Norell Perfume

Is Norell Perfume Considered ‘The First Great Perfume Born in America’?

Norell – The First Great American Perfume

Norell was a well-known scent among Americans. It is regarded as the first premium designer fragrance produced in the United States. As a result, the slogan The First Great Perfume Born in America was created. It happened in 1968. Norman Norell insisted on locating bottle manufacture, packaging, and juice production in the United States, which is why the Norell formula was created at IFF, a business that was far from the global leaders at the time. The fragrance’s manufacture and advertising were managed by Revlon – Charles Revson’s wife was a long-time Norell customer – therefore the designer rose to prominence as a rival for Revlon and Estee Lauder.

Norman Norell, Fashion Icon and Perfume Pioneer

Norman Norell (born Norman David Levinson) started his career as a costume designer for silent film performers. Before the US film business migrated to Hollywood, he made clothes for Paramount Pictures stars such as Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson. Norell refused to relocate and instead remained in New York, where he started working with Broadway companies. Before starting a joint business with Anthony Traina (Norell-Traina) in 1941, he worked for other brands (Brooks Brothers, Hattie Carnegie) and became well-known among rich clientele.

Norell Perfume Notes

Top Notes Middle Notes Base Notes
Narcissus Carnation Oakmoss
Galbanum Calla Vetiver
Hyacinth Rose Myrrh
Lavender Coriander Musk
Bergamot Mimosa Amber
Lemon Iris Cedar
Mandarin Gardenia Sandalwood
Ylang-ylang Vanilla

The Birth and Success of Norell Fragrance

In 1960, the fashion brand Norell debuted in New York City and quickly gained a prestigious clientele, including actors Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall, as well as U.S. First Ladies (from Jacqueline Kennedy to Laura Bush). Norman Norell’s fragrance was introduced soon before his death in 1972, and it took more than a year to create since the aroma had to be on par with the greatest French fragrances. The scent made a million dollars in its first year, and it became so successful in the 1970s that the firm decided to develop a lipstick of the same name, also known as “the First Great American.”

Norell Perfume

Guy Laroche’s Norell’s Composition and Similarities to Fidji

Many notes in the Norell fragrance’s formulation are very similar to Guy Laroche’s Fidji (1966). They were created by the same perfumer, Josephine Catapano (IFF), were released barely two years apart, and are based on extremely similar scent pyramids. I think they sprang from the same seed – Norell and Revson commissioned the perfumer to embellish and polish the mixture so that it would become a favorite of American ladies.

Norell Fragrance’s Mood and Elegance

Norell is a very smooth, feminine, and gently dazzling scent (in perfume concentration, this review is about the pre-1996 version). It has a magnificent harmony with orris and is nicely smoothed out by hyacinth, ylang-ylang, gardenia, and other flowers, providing freshness and natural appeal. Because there are no flowers without leaves, green tones compliment every floral arrangement wonderfully and organically, according to Catapano. The galbanum greens provide a touch of freshness to the flower arrangement, which is mostly white-yellow in hue.

Norell Perfume
Norell – The First Great American Perfume  Image Source(yesterdaysperfume)

Norell’s general mood is one of delicate femininity, warmth, and compassion. In comparison to the aldehyde-floral Estee by Estee Lauder (launched the same year), Norell is restrained and airy; it is the embodiment of elegance, a fragrance that does not distract the wearer and those around them from their lives. It was referred to as “great,” “unforgettable,” “extravagant,” and even “the most expensive fragrance in the world” in numerous commercial posters. The scent is incredibly mild, so I wouldn’t characterize it as “knocking ’em dead.”

Norell Perfume’s Legacy and Availability

Norell is fairly simple to get on the secondary market in various concentrations and forms, from perfume to soap and is typically affordable. The manufacturer may be used to date the bottles: 1968-1988 – Norell Perfumes IncRevlon; 1989-1996 – Prestige Fragrances Ltd; 1997-2015 – Five Stars Fragrances Inc; and after 2015 – Parlux Fragrances Ltd. The aroma is typically wonderfully kept; I can confidently suggest it to fans of antique fragrances (particularly Fidji and L’Air du Temps). The legend is renewed every time you wear it, as the advertising correctly states.

Adrian’s Saint and Sinner – The First American Designer Fragrance

PS. Gilbert Adrian (Adrian Adolph Greenburg) was the first American designer to debut his own perfume in 1945, with a pair of women’s scents called Saint and Sinner. So, although Norell by Norell was a fantastic debut, it was not the first designer fragrance in the United States. That, as they say, is a different tale.

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