Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Magie by Lancome c1949

Magie by Lancome: launched in 1949. The name means "Magic" in French. Created by Georges Lepieux.

Fragrance Composition:

Armand Petitjean had dreamed of this perfume for years. He had conceived of the fragrance, based on more than 50 different ingredients including aromatic woods, grasses and splashes of jasmine, and had made over a thousand tests with George Leplieux, the Lancome “nose.”

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an aldehydic floral oriental fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot
  • Middle notes: jasmine, violet, rose, hyacinth, spices, Florentine iris
  • Base notes: Ethiopian civet, styrax, oakmoss, incense, amber, Lebanon cedar, patchouli, Indian sandalwood, Tibetan musk, vetiver, vanilla

Cue: The Weekly Magazine of New York Life, 1952:
"Another very feminine fragrance is the new Magic de Lancome. There's a persistent note of jasmine in this bouquet of aromatic flowers, grasses and woods. A magic wand (designed by Lalique) holds one-quarter ounce of Magie, $8.50."

The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Volumes 50-51, 1952:
Lancome's. "Magie". A magical new fragrance blended from more than fifty essences to weave a spell of exotic scent from faraway places . . an aromatic triumph for the woman who wears it. a. Baccarat, satin box $35 b. Baton de Magicien ...

Town & Country - Volume 110, 1956:
"Below, left, another French newcomer: Lancome's perfume flacon with floral bouquet. Magie or Tresor, a rich, spicy blend. $5."

Harper's Bazaar, 1960:
"Magie-Lancôme's masterly potpourri: cedar, sandalwood and a profusion of grasses and flowers."
The New Yorker, 1967:
"Magie. When the moment calls for a touch of magic.... Magie. ... luxurious fragrance of France, in bottles, mists and fluted silver flacons. Available at fine stores all over the world."


Armand Petitjean's conception for the bottle was a crystal torsade, which was brought to life by Georges Delhomme and made by the Maurice Annebicque glassworks. Also created by Baccarat, bottle shape number 805. The heavy crystal perfume bottle features a chunky crystal overcap, inner glass stopper, and sealed with a metallic label. The bottle stands 4 1/2" tall and holds 1 ounce of pure parfum (extrait).

The bottle was housed in a silk covered presentation box featuring a starburst design done in a rainbow of colors with hand applied foil spangles. The padded interior of the box is lined with hot pink satin and the inside of the lid features a gilded Lancome rose logo. The back of the box is marked  Made in France.

Other bottles were the standard Lancome crystal flacons used for other perfumes in the 1940s-1960s. These bottles were square, flat and had bowed out sides and slightly rounded corners. They were topped by crystal stoppers molded with an intaglio of stylized jasmine flowers. You could also find the tall, skinny versions of these bottles as well. Some people mistakenly believe these bottles were made by Lalique but they were designed by Georges Delhomme and most likely made by Verreries Le Bresle who created many of Lancome's perfume bottles.

Special Limited Edition Flacons:

In 1952, Magie de Lancome was presented in a frosted glass perfume bottle whimsically molded in the shape of a magic wand decorated with embossed stars. This bottle is known as Le Bâton de Magicien (the magic wand). The bottom of the bottle states "Made in France" and is approximately 5" long. The bottle closes with a brass cap.

From 1952 to 1962 , Magie was issued in a special Christmas edition star spangled spherical bottle known as "Le Sphere Magique", the starry globe. Many people mistake this for a Lalique bottle, but it was in fact made by the Maurice Annebicque glassworks.

In 1952, Lancome introduced a special perfume bottle called "la Goutte d'Eau", the teardrop, to hold 1/5 oz extraits of Magie and Tresor. It was designed by Georges Delhomme and most likely made by either Annebicque or Verreries de la Bresle who manufactured most of Lancome's flacons. The bottle is made up of polished clear crystal and has a brass screw cap fitted with a loop with a silk ribbon attached, which can be removed so that the bottle could be suspended from a necklace, pin or chatelaine.  The bottle measures 3 3/4″ in length x 1 5/8″ wide.  The brass screw cap will be engraved with "Lancome" and either "Magie" or "Tresor". These are kinda rare since they only came out at Christmastime, and were only produced in the 1950s- early 1960s.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Magie was reformulated and relaunched in 2005 as part of the La Collection Lancôme. The fragrance was available in both eau de parfum and eau de toilette concentrations.

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