Paris, [c. 1840-1856].
Oblong 4to [237 x 305 mm] of 20 numbered double-pages. Bound in green shagreen, double gilt fillet on the covers, name of the perfume company, place and address gilt stamped on the front cover. Contemporary binding slightly worn.
Outstanding sample catalogue of perfumes and cosmetics from the middle of the 19th century, presenting the collection of perfumes and cosmetic products offered for sale by the Parisian house Maugenet et Coudray.
Rare testimony of the richness and luxury of the merchandise produced in this field in the 19th century, it was used as a sale catalogue by this French company.
This catalogue contains over 400 products reproduced in lithograph, such as many bars of soap, lip balms, crème de Perse, perfumes, hair oils, flower oils, brillantine, many creams, hair lotions, extracts of fragrance, eau de cologne, toilet water, tooth pastes, thin cosmetic for moustache…
Each of the products one has been coloured and often bear a lavishly gauffered and gilt label.
All of them are numbered by hand I order to ease the customers’ orders as we understand by the handwritten note at the beginning of the work: “Carnet n°27348. Avoir soin de nous indiquer le numéro du carnet avec le numéro de l’article. ”
A small perfume shop M. Maugenet & E. Coudray was established in Paris towards 1810. During the 19th century Maugenet & Coudray, formerly Dela Salle & Chaulin, became one of the greatest exporters for luxury perfumes and cosmetics.
Edmond Coudray, a doctor-chemist, was traveling all over the world to bring back exotic raw materials. In 1837, the house of Coudray became the official supplier to the British Court. Maugenet and Coudray remained associates until 1856, at which date Maugenet decided to leave the company. They later opened a small cosmetics and perfume shop called Maugenet & Coudray located at 348 rue Saint-Honore, Paris in 1882. The company produced many luxury presentations and won several awards. They won two silver awards at the 1882 Exhibition, one for their eau de Cologne.
Coudray Parfums remained the family business until 1908 when it was acquired by Edouard Colmant. After the World War II the house was revived thanks to survived formulas of perfumes.
Current Literature, Volume 5, 1890:
“Coudray, Lubin and all cologne makers though the house of famous for extracts for the Coudray for sachet powders and soaps…The amber and distilled lavender waters made by Coudray are also excellent…The most famous French sachet powders are those made by Coudray. There is more violet powder sold than all other sachet powders put together. Heliotrope is next to violet in popularity and after that comes white rose and jockey club. In the original packages, Coudray’s powders come in no smaller size than a quarter of a pound. Violet powder is not a lasting perfume but may be improved in fragrance and made more lasting by adding to it one-half its bulk of orrisroot powder. This is an excellent sachet for the linen closet and is considerably less expensive than pure violet powder…Lubin, Coudray, and Pinaud of Paris the most famous manufacturers of French soaps. Lubin’s violet and other soaps need no recommendation. Coudray and Pinaud both make delightful lettuce soaps one which is just now among the most popular of fine perfumed soaps…All Coudray’s soaps may be safely recommended…”
When Coudray arrives, “the house takes an extraordinary extension: creations after creations, the attention given to even the simplest items, the good taste of replacing the garish objects without any elegance who once defined the export article, the publication of an illustrated, new event in the perfume business, the foundation of a model factory in Saint-Denis, next to the qualities of the head of the house, his business talent, its rigorous probity, a regularity without disclaim, those are the main contributions to this house.”
In the precious world of the Maison Coudray, not all is luxury and softness, fantasy and pleasure. A feminine universe in all its delicacy dedicated to the beauty of women since 1822. Under the reign of Louis XVIII of France, Edmond Coudray, a doctor-chemist, becomes a supplier of Cologne, creams, soaps, ointments and other luxury items to the royals courts of England, Belgium, Italy, Africa, Portugal, Brazil and Russia.
A precious and rare testimony of the keen interest for luxurious cosmetics in the middle of the 19th century.