IPBA Femmes de Papier (Perfume Cards - A Scented Gesture) by Monique Cabré, Marina Sebbag and V. Vidal

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Femmes de Papier book cover

“Femmes de Papier” explores the advertising tradition of perfume cards.  The Perfume Card is an ideal way of perceiving a fragrance, to discover a perfume. These cards are sought after by many collectors. Today they have become object d’art thanks to the talents of the artists who illustrated them combined with the technical progress in lithographic printing that came into use from the end of the 19th century.

These masterpieces of perfumed paper are the itinerant ambassadors, both ephemeral and everlasting, of a perfume, its image, its substance and appearance. Illuminated with an infinite richness of original designs, copies of posters or press illustrations, enormous numbers of these cards were produced up to the middle of this century.

At the end of the fifties the dominance of the cards declined, overshadowed by an unequalled past splendor and the arrival of the miniature as the vehicle of discovery. Here they are once again! These cards are now to be perfumed, at the moment of ones choosing, with the first drops of a scent.

The creativity of the new companies, the latest methods of printing and cutting, have given a new charm to these cards that has not escaped the notice of collectors. Ancient or modern, they remain objects of passion.

To relate their story, “Women and Perfumed Cards … The story of the Scented Gesture” has a theme dedicated to woman, thanks to the fine collection of one of the authors, Marina Sebbag, and also to the original cards designed expressly for this book by some great names of fashion and design.

Also included are menus, calendars, invoices and share certificates of perfume companies … creating a journey through the vast territories of the perfumed gesture.

Published by Toulouse, Éditions Milan, 1998. In French and English.

Check out your local used book store or eBay to find your own copy.

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