Germaine Monteil’s Royal Secret was a secret indeed. The recipes for her popularized perfumes were closely guarded as they took years to perfect her scents.
Worn by Hollywood stars and European royalty, Germaine’s perfumes were so famous they were said to be worn by every woman in France. Still revered for the many fragrance’s unique blends of white floral and resins, one of the most significant contributors to a perfume’s price is its rarity.
So what makes this scent so unique and expensive?
Let’s take a closer look…
The high price tag of vintage Royal Secret perfumes is attributed to the secondhand collectors market’s scarcity. Prices go as high as 300 USD for Germaine’s well-kept secret formulas.
French-born fashion designer and cosmetician Germaine Monteil, alongside her husband, Guy Bjorkman, founded Germaine Monteil Cosmetiques Corp. in the throes of The Great Depression in 1936. Germaine, most known for her classic silhouette style dresses and remarkable use of prints on the American market, stepped into the fragrance scene in 1941.
The release of her first perfume, Laughter, in 1941 increased her success immensely; she later abandoned fashion to focus on her perfumery line.
Royal Secret had only developed and sold under a dozen perfumes by the late 90s. Some of these were New Love, Nostalgia, Fleur Savage, and Nouvel Amour. Many scents were themed with woodsy white florals and touches of amber and musk.
The sporadic release of her famously warm amber sensual scents would cause craze among many buyers.
Germaine’s company was soon swept up, sold to Yves Saint Laurent, then acquired by Revlon in 1987. By 2006, Germany Company Wilde Cosmetics GmbH had purchased Germaine Monteil Cosmetiques Corp.
The company has now been rebranded, becoming more simplistic and modernized. Now named Monteil Cosmetics selling mainly skincare-related products, it is now a beauty salon for skincare treatments.
Quality and Price
Many women always kept a bottle on hand of Royal Secret highly concentrated Eau De Parfum. Their scents are considered unmatched and incredibly intoxicating.
Although there is little public information on where or how these decedent perfumes were formulated, we can only assume their manufacturing started in France and carried on into later years.
The mood-setting, self-titled Royal secret was launched in 1935. Known to fill the air with a heavenly scent of Galbanum, Lavender, Lemon, and Bergamot as the top notes dried down, exposing Rose, Geranium, Orange Blossom, Violet, and Lily-of-the-valley as the mid-notes. Touches of Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, and Vanilla oils tied the scent together.
Still available on the market, the 1935 original formulation costs a pretty penny. Some go for nearly 400 USD for an unopened box.
Countless still remember the first time they smelled Royal Perfume by Germaine Monteil.
Most likely in their local department store, spritzing a pump towards their wrist to smell and becoming instantly hooked by the infantilizing amber embers and white florals.
A love affair was to begin from the first whiff. A purchase worth it. Not just a perfume, an experience, a memory, a way of life itself.
Germaine Monteil’s Royal Perfume is the epitome of luxury.