Thursday, July 7, 2011
As a kid, I became an Audrey Hepburn fan the first time I saw her in "Roman Holiday". I was taken by her background of escaping from the Nazis, her beauty, talent, charity work and she became my ideal.
In 1953, while she was making the movie "Sabrina", she met the designer Hubert de Givenchy and they became close friends; although she chose clothes for the movie from his collection, Edith Head received an Oscar for the movie although the clothes were Givenchy's creations. The "Sabrina" look was very fashionable. Givenchy designed clothes for Audrey's other movies as well as for her personal use. In 1957, Hubert Givenchy created a perfume exclusively for Audrey for her personal use and gave it to her as a surprise. Audrey's friends soon wanted the perfume and she asked Givenchy to put it on the market. He said, jokingly, "I forbid it", thus the name "L'Interdit", which means "the forbidden" in French. As soon as he was ready to launch the perfume, Audrey offered her help for the ad campaign. Audrey refused to negotiate any compensation from Givenchy for using her name and image; she said she just wanted to help a friend.
Advertisements for the perfume appeared in fashion magazines with Richard Avedon photographs of Audrey with the caption "Once, she was the only woman allowed to wear this perfume. L'Interdit Created by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn". I knew that it had to be MY perfume, but I was a kid and I obviously could not have it, but when I grew up and went to work, my first "luxury" I rewarded myself with was to go to Lazarus to buy a bottle of L'Interdit! I wore the perfume from the 1960s until it was discontinued in the 1990s. For several years I could order it from Europe but then that supply evaporated. I had to select another perfume.
In 2002 the "re-formulated" L'Interdit was introduced and I was greatly disappointed because it was nothing like the original. There is a webpage dedicated to comments about how terrible the "reformulated" perfume is. L'Interdit users are obviously loyal and passionate!
I still have a partially-used box of L'Interdit powder and can continue to open that box to recall the original scent. I have kept the beautiful, empty classic bottles.
My fantasy is to be able to acquire the original formula for L'Interdit and go to the House of Caron and have them duplicate it for me.