The Soviet "Ballet" Scents, Part 2

The Soviet "Ballet" Scents, Part 2

We’d like to continue our story about the ballet-inspired perfumes: here are aromatic "odes" to ballerinas and a set of perfumery created in honor of the Bolshoi Theater.

Gayane Severnoye Siyanie: sophistication and luxury of a ballerina's appearance

This floral fragrance was released in 1970. The perfume was created by the perfumer Valentina Zananyants for the Leningrad factory Severnoye Siyanie (Northern Lights), her ballet prototype was Nina Anisimova's production of Gayane to the music by Aram Khachaturian. For the first time it was seen by the audience of the Leningrad Kirov Theater in 1942. The content of the ballet changed over time, but the oriental flavor was kept. 

Surprisingly enough, the perfume of the same name didn’t belong to the Oriental family. The fragrance opened with a combination of orange, jasmine and bergamot; in the middle were vanilla, rose and ylang-ylang; and the base was formed by patchouli and oakmoss. Connoisseurs of the Soviet perfumery agree that an eastern girl, the heroine of this story, could hardly wear Gayane. The perfumer was rather inspired by the ballerina dancing the part of Gayane to wild applause. 

The bottle resembled a fountain with an upward stream of water - because of this feature, this Leningrad perfume was often confused with another "ballet" scent, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.  

Fouette: lightness and grace in one bottle

In 1989, another perfume by the Novaya Zarya factory, inspired by the art of ballet, was released. Active users of online perfume communities still call this fragrance very energetic and unlike other creations of the Soviet perfume factories.

The perfume opened with a floral bouquet of lily of the valley, hyacinth and orange blossom combined with lemon. In the heart of the fragrance, one could feel a combination of currants, violets, rose and iris. All these floral-fruity-berry motifs had a musk base. 

The perfume bottle resembled the figure of a ballerina, as if frozen in a dance and flight. The feminine sophisticated vessel was decorated with a purple cap; the perfume was packed in a black box with feathers drawn on it - a reference to the eternal Swan Lake. 

The fragrance was in demand not only among fashionistas, but also in the professional environment. In 1989, it was awarded a gold medal at the International Fair in Bratislava. 

Odette: purity and naivety of a flower bouquet

The Riga factory Dzintars had two famous ballet fragrances: Odette and Giselle. The perfume dedicated to the main character of Swan Lake appeared on the market in the early 1970s. 

This was a fresh floral scent, its tenderness similar to the character of the heroine in the swan plumage. Contemporaries mentioned that they definitely could perceive a light fragrance of a powder puff that followed the first floral "wave" of the perfume. Perfumers added lily of the valley, lilac and May rose to the top notes of the fragrance composition. The heart of the perfume was made of orange blossom, carnation and violet flowers, and the base - of sandalwood, amber, vetiver and musk.

The Riga Giselle that followed Odette was distinguished by a more complex fragrance and included foreign aroma compositions. In this sense, Odette was more traditional and naive compared to the 1980s fragrances. In this purity and naivety, one can now find another line of similarity with the classical ballet heroine. 

A perfumery set and a perfume dedicated to the Bolshoi Theater

The perfumers of the Novaya Zarya factory in Moscow were obviously inspired by ballet more often than others. Another proof is the two fragrances released specifically for the anniversaries of the Bolshoi Theater. In 1951, the Bolshoi Theater perfumery set was created, its release was timed to coincide with the 175th anniversary of the country's major theater. In 1976, the perfume called The Anniversary of the Bolshoi Theater was made - that year the historical stage turned 200 years old. 

The Bolshoi Theater set had a perfume, an eau de cologne, a powder and a lipstick in it. The cover was decorated with a relief depicting the colonnade, one of the symbols of the Moscow theater. However, the perfumery set was never popular: you can find information about it only in the product catalogs of that time. 

The base of the perfume composition of the Anniversary of the Bolshoi Theater was made up of floral scents. The bottle looked austere and majestic: figured glass on red velvet. 

In addition, in the late 1960s, Novaya Zarya released a limited edition of the Ballet perfume series. The names of all these fragrances were well known to connoisseurs of the fine art: The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Spartacus and Fadette. Externally, the bottles of the series were less impressive than the luxurious designs of other "ballet" fragrances: minimalistic, with light-colored lids and stickers. They were manufactured for several years but never became bestsellers.