Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Champagne – The Perfume

Champagne inspires many things – perfume being one of them. In 1993 Yves Saint Laurent created his perfume Champagne with Sophia Grojsman (previously responsible for the fragrance Paris). The bottle recalled the cork stoppered bottles of the French elixir with its twisted gold metal detailing. It has a crisp, fresh fragrance of woods and moss and an invigorating fruity aroma with hints of musk. It was created as "un hommage aux femmes qui petillent"(a homage to women who sparkle).

But upon its issue, the French wine growers protested, even resorting to smashing bottles of champagne in front of the journalists who had arrived in Paris for the launch party. Pierre Bergé, president of the brand ended up scuffling with the wine makers and the battle for the name was afoot.

A legal battle ensued and adverts appeared promoting Champagne with the slogan "Sous ce nom je serai bientôt un objet rare" (I will soon be a rare object under this name). Yves Saint Laurent lost the lawsuit and Champagne was rechristened Yvresse: a word play on ivresse -which means "intoxication" in French, using Saint Laurent’s initial “Y” to replace the “I”.

Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 and grew up in Oran, Algeria. At 17, he left for Paris where he showed his drawings to Michel de Brunhoff, director of Vogue, who published several of them immediately. Following a stint at fashion school, Saint Laurent worked for Christian Dior as Art Director. 1960, Saint Laurent created his revolutionary "Beat Look" collection which used couture techniques to refine street style. In 1962 Saint Laurent set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé and continued to rock the establishment. He is credited with a range of innovations including the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968), as well as ready-to-wear culture as a whole. Saint Laurent retired in 2002, after 40 years in the fashion industry.

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