the origin of our maison
We might tell you about his incredible pedigree, that he was the son of a patron and Napoleonic general, that he was born in 1801 and grew up in France, that he rubbed shoulders with the greatest minds and creators of his time: Lord Byron, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, George Sand, Charles Dickens and the future Emperor Napoleon III, that he became director of the Beaux-Arts in Paris.
We might also tell you about his eloquence and his beauty, about the success he had when he arrived at a salon in Paris or London, courted by women and envied by men; about his ability to «set the tone» by deciding to wear a certain garment, to endorse a certain colour or a certain artistic movement, about his assertive but sometimes disconnected view of the world that made him the icon of the famous New Yorker for each anniversary issue since 1925.
But we prefer to talk about his freedom of spirit and his impertinence, his acute sense of Beauty. Alfred d’Orsay lived his life exactly as he wanted to: with passion, enjoying all the arts, thinking only of the moment, certainly burning his wings a little, sometimes out of pride but always out of love.
— Alfred on the cover of the New Yorker February Issue of 2015 as he has been every year since 1925
the origin of our maison
Our first perfume was born from a heartbeat
Alfred meets Marguerite Blessington in 1821, he is 20, she is 32 and married for reason. No matter the age difference and the setting, they fall in love, irrevocably. She is a Londoner – but has kept the ardour of her native Ireland-, she is a poet and novelist, she captivates Alfred as much as he seduces her. They love each other beyond convention, throwing up trouble during their travels between Italy, France and England.
Alfred is not only an insatiable aesthete but also a born creator, he draws, sculpts and paints. He is a gifted jack-of-all-trades, which amuses Marguerite to no end. Perfume is for him a natural additional artistic expression. He imagines a perfume, a fragrance of absolution that they can both wear, a fragrance without a label, in a small bottle decorated with a piece of blue ribbon. It is 1830, our perfume house is born…
Alfred and Marguerite drawn by Georges Lepape in 1920 —
Two hundred years of history and love of perfume
At the beginning of the 20th century, true to its origins, D’ORSAY surrounded itself with the artistic and artisanal talents of its time. Jean Cocteau, Marie Laurencin and Georges Lepape designed its campaigns; Baccarat, Daum and Lalique conceived the wildest bottles.
Our Maison publishes nearly fifty perfumes and its creations are distributed worldwide, with some fragrances selling 5 million copies a year in its boutiques designed by Louis Süe and Andre Mare: 24 boulevard des Italiens and 17 rue de la Paix in Paris, Fifth Avenue in New York.
The new parisian boutiques at 44 rue du Bac and 31 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, which opened in 2019, are just as emblematic. They combine materials chosen for their nobility: Travertine stone (an evocation of Alfred and Marguerite’s years spent in Italy), brass that develops a patina with time, walnut (the tree of educated intelligence) and the concrete that is so Parisian. Each one is a space conducive to confidence for lovers and perfume enthusiasts alike.
Attached to its heritage, concerned about its legacy, the House of D’ORSAY has never given up designing and manufacturing in France to promote its know-how.
— Ambre d’Orsay, bottle made with Lalique in 1910
the new generation
A new glance at the Maison D’ORSAY
In 2015, Amélie Huynh discovered D’ORSAY, as one finds a Sleeping Beauty.
Convinced that great stories are made to last, she decided to give it almost 200 years later a new lease of life. Lulled by fragrances since childhood, she was touched by the story of Alfred and Marguerite, fascinated by the moment that Alfred d’Orsay crystallised by creating for them the first fragrance for couple.
She continues the story of D’ORSAY and its original love story by exploring the state of love through to carnal desire, speaking of feelings and intimacy.
She is redesigning the olfactory line while respecting the House’s heritage, working with independent noses such as Olivia Giacobetti, Mark Buxton, Karine Chevallier, Bertrand Duchaufour, Fanny Bal and Vincent Ricord… Her vision is assertive, the D’ORSAY fragrances will be for her and him as was the first one, characterised by a form of duality found in that state of love that often turns us upside down.
She continues to promote French craftsmanship by using local artisans, whether they be glassmakers, waxmakers or jewellers.
Amélie Huynh, at the Paris headquarters of D’ORSAY —
the body fragrances
Body perfumes such as Anonymous Declarations
Each fragrance is named after a clue phrase signed with the initials of an undisclosed personality.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to change your state. A ray of sunshine, a touch of wit, a drop of perfume, why not? A scent surprises us, and without waiting, takes us somewhere else, where we would like to be. Or even better, where we didn’t even know we could go. Nothing makes a D’ORSAY perfume happier than to provoke some personality disorders. Because it’s a fact, we all have hidden resources deep inside us.
D’ORSAY fragrances are characterised by their duality, because that’s how we are.
To find your favourite fragrance, we suggest you take an olfactory portrait, which will reveal the three olfactory facets of your soul, suggesting for each one, the fragrance that corresponds according to your answers: Absolute – the essence of your soul – Unexpected – which completes you – and Defended, its dark side that we ignore or that we hide…
— Marion Barbeau and Simon Le Borgne, couple of dancers and lovers, photographed by JAB.
Home fragrances like Stolen Moments
A home fragrance is meant to smell good. Or it is a source of rich, playful, perhaps even infinite experiences. A creator of secondary states through suggestion alone. Here we are, no longer quite at home, thousands of light years away or a few microns. We just want to be in a different state from the one we were in a few seconds before. Provided the moment is transcendent…
D’ORSAY’s interior fragrances are created with the same high standards as its body fragrances, they are worked in «head, heart, base» harmony, and designed as olfactory settings, secret appointments.
D’ORSAY 2021 CAMPAIGN —
the olfactory instruments
Imagining new ways to diffuse perfume
Take me, wherever you want. I am as durable as I am desirable. Let’s play a little, let me spin between your fingers, dance in your purse, roll in your hand. Shake me, I’m here, filled with your favourite fragrance: the one you wear, the one you love, the one of your favourite moment. My shape is inspired by the rain stick (an indigenous instrument created as an hourglass to give everyone a chance to speak) and by the Asian spatiality that combines light and shadow through my openings.
So, allow yourself this moment of dialogue, between you and you, between you and the person you love, in all discretion and with the casual elegance that characterises our House.
The bead Fetishes and catalytic Totems are made in artisanal workshops located in the Doubs.
— The bead Fetish shot by Vincent Mercier in Milano