Le Dandy by dOrsay

Le Dandy by D’Orsay

Today, we want to introduce the cologne, Le Dandy by D’Orsay. In order to fully understand this scent from the Compagnie Française des Parfums d’Orsay, it is essential to share the history first.

Alfred Count d'Orsay by Sir George Hayter

Alfred Count d’Orsay by Sir George Hayter

Five years after the great leader of fashion, Beau Brummell, had left London for exile, the chevalier, Alfred, Count d’Orsay, came to London in the summer of 1821. Soon thereafter, he established himself as Brummell’s successor as arbiter elegantiarum in London’s society and was probably the most celebrated Dandy of his day.

The reminiscences and recollections of Captain Rees Howell Gronow reveal a little bit more about d’Orsay’s personality: “… when about to fight a duel, he said to his second, Monsieur D., who was making the preliminary arrangements, ‘You know, my dear friend, I am not on a par with my antagonist: he is a very ugly fellow, and if I wound him in the face, he won’t look much the worse for it; but on my side it ought to be agreed that he should not aim higher than my chest, for if my face should be spoiled, ‘ce serait vraiment dommage.” (that truly would be a pity). He said this with such a beaming smile, and looked so handsome and happy, that his friend, Monsieur D., fully agreed with him.”

He also enjoyed grooming himself and took perfumed baths on a regular basis. When travelling, he always brought along a substantial toiletry case, which was massive and made of gold, and required two servants to carry it.

Maguerite Lady Blessington

Maguerite Lady Blessington

It was also in London where he met the beautiful Lady Marguerite Blessington, the wife of the Irish eccentric, Lord Blessington. They became inseparable, and London’s newspapers reported incessantly about the scandalous ménage à trois among the three. While it is not certain what the true nature of their relationship was, it is assumed that Lady Blessington was a mother figure for d’Orsay, and his sexual orientation remains unclear. In 1849, they left England together for Paris. Shortly thereafter, Lady Blessington died of a heart attack; the Count d’Orsay lived only three years longer. Interestingly, they share a grave in Chambourcy, France.

Considering their close relationship, as well as his love for cologne, it hardly comes as a surprise that he created a perfume for her in 1830. In 1865, thirteen years after Count d’Orsay’s death, the formula for this perfume was found again. In 1908, his family decided to establish the Compagnie Française des Parfums d’Orsay. Count d’Orsay’s perfume was then sold as Eau de Bouquet, which is known today as Etiquette Bleue. In the following years, a number of new perfumes were developed, many of them with crystal flaçons, which were designed by René Lalique or Baccarat.

Le Dandy d'Orsay Flacon Louis Sue 1923

Le Dandy d’Orsay Flacon Louis Sue 1923

Finally, in 1923 (some claim 1922,) the scent, Le Dandy, was created and sold in a great black flaçon designed by Louis Sue. In 1998, it was reintroduced with a new bottle, which is simple and elegant, and yet, not as beautiful as it used to be.

Le Dandy is definitely sweet smelling in the beginning, but I quite like it. The longer I wear it, the more the sweet notes fade and the woody base notes prevail.

  • Top notes: tobacco, whisky, rum, pineapple
  • Heart notes: spicy with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
  • Base notes; woody with a little balsamic
Le Dandy D'Orsay pour homme eau de toilette

Le Dandy D’Orsay pour homme eau de toilette

In my opinion, it makes for an excellent evening cologne, but I occasionally wear it during the day. To me it seems quite elegant, and I appreciate the fact that to this day, d’Orsay produces traditional perfumes with high quality ingredients.

In case you are looking for characteristic new cologne, you might want to consider Le Dandy by D’Orsay.

The 3.4 fl oz Eau de Toilette Spray bottle of Le Dandy costs $95 at beauty encounter. Next time, I will buy the 6.7 fl oz bottle which costs $120.
Moreover, you may also be interested in our thoughts about Creed Royal Oud.

4 replies
  1. Owen Hardy says:

    Fascinating story! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Perhaps you’ve already covered this, but I’d be interested in learning the origins of the word “dandy.”

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Mr. Hardy, there is a great German book called ‘Dandys’ by Günter Erbe who scientifically describes the Dandy and its history. Maybe I will write a review about the book sometime soon.

      Regards, Sven Raphael Schneider

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] or mixed with the heavier suits of fall or winter.  In my mind, Royal Oud smells similar to Le Dandy from d’Orsay, but the wonderful agarwood and cedar scent that makes it […]

  2. […] became famous in the late 19th century dressing people like the arbiter elegantiarum at the time, Count d’Orsay.  Queen Victoria and the Empress Eugénie issued them a Royal Warrant for clothes. However, it was […]

Comments are closed.