The Scent Of A Powerful Woman

“She transposed Fauvism and Abstractionism into perfume,” Jeannine Mongin

Perfume powerhouse Germaine Cellier is known for producing some of the most iconic scents of the twentieth century. A former model, Cellier was tall and elegant but had a professional but abrasive personality that defined her. She was college educated and very social, holding friendships with intellectuals like Jean Cocteau.

Although working for couture houses like Nina Ricci and Balmain, Cellier’s most well-known work was for Robert Piguet. Piguet was a banker turned fashion designer who also created perfumes. Two of the most famous scents to come out of the House of Piguet was “Fracas” and “Bandit”, both created by Cellier. These scents were much stronger than those offered to women in the 1940s and were inspired by non-floral scents like leather, an overturned ashtray, and the “odor di femina.” It was a new type of sexual femininity.


Photo via VanityFair.FR

Dying in 1976, Cellier’s contributions are remembered as game changes in the fragrance industry. Both her strong personality and bold creative sense made a mark and redefined how women smelled.



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