When you think of a classic scent from the 1920s, from one of the most famous historic fragrance houses in the world – you’d expect to find it in a select boutique or collectors’ website. You wouldn’t think you’d be able to buy it on the Boots website for just over a tenner … But that is the case with Coty’s L’Aimant. Dismissed as a cheaper version of Chanel No.5 (however many people have been lead to believe it the more expensive of the two in a blind smell tests), this 1927 creation deserves a place in the history books in its own right.
A wildly romantic scent, it was created by François Coty (often dubbed “the father of the modern perfume industry”) who launched it at the Galleries Lafayette in Paris. The backdrop was the Roaring Twenties – of girls emboldened by their contribution to the war efforts and the greater freedoms this had allowed them – which lead to the perfume being promoted as “the pure essence of Modernism – vivacious, warm and magnetic – the passionate woman’s perfume.” Certainly it’s similar to No.5 in its composition, sparkly aldehydes, rose and jasmine (always a winning combination for classic scents), but it’s got a lighter spring in its step and a certain vibrancy that can’t be palmed off as a mere copy.
Of course Coty had created many other classic fragrances such as 1905’s L’Origan and 1917’s Le Chypré (together with enlisting neighbour Réné Lalique to create the first ever perfume flacon – as an antidote to the medicinal bottles that had gone before it). Many of the techniques Coty pioneered are still used in modern perfumery today – and even though the name is more well known today for being a giant beauty conglomerate, with the likes of Rimmel and Bourjois under their umbrella – it’s still worth remembering the contribution its founder made to the world of modern perfumery. I’d recommend taking a trip to Boots to purchase this (bargain) piece of perfume history.
£10.49 at Boots