Its creation is surrounded by the mysteries - a strange perfumer called Madame Zed and 2 very very young perfumers and rivals - André Fraysse and Paul Vacher. But My Sin created first for the American Market was many things at the same time and the evolution of its perception helped to establish its success.
The early 20's pre ArtDeco 1925 exhibition were very influenced by Chinese styles. Women collected Coromandel lacquer screens like Cécile Sorel and Gabrielle Chanel and they played a very prized society game called mah jong and attended a show in Paris where the main character had a similar name to Mai Sin - Mai Sung. Looking back into art & fashion magazines we have many clues to the artistic zeitgeist that lead to the creation of this beautiful perfume in its black and gold sphere bottle. But stronger than these Chinese connotations, was the image of the vamp from the silent movies. My Sin was the woman in black who smoked and wore as an accessory just a white flower. The flapper dress with the flower / bow placed very low had also an erotic connotation and here the fragrance of My Sin expressed that ideal - the girl that is both pure like a white pearl and very sensual. Unlike its name, My Sin was not the kind of the perfume a vamp would wear (there were other strong potions) but the dress for the debutante to become a woman during the night. The floral bouquet has similar elements with Narcisse Blanc (Caron) but the sensual jasmine-narcisse-orris-rose note create here a scent that is both fresh delicate (white soap) and narcotic sensual. The flower placed low in the middle of the beaded flapper dress had a pervert power.
Launched in this context and with a very strong concept that fitted the era, My Sin became in a few years a great success. But this time it was also because of 2 new coincidences.
Belle Baker, a popular American singer and actress, made from My Sin a hit around 1929 in nightclubs and on Broadway. My sin was loving you, says the song.
Several years later in 1931 a movie called My Sin is produced casting Tallulah Bankhead as a college-educated nightclub entertainer in a murder - melodrama.
If the name My Sin had nothing special in the beginning, thanks to several coincidences it became famous for the public. With a fragrance that was more delicate than the name, it was a perfect creation for the 30's and for the next decades and a perfect night partner for Amour Amour (Jean Patou). In France, with the name translated, it did not reach the same success because the other elements of the popular culture were not present.
The photo - Tallulah Bankhead in a very Chanel style dress
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art