1913 Quelques Fleurs Perfume Advertisement

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, June 22, 1913: Went to Sunday School this afternoon.




Abroad, the odor of the hour

Sample Bottle will delight you–25¢

Park & Tilford, 225 Fifth Ave., New York


Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

When I was young I used to put a little perfume on before going to church. (You never knew where you might see a cute guy who would appreciate perfume.)

Did Grandma also spritz on a little perfume before going to Sunday School?

This is what Wikipedia says about Quelques Fleurs perfume:

In 1912, the Houbigant presented Quelques Fleurs, the first true multi-floral bouquet ever created. Up to that time, floral fragrances had been mostly single flowers or were blended with herbs and other essences. The Genealogy of Perfumes cites Quelques Fleurs as a landmark innovation that established a totally new fragrance classification and influenced other compositions for years afterwards including many of today’s important fragrances.

30 Responses

  1. What a luxurious treat it must be to dab some perfume during those days especially for a young teenager :)

  2. And I love the typography of those old ads – quaint, quirky and cute :)

  3. Oh, I just bet she did!!!

  4. I wonder what she would think of all the scented options today!

    • Many popular scents seem like they have changed over time. For example, I remember when I was young how many older women wore perfumes that had a lavender scent, but I think that lavender is seldom worn today.

  5. My grandma always had a bottle of toilet water on her dresser! I thought it was gross as I took it literal!!! ;-)

  6. Because I grew up in Quebec I know that quelques fleurs translates to some flowers!

  7. My favourite perfume for 30 years was Chanel 22, then all of a sudden they stopped making it. It’s available now only at the Rodeo Chanel location in Hollywood for like 380.00 (it used to be $50). I wonder which part of the recipe is soooooo rare now that it can’t be made anymore. It’s a light floral scent too.

  8. Maybe she got some perfume as a graduation gift. :)

  9. I wonder if they pinned a fresh flower to their dress or was that considered too flirty back then.

  10. Quelques Fleur by Houbigant is still available today! It’s definitely expensive!!

  11. Hi Sheryl. My first gift from my dad was a collection of French perfume. I still have the whole collection, hardly used. Jane

    • What a thoughtful gift from your father! I also have several bottles of perfume that I received years ago that I’ve hardly used. I’ve kept them because of the memories the gifts invoke rather than the contents of the bottles. :)

  12. I love your posts! You’re the girl at the party I would spend time talking to. Even when Helena simply goes to Sunday School, you present us with a lovely gift!

    • Thanks for the kind words. I have a lot of fun doing this blog, and it’s wonderful to hear when someone enjoys what I do with it.

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