It’s hard to believe that a scent you can still buy today could be celebrating its centenary. So it is for L’Heure Bleue, the iconic, powdery floral by Guerlain, which first appeared in 1912. It is steeped in history – released the same year the Titanic sailed, the last scent of note to appear before the First World War. It is the olfactory imprint of a bygone era, pre-war, pre Chanel No5. (Interesting to know, it doesn’t have much in the way of top notes, its character develops over a few hours. Today top notes are carefully blended to inspire instant attraction – and purchase). A giant, limited edition bottle marks the date, with 42 worldwide and just two at Harrods. Modelled on a 1908 design it has been hand blown, cut, polished and engraved by master glassmakers at Baccarat. It has a necklace of glass crystalline violets set in 24-carat gold, designed by Parisian costume jewellery maker, Gripoix, which almost twinkle against the flask’s twilight blue.
I never did ask my grandmother whether she remembered it – or liked it.