Monday, May 12, 2014

Princess Perfumes: Princess Ranyah, Stephanie and Elizabeth

Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1652)

Royalty and perfumes have been intertwined since forever, most notoriously in the United States exemplified by the Prince Matchabelli line of crown-shaped perfumes. These are perfumes that royals actually had a hand at creating; Prince Matchabelli was in fact a perfumer who blended his own creations for his clients. Although today, we might have heard of Wind Song perfume through a stop at the drugstore, that body spray in a can made by Fragrance Rebel formerly known as Parfums de Coeur was one of the perfumes that used to come in a crown bottle.

Prince Matchabelli crown bottle, Wikipedia

What do perfumes made by royalty smell like? I have yet to sample Wind Song in either new or vintage form, but I have sampled a few other lesser-known royalty perfumes that are now very hard to find. Here is a trio of quick reviews of these fragrances:

Princess Ranyah miniature perfume,

Princess Ranyah: I can't even find the launch year for this perfume, but Perfume Intelligence lists Miss Razan as the maker. My mini says it was Made in Italy. This is a beautiful, full-bodied and sweet Floral with tuberose, similar to Gale Hayman Delicious. Nothing is minimalist about this orchestration; I gather that the list of notes if ever found would be a long one. My guess is that it's from around the same time period as perfumes like Gale Hayman Delicious and Oscar de la Renta Volupte: the early '90s or so. The bottle is pretty and rather dainty, with a white flower cap shaped like a daisy.

Bourjois Stephanie, Perfume Emporium

Bourjois Stephanie: Princess Stephanie de Monaco launched her own perfume in 1989, simply named "Stephanie". It was made by Bourjois, the company that made Soir de Paris; both Soir de Paris and Stephanie share the royal indigo blue packaging motif. Stephanie perfume was composed by the famous Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge. The scent is a spicy Oriental, ambery, big and bold with what registers to me as an aromatic mint top note. It reminds me vaguely of Niki de St. Phalle crossed with Must de Cartier, both of which were bonafide '80s perfumes.

HRH Princess Elizabeth "E", Fragrantica

HRH Princess Elizabeth "E": This is a rich Floral in a retro classical style with an ambery base and spices. Sold by QVC, I imagine this has great potential to be worn as a "fur perfume", or parfum fourrure, although the floralcy is most prominent. Like the other two princess perfumes, the notes seem complex and full-bodied. The list of notes that I could find online include hyacinth and orange blossom. You can read more about HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia on Fragrantica.