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Fragrances: Imperial Blue, rebirth of a historic jewel

Luc Gabriel discovered Cherigan while researching the history and archives of modern perfumery, particularly in the 1930s, "A nugget in the rubble of vanished brands. He took over the brand in 2017. He was able to patiently reconstruct the history and collections of the Maison by talking to collectors, perfumers and perfume specialists, and found bottles with their original juices from France, the United States and even Australia.

Born in 1929 during a pivotal period in history when Paris became the epicenter of the art world, Cherigan established itself as the discreet brand for artists and celebrities who made Montparnasse and Montmartre their playgrounds. A pure product of the Art Deco years, it enjoyed success with iconic fragrances such as Fleurs de Tabac, Chance, Parisienne and Bleu Impérial.

Luc Gabriel's private collection has enabled the reissue of Fleurs de Tabac. After many months of work in collaboration with a master perfumer, Cherigan now offers a contemporary version of Bleu Impérial directly inspired by the original edition. "Bleu Impérial bears witness to the glory days of Art Deco, the latest emblematic creation of a carefree art of living. Bleu Impérial is one of those eternal fragrances that carries you away, whatever the era. Very little concrete information exists about this fragrance, and it's fortunate that two bottles, found by passionate collectors, have come down to us intact with their juice and, in the case of one, its box. Bleu Impérial is a pillar of perfumery, rooted in the great chypre tradition of the 1930s and 1940s".says Luc Gabriel.

The two bottles from Luc Gabriel's private collection were used as the basis for the perfume study, the juice offering all its olfactory richness and a wealth of information on the raw materials used, highlighted by mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. Their analysis revealed a floral structure composed of a bouquet of spicy flowers set on a base of patchouli, moss and musks.

Modern regulatory constraints, ingredients banned by Ifra (International Fragrance Association), the disappearance of certain materials and Cherigan's demanding ethics: it took all the talent of the perfumer to interpret and restore the formula to its original form.

" In order to give a more contemporary interpretation without betraying the signature of the original accord, Bleu Impérial has been reworked, with the note opening up, giving greater prominence to citrus fruits such as bergamot and mandarin, and introducing purer floral notes thanks to neroli, orange blossom absolute, iris, tuberose and jasmine, now sambac rather than grandiflorum. In the original formula, carnation was the perfume's narcotic touch, but could be likened to a sometimes medicated note. In its new version, Bleu Impérial's addiction comes from a carnal leather sheathed in incense blades. The soul of the accord here is the base: the ambrette musk, which has now disappeared from the palette, has been replaced by an amber accord that brings a "second skin" effect. Combined with the soft, milky notes of sandalwood and ambroxan, today's version of ambergris, patchouli offers a unique trail, typical of the great florientals. "says the company.

Bleu Impérial is composed of 94 % of natural ingredients from fair trade partnerships and sustainable sourcing. The fragrance is kept away from light in an aluminum vial with a small funnel. The bottle, in glass hand-cut by a French glassmaker, is topped by an emery-polished cap for better contact and a perfect seal. The whole set is presented in a presentation box covered with high-end textured paper, inspired by that of the period, and featuring the original imperial crown and eagles in gold hot stamping. A unique code is included in each box to enable refills to be ordered. 

Alongside the historic reissues, Cherigan offers a contemporary collection of seven new creations, inspired by the 1930s era.

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