But until then, I have the pleasant task of updating you on the Vivaudou story. If you recall, in the intial story I speculated that the two Vivaudou's- Jean and Victor, were related. Well, it turns out they were related indeed! In fact, I heard from the grandson of Victor Vivaudou, a lovely gentleman named David Kinnement. It turns out David's grandfather Victor did much more than make perfume (and establish a thriving cosmetics business). He was arrested for smuggling (Diamonds! In his own Vivaudou (?) cold cream!) in the early 1920's. But his career began on a more hope-filled note when he graduated as a Maître de Parfum in Grasse around 1903. By 1914, he'd fled France to avoid the impending war and seek his fortune and fame in America, making cosmetics and perhaps trading in off-market women's couture (I'm assuming perhaps from his Old World connections...) . He left his wife and children behind and brought his mistress, Rose, to the US with him.
There he met the landed gentry of New York's golden society. He attended glittering parties that lasted for days at the Vanderbilt's and Gatsby's, and soon he and Rose purchased a home nearby. He started Vivaudou cosmetics, either with his father Jean, or more likely using Jean's name for the company (it isn't clear to me which was the case). Vivaudou landed in New York at a magical time in history and he was there to see New York transform itself from an almost provincial, colonial American city with quaint Belle Epoch tastes to the fully industrialized, sky scraper filled, world-class wonder we know today. Vivaudou associated with the cream of the crop of designers and artists of his time. The period of time and place in which he lived- New York, during the height of the jazz age and the birth of modern fashion photography and art, was as unique as the parfums he created.
His Orloff perfume bottles are certainly beautiful and distinctive, as Nikki attests. But what strikes me the most, as it did David, is the wonderful art work that was used in Vivaudou's print advertisements. One of the most famous artists he used, Henry Clive, achieved fame as a pin-up artist but he created many beautiful images for Vivaudou's cosmetics, powders and perfumes. I've taken the liberty of putting a few of these increasinly rare images up for you to feast your eyes on and so they can live on here among all the other wealth of vintage goodies I try to pack into this space.
Above, a gorgeous & detailed Mavis advertisement- the face powder, of course! And below,
One of Henry Clives' many period magazine covers (note his characteristic signature in the lower left corner). Red was a strong favorite color of Henry's and also of Vivaudou's, as you can see it was used extensively and lavishly in many of their advertsiing images.
Henry Clive did all of these advertising images, most of which were sourced from Flickr, American Archives dotcom or Pro dot Corbis dotcom.
I would love to see the advertising for Nikki, or any of the other Vivadou products but there just isn't anything I can come up with... And it's kind of funny because Vivaudou was associated with a host of perfume 'lines' including Delettrez, Arly (Paris France), Prince de Chany (Paris France & Beverly Hills,Ca), Vimay (Los Angeles and Culver City,CA) and finally Vadsco Sales Corp.(Long Island,NY).
Above, a rare advertising image from Vivaudou's Delettrez perfume line.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.
Note: all of the black and white images are DeMeyer: Dolores, first published in Vogue 1921 and 1916; Grace George, Vanity Fair 1920, courtesy Conde Nast. What you see here are photographs taken directly from my own DeMeyer book.