Corday, 1940

I wasn’t familiar with Corday until I found these ads. Corday was the perfume venture of a Frenchwoman named Blanche Arvoy. Launched in 1924, Arvoy named her company after Charlotte Corday, who rather famously assassinated Jean-Paul Marat in his bathtub in 1793 in an attempt to end the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Corday began its U.S. operations in the 1940’s. Tzigane , introduced in 1939, was its most successful fragrance.

These ads date from the early Forties, when Corday was just establishing a presence in America. I like these ads a lot because they really reflect the era in which they were made. They’re like the last holdouts of the Art Deco movement of the 1920s and 30s. They’re evocative of the Industrial Age, especially the ad below that deliberately references the new skyscrapers that had been sprouting up in cities within the past decade. The bottle of Tzigane in particular looks like it should be a Hilton hotel.

Corday ad, 1941


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