The History of Gloves and Perfume – A True Love Story
France is known as the world capital of perfumery and the exploration of scents. The French town of Grasse, a small city in the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera, was hugely responsible for the evolution of perfumery, as well as, leather and tanneries. Although their leather products were aesthetically pleasing, the scent was not as appealing. The great tanner, Jean De Galimard, decided to take the initiative to scent these leather gloves, which, in turn, began the trend of scented gloves, which has lasted for many centuries. Jean de Galimard, Lord of Seranon (1747), then established a perfumery called ‘Perfumerie Galimard,’ to make use of the excess abundance of flowers which arose in the town of Grasse after the popularity of perfumes grew around the world. He then supplied products such as perfumes and (oils) to the royal family and members of the upper class society. This is now the world’s third oldest perfumery. Grasse was then known as “Gueuse Parfumee,” or in English, “The Scented Slut,” for its worldly impact of perfumeries and other scented luxuries. Although the name, “The Scented Slut,” is quite shocking, it’s quite an accomplishment.
Many visitors over the decades have written about Grasse’s never ending fields of roses, orange blossom, jasmine and many other aromatic flowers which filled the air. To think that a multi-million Euro industry started in such a small town, is quite phenomenal. The idea of scenting one’s body with the aroma of flowers, has become such a luxurious custom – which is used everyday universally by all people of different lifestyles in different parts of the world.
The fashion statement of perfumed gloves became the “in thing” in the 16th century, in which, Catherine de’ Medici played an important role, through her many international voyages and showboating of luxurious garments, making it known that fragrant gloves were trendy. She literally spread the word of the scented glove by mouth and through her many admirers– which must have taken months and can now be done in a matter of hours through the power of social media and the internet. I wonder how many people miss the world where we had to get out there ourselves and spread the word, rather than type it in front of a screen…it’s why we opened a luxury glove shop in London. So we can speak to out customer face to face.
Members of the Royal Family, such as Louis XV also indulged in the trend of perfumery and the King’s court was even known as “la cour Parfumee” (the perfumed court). By the 18th century, it became a custom for the wealthy to show their wealth and status through the excessive use of expensive fragrances which then led to Galimard’s establishment of the official Corporation of Glovemakers and perfumers, as these both went hand-in-hand, at this point – no pun intended.
Perfume can be used in a subtle way in the art of flirtation and matched with the intimate garment of a glove, whether it be leather, silk or lace, makes for the perfect match which not only makes a woman feel beautiful but also empowers her. Put on your scented gloves and go out into the world.
So, with all that knowledge we have unleashed…we have decided to use Floris (an incredible British perfumery on Jermyn Street) leather oud to scent the inside of our gift wrapped bags when you walk away with a pair of gloves from London’s first British Glove shop. Come on in and smell the scent!