Monday, August 18, 2014

Impromptu by Lucien Lelong c1937

Impromptu by Lucien Lelong: launched in 1937. Created by Jean Carles.

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is a sweet fruity floral fragrance for women, with lots of rose and lily of the valley.
  • Top notes: bergamot, mandarin, lily of the valley, fruity note
  • Middle notes: rose, orange blossom, geranium, tuberose, iris, jasmine, ylang ylang
  • Base notes: galbanum, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, cedar

Advertising & Selling - Volume 29, 1937:
"A new fragrance," whispers Lucien Lelong, ". . . friend to laughter and kin to danger — delightfully, mischievously impromptu!"

Woman's Home Companion - Volume 65, 1938:
 "Lucien Lelong's Parfum"Impromptu"...friend to laughter and kin to danger...invokes romance. $6.50 to $60.
Le Petit Parisien : journal quotidien du soir, 1941:
"'Passionnément', by Lucien Lelong, is quite a confession. It whispers what the lips barely dare to spell.. 'Passionnément'. Each syllable flies away like an fragrant dream, in a complicit and silent echo. More precious is 'Impromptu', more tenacious too, evoking this XVII century with mannered splendors. 'Indiscret', on the other hand, as its name admits, has a more disturbing charm. As for 'N', mysterious as well as audacious, it suits the spiritual woman, while 'Whisper', all of sweetness and confidence, is a harmonious melody which seems like a distant song. Finally, 'Orage', a young girl's fragrance, fresh and light like a burst of youthful laughter."


Deluxe Crystal Flacon:

The deluxe parfum bottle for Impromptu is made up of clear and frosted crystal, made by Verreries Brosse in France. The bottle was designed by Joseph S. Stein. The bottle features a conical top and upside down cone base molded with fluting finished in satin glass. The frosted glass stopper is in a starburst design which recalls the fluted design on the base of the bottle. It was available in several sizes. The base is acid stamped with "Lucien Lelong Made in France."

  • No. 650 holds 1/4 oz and stands  3 1/2" tall, this is the smallest size.
  • No. 1000 holds 1/2 oz and stands 4 1/2" tall
  • No. 1500 holds 1 oz and stands 5 1/2" tall.
  • No. 2500 holds  2 oz and stands 6 5/8" tall.
  • No. 4500 holds 3 oz stands 9 1/4", this is the largest size.

High School Journalism, 1939:
"IMPROMPTU is a new and exciting perfume also put out by Lucien Lelong. An odeur in the renaissance of the gay and luxury loving Court of Louis XIV, this perfume comes in a beautiful flacon that has a pedestal of solid glass. 

Stage - Volume 15, 1937:
"Lucien Lelong - The new bottle, very French-looking of Impromptu perfume has been out several weeks, but there is a gorgeous new box of bath powder, more than eight inches across, with an immense puff and a cover that looks like molded plaster of Paris. $10."

Plaster Flacon:

Another fabulous bottle is the plaster cased flacon which held Impromptu eau de cologne.  It is made of plaster of Paris over a glass inner core. The bottle is elegantly molded with the striking sunburst pattern associated with the Impromptu fragrance. Care must be taken when handling the bottle if you do find one, as the delicate plaster is prone to chipping and flaking off over the last 80 years. As far as I know, it was only made in one size:
  • Ref. No. 92 - 4 oz EDC size bottle stands 8" tall. 

Stage, 1938:
""Impromptu" Cologne, richly fragranced, in a flacon of carved plaster $3.75."

Drug and Cosmetic Industry, Volume 43, 1938:
"Lelong originally started using the plaster casing on the Indiscret bottle decorated intricately with tiny flower designs, which was brought out in 1936. The white plaster casing is again used on the Impromptu Cologne bottle and is carried out in the sunburst effect which distinguishes the perfume bottle and package."

The Stage - Volume 16, 1938:
"Impromptu" Cologne, richly fragranced, in a flacon of carved plaster $3.75 elaborate quickie."

Eau de Cologne Glass Flacon:

The eau de cologne bottles was made up of clear glass that is molded with the starburst pattern. It has a white plastic screw cap. I believe it was only made in the 4 oz size.

Ancillary Products:

The Impromptu line was complete with dusting powder and soaps.  The dusting powder had a lovely embossed starburst on the lid and came with a luxurious lambswool powder puff. The dusting powder box measures 3 1/2" tall with a 5 1/2" diameter.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

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