred D’Orsay

A blend of beauty and spirit

Alfred D’Orsay, Count d’Orsay was the son of a Bonapartist General and grandson of the famous Mme Crawford. He grew up in France surrounded by the greatest minds and creative spirits of his time.

He had curly brown hair, a slim frame and impeccable posture, giving him the graceful allure of an ancient statue. D’Orsay was adored by the intellectual elite of the time as they were enchanted by the artistic talents and distinct tastes of this extravagant, bold and free-spirited man. D’Orsay’s naturally charismatic personality attracted a circle of close friends which included Lord Byron, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, George Sand, Charles Dickens and even the future emperor Napoleon III.

Couverture décrivant Alfred d'Orsay
The New Yorker magazine cover (February 2005)

D’Orsay was known for his generosity and light-hearted nature and it was said that he “made light of grave matters and took trivial matters seriously”. He impressed them with his keen sense of elegance and passion for beauty, which he brought to life through his sketches, sculptures, perfumes and the art of conversation. He devoted his life to exploring beauty in all its forms.

As an artist, painter and sculptor, his expansive collection of work includes skilful representations of his friends. Such works include a bust of Lamartine – still on display at the Chateau de Versailles – and a portrait of Lord Byron, which can be admired at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Advertisement engraved by Georges Lepape (1920)

At the start of the 19th century when he was twenty years old, D’Orsay met Marguerite Blessington, who would go on to become the love of his life. She was a poet and novelist who was well-known among the London elite for her wit and charm, and like D’Orsay, she too was a bold and free-spirited art-lover. He had found his true soulmate. They became inseparable, and embarked on a tour of Europe together, where they dazzled everyone with their generosity of spirit and courage.

Their love was so strong that Alfred found it unbearable when they were apart. So, he created a perfume that they both could wear day and night to keep their connection alive. It was a unique fragrance designed for two soulmates.

D’Orsay Eau de Cologne Advertising Poster (1958)
La Maison d’Orsay

A passion for formal beauty

Alfred had a perfume cabinet in every one of his residences. He was a gifted artist and often used fragrance rather than paint to sketch out the characteristics of his friends. D’Orsay produced a large collection of such portraits and this wealth of images created from fragrances led to the creation of Maison d’Orsay. And by the early 20th century, Maison d’Orsay had become one of the greatest perfume houses in France.

True to its founder’s ideals, Maison D’Orsay also worked in collaboration with some of the great artistic, literary and architectural talents of the 20th century. These relationships resulted in sketches by Jean Cocteau, Marie Laurencin and Georges Lepape, and the design of fragrance bottles by Baccarat, Daum, and René Lalique.

Creations from Maison de Parfums d’Orsay were shipped to the four corners of the globe. Each year, boutiques sold up to 5 million bottles of some fragrances in prestigious locations such as: 24 boulevard des Italiens and 17 rue de la Paix in Paris, as well as 5th Avenue in New York.

Photo: Thierry Bouët
Our Mission

Recreations for Art-lovers

Maison D’ORSAY is dedicated to timeless beauty, elegance and the creative spirit just like its founder. To indulge itself and others, d’Orsay provides feel-good, playful distractions called “Recreations for Art-lovers”. They offer both discernment and taste. Maison D’Orsay stays true to Count Alfred d’Orsay’s ideals, continuing his quest for beauty that reveals your true personality and stirs the soul.

These exclusive recreations exude freedom in the face of conformism and celebrate individual uniqueness as the path to fulfilment. Through knowledge, they invite us to seek the precise movements, exquisite taste and pure grace of the beauty that surrounds us. They guide us towards a liberated, sophisticated representation of elegance, expressed through a unique and distinctive world of scents.

La fraîcheur d’un départ bergamote prolongée par le gingembre qui lui donne un côté presque marin, en contraste avec un fond ambré musqué presque brulant. Un parfum D'Orsay de paradoxe.
O.W. Bottle 90 ml

Olfactory Portraits

All our fragrances are made in France and are inspired by an Artist whose initials give them their respective names.

Maison D’ORSAY stays true to its founder’s wishes and only uses the finest of materials when producing its products. So, our fragrances are encased in mysterious, dark green glass bottles and their design and shape have been exclusively developed in-house for our range. Our boxes are also made in France and, in line with our high standards, they are designed as precious cases to hold our creations.

D'Orsay Catalyser - Diagram

Olfactory Instruments

The Catalytic Fragrance Diffusers and Fragrance Objects are sculpted from brass, a noble metal that develops a patina over time. Each piece bears a stamp to mark the high standard of craftsmanship and to guarantee it was made in France.

Extreme care has been taken with the finish to make the solid brass look exceptionally refined. The same attention to detail has been paid to the different textures on the metal surface so they reflect the light and ripple under the fingers.

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Personality Tests

This test will reveal the three olfactory facets of your soul, by proposing a fragrance corresponding to each facet. Will you choose to wear Absolue - the essence of your soul -, Unexpected - which completes it -, or Defended, which reveals your dark side...…

Olfactory Portrait Olfactory Instants
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