About the Formula
We have a number of leather-bound books in our archives that hold within them the handwritten recipes for some of our most well-known and iconic scents. But they also hold secrets, like the recipe for this bespoke fragrance for Alla Nazimova created around 1914, when she was a young actress on Broadway.
The recipe was rediscovered in one of our older formulation books in 2016 during a review of our archives, along with photos and memorabilia related to Nazimova's time in New York City as a young, and quite famous, Broadway actress. She was a customer, and like many actresses a fan of our Cucumber Night Cream. But the scent we made for her was unique, and never sold to the public when it was made - it was a fragrance made to her tastes, and made only for her.
Marem Leventon, a.k.a. Alla Nazimova
Nazimova, born in Yalta in 1879 as 'Marem Leventon', rose to fame in Stanislavski's Moscow Arts Theater, and emigrated from Moscow to New York for her Broadway debut in 1906. In 1918, she went to Hollywood to become an iconic Silent film actress and a trailblazer of feminine independence. She used proceeds from her acting to create daring independent films and was one of the earliest female filmmakers. She was also famed for creating the 'Garden of Alla' hotel on Sunset Boulevard where she lived for much of her life, hosting Salons with the intelligentsia of Los Angeles. Her story is incredible - we posted an extended article about Nazimova and her life in our Heritage section - that article can be found here.
We worked extensively with Perfumer Pascal Guerin to develop a modern perfume based on the original recipe. Our research included understanding the types of Rose and floral oils that would have been commonly used in our shop in 1914, and from the oils listed in the recipe, the character of the blend that would have suited her, based on the popular tastes of the time. Like many of our other vintage recipes, we also took pains to ensure that we used the best natural substitutes for the animal-derived ingredients that were popular at the time (such as musk, ambergris and civet), so that we could ensure that our 2017 Perfume would be cruelty-free without animal-derived ingredients.
This Perfume truly tells her story, with Rose & Red Currant notes that hint at her Eastern European roots, floral and woodsy notes with the sophistication of New York; and Citrus and Amber that echo the freedom, creativity and adventure of her later time in Hollywood.
She was known as the 'star of a thousand moods', and this fragrance is no different - it wears remarkably well as a daytime fragrance with lush florals, and reveals darker tones as a perfect scent for an evening out. The first 200 packages will receive one of five special reproduction collectors cards recreated from early Hollywood photos and Posters featuring Alla Nazimova. This perfume has a 20% dilution, made with a high proportion of For-Life ™ Certified Essential Oils. Faithfully updated from our archival formulation by Perfumer Pascal Guerin.
To learn more about Alla Nazimova, visit the Alla Nazimova Society website, under the direction of Martin Turnbull, author of the Garden of Allah Fiction series and a consummate expert on all things related Alla Nazimova. www.AllaNazimovaSociety.org