Ode by Guerlain 1955


Greg Young


Bienvenue treasure-seekers.

Over summer I was in Canberra and visited the Treasures of Versailles exhibition. There were a few nice things in the exhibition, but nothing I could afford.

I was inspired to go hunt for a few treasures of my own. The suburb of Fyshwick has a cluster of antiques warehouses and markets that are always good for a trawl. In the stinking heat of New Year’s Eve, we headed up there and had a look around. I got lucky at the second market that we visited. My eye was drawn to a cabinet with a few little bottles in it. I particularly noticed a little bottle of Joy, but I thought the price was risible. Lurking behind it was this unopened gem, still in its original box.

(It wasn’t until later – too late to take a photo of it – that I got the musical pun, and am still wondering if it was intentional).

Ode by Guerlain 1955

Treasures from Australia’s Capital City



Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Aldehydes, jasmine, rose, iris, sandalwood and musk

Ode was launched by Guerlain in 1955. The pun was intentional for Guerlain; Ode was a response to Patou’s Joy, a floral aldehyde built on jasmine and rose.

Ode was quite a stepping stone in Guerlain’s history, for a few reasons. It marked the changing of the guard, being the last fragrance of Jacques Guerlain’s career and the first by the then 18 years old Jean-Paul Guerlain. Monsieur Guerlain notes that it was also the first ever Guerlain fragrance to have a one syllable name (the house has strongly preferred three syllable names such as Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Nahema, etc.) and was also the first to have a bottle designed specifically for that fragrance.

And what a bottle that was; a Baccarat design showing a single rosebud in a sculptured vase. Sadly, my find was not that bottle, being the EDC and not the extract.

Even the Ode EDC was a ground-breaker, introducing the “travel bottle”, a solid rectangular design also used for Habit Rouge and Vetiver. Sadly, I didn’t get lucky with that historic find either.


(Ed: All photos supplied by Greg un less specified. Thanks buddy)

14 thoughts on “Ode by Guerlain 1955

    • I did, figuratively. I was actually attracted to the Joy, which was obscuring this, bit thought the price too high, so I had another look behind it. Score!


    • Thanks Portia. Persistence pays off at times. As yo decants, I haven’t decided whether to open the bottle yet or leave it as it is. (The stopper may well be stuck anyway).


    • Thanks Claudia. It wasn’t the only thing I found. I also found a 90% full bottle of Yardley Bond Street, in box. So it was well worth the trip out there.


    • Thanks Ruth. I haven’t opened it yet; I’m still deciding whether I want to open it or keep up it with my collection of unopened vintage bottles.


    • Sadly, I don’t know Marion. The bottle’s unopened, and I really can’t smell a thing. I suspect that the stopper is jammed tight. It’s a big decision to open something like this, so I’m going to mull on it for a while.


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