“I SAW IT IN THE WINDOW AND I COULDN’T RESIST IT.” ~ Worth Pour Homme

(Worth Designer Lable 19th Century)

You can not talk about Worth Pour Homme without mentioning the historic design house of Charles Frederick Worth. The quintessential house of high fashion was in existence from the 1850’s to 1956. Its founder Charles Frederick Worth was the father of Haute Couture. An Englishman in who took Paris by storm he invented the designer label, the runway model and so many other aspects of fashion we now take for granted. He dressed the great ladies and stars of his age and married one of his models. He was the creator of the hoop skirt, the bustle and was the first designer to use the early sewing machine.

(Ball Gown, 1860’s Victoria and Albert Museum
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

Mr. Worth was the first superstar designer in history. Patterns for his clothes were sold all over the world and most likely Mammy used just such a pattern to run up Scarlett’s green curtain dress in “Gone With The Wind.”

(Miss Ellen’s portiers)

Among his clients were the clothes mavens of the day such as Empress Eugenie of France, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Queen Victoria, the Astor’s, Vanderbilts, and Carnegies of New York. After his death in 1895 the design house continued until it was closed in 1956. Today the house is simply called Worth Couture and has re-introduced haute couture, lingerie and Prêt-a-Porte lines by designer Giovanni Bedin . The company got into the fragrance line in the 1920’s and has produced fragrances separate from the couture house since the 1930’s. Among these perfumes is only one for men, Worth Pour Homme.

(Empress Elizabeth of Austria 1860’s in a Worth ballgown.)

 The original formulation was created in 1932 by perfumer Odette Breil-Radius who decades later created Miss Worth. It was reintroduced in 1980 and still conjures up old world glamour and joie de vivre that can only spell P.A.R.I.S between the wars. This is a woody spicy animalic delight. It is all gentleman elegance personified in the most arresting way. It opens sharp and old school style with rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, a huge blast of lavender, a bit of mandarin, and a dash of petit grain and bergamot. It is sharp but not rude, old fashioned and refreshing like a cocktail at four in the afternoon at the Ritz bar in the company of a beautiful French actress all decked out in her Worth cocktail dress. It is a quick drink and then off to the middle notes.

(Evening dress, 1928 or 1929 Victoria and Albert Museum
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

(Evening dress, 1925
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Silk, glass, metallic threads.)

Rich notes they are too, a wonderful blending of green notes, Brazilian rosewood, pine needles and geranium. Here very early on in the hart comes the leading base note of rich exotic leather, like the polished well worn leather of a Turkish soldier’s saddle reused in a smart leather club chair. This wonderful leather seeps into the rosewood and becomes quite “Clubby” putting one in mind of rainy late Fall afternoons in salons off the Avenue Montaigne. Kind of like an Englishman in a French salon, proper, upright but not uptight or adverse to a little naughty French fun.

(Wedding dress, 1950’s
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)

(Evening dress, 1955
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956
satin with sequins and crystal beading.)

Towards the early part of the dry down enter the vanilla splendors of the tonka bean, washed in musky ambers, Oakmoss, and vetiver inside a cedar box lined with balsam fir. This is where one can relax into the warm comfy elegance of a really sumptuous dry down to the end.

In all it lasts about six hours, a wide range silage. Once within a six foot range the recipient nose in your vicinity will notice this fashionable classic. Not many people know of this old boy who had been strolling the block since the 1930’s so maybe it is time to take note of this stylish gentleman, Worth Pour Homme.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

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15 Comments

  1. Another great review! A wonderful historical perspective on Mr. Worth (who knew?) his fabulous designs, and a classically elegant scent.

    • Yes I know! I learned so much about him in researching the background of this house. He realy was and still is infuential in the world of Haute Couture.

  2. Gorgeous, if I weren’t so tired I’d say more. Hugs from your old home, V

    • You don’t have to say anything. Oh maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle don’t you Vickie? You just put your lips together and blow.
      (it is just lovely to have you visit even when you are at a loss for words.)

  3. I love that 1928-29 evening dress. Oh, to have that much money to afford such beauties!

    • Yes that one is pretty amazing. Now then, where can we get the cash so we can indulge in such fancys? Any ideas?

      • Unfortunately my looks and age will get us about a nickel!

      • With me on board make that two nickels! Indian head nickels at that. LOL.

  4. AWESOME Post! You definitely schooled me on the House of Worth! Great information, and beautiful photographs! The scent sounds amazing…..

    Love that 1920s gown..very cool!

    • I too learned a lot in researching this scent. The photo of the bottle is by me and the old brownie camera and lighter were my grandfathers. They and the bottle are sitting on a hardback copy of “Gone With The Wind”. It all just seemed to go together.

  5. YES, Monsieur Worth put the hustle in the bustle! From top to bottom, what a beautiful post. I loved the historical tidbits, of course. My pick? The (Evening dress, 1928 or 1929 Victoria and Albert Museum House of Worth (French, 1858–1956). Gorgeous. Gorgeous. T. (I have two old Worth bottles: Dans La Nuit (1924) and Je Reviens (1932). Sweet bottles!)

    • “Hustle in the bustle!’ That blew my literary skirt right up over my head and left me temporarily blinded with laughter. Yes what a dress 1928 or 1929 is. I also think an empty perfume bottle is almost as beautiful as a full one.

  6. Excellent review, but there are actually a minimum of 3 Worth fragrances for men: Monsieur Worth, Worth pour Homme cologne and Worth pour Homme Haute Concentration. On top of that, there are different formulations for both Worth pour Homme (now in the blue box) and the Haute concentration reformulation, which you have pictured above. The best formula was the original haute concentration which came in the red and blue paisley box and was released in the 80s. The version you have pictured above came around in the late 90s and smells quite different. I’d love to read your review of the original because it’s truly extraordinary.

    Cheers,
    James Evans

    • James how lovely your note is. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this house. Now you have me very interested in trying the original. Thank you so very much!


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