So what does the original smell like? It was classified as a floral fragrance for women and described as "lively garden flowers" and I imagine it had a touch of aldehydes, which was popular at the time to make a floral perfume sparkle.
Chemist and Druggist: The Newsweekly for Pharmacy, Volume 115, 1931:
"Les Parfums de Molyneux of Paris, have introduced a new creation in Vivre, a perfume of outstanding merit, which, as our illustration shows, is presented in a manner simple yet attractive. Vivre is available in four sizes. Other Molyneux products include Vogue, Le Numero Cinq, Fete and Le Chic de Molyneux. Full particulars of these and other Molyneux fines are obtainable from the sole sale-; agent and distributor for the United Kingdom. GE Davies, 58 Newman Street, Oxford Street, London."
Harper's Bazaar, 1931:
"At the lower left Molyneux's latest, "Vivre," a lively floral odor. Next Guerlain's "Liu" in its sable Chinese box, a master's creation. Above, the square bottle of Caron's "Bellodgia," modern and ingratiating."
The New Yorker - Volume 25 - Page 80, 1949:
"Rue Royale. This famous French perfume is bottled and sealed in Paris. Now available in America's better stores. Magnificence $6 to $65- Fete $5 to $25. Vivre $5 to $25. Le Parfum Connu de Molyneux $6 to $52. MOLYNEUX PERFUME DIST. INC."
Fate of the Fragrance:
The exportation of Vivre the to USA was halted during WWII and didn't arrive back to to American shores until 1948. Some old stock was sold in 1941 as evidenced by a newspaper ad.
Discontinued in the 1960s. It was then reformulated by Max Gavarry under IFF and relaunched in 1971.
Jardin des Arts, 1971:
"Gérard-Yves Cahier, Director for France Perfume Molyneux surrounded by his Parisian team: Ms. Ancel, Roger Moreau, Jean-Pierre Boyer, France, Raymond van Dorselaere, Florence, presents Mr. Pierre Broc CEO and Jean-Marie Savage Creative Director and Advertising, Perfume bottle - Vivre Molyneux - specially made by Cristalleries Baccarat and banded with white gold, for His Imperial Majesty the Shanbanou of Iran for the annual charity event Bal des Petit Lits Blancs which benefits children with tuberculosis occurring at Persepolis, October 28, 1971."
Marketing, Volume 76, 1971:
"Paris perfume world debut in Toronto A NEW perfume by House of Molyneux, Paris, France, is making its world debut in Toronto, supported by public relations, p-o-p and sampling in department stores. Called Vivre, and priced between $8.75 for one sixth of an ounce to $60 for 2 ounces.The perfume is aimed at the upper income bracket."Jardin des Arts, 1971:
"Vivre by Molyneux is not a simple scent. Its creators have long sought rare notes which are new thrills. Tropical Plants gave their hidden sap, aromatic wood marry their wild flavor to the brilliant sweetness of Bulgarian rose, the romantic tenderness of the flower is united with bittersweet orange."
Country Life, 1972:
"Vivre, the new perfume from Molyneux, is based on an unusual formula of thick-leaved Mexican plants, jasmine, Bulgarian rose and a secret spice."
"Vivre by Molyneux just might transport you. Vivre, it means to 'live'. It's a vital romantic scent made from a delicate blend of Bulgarian roses, tea flowers, orange blossoms, woods and spice. The perfume's captured in a flame-edged cut-glass flacon."
New Guinness Book of Records - Page 88, 1972:
" The most expensive bottle of perfume sold is the outsize bottle of Vivre by Molyneux of Paris sold by Neiman Marcus of Dallas, Texas in 1972 for $4,500 (£1,875)."
The Bulletin, Volume 95, Part 4, 1973:
- PERFUME ATOMISER $14.95, Refill $12.95
- EAU DE TOILETTE $9.50, $13.95, $21.00
- EAU DE TOILETTE ATOMISER $14.95"
"Dare to do it all with Vivre created by Molyneux in Paris. Men love women who wear it. 1 oz., parfum, $115.00."
Product Marketing and Cosmetic & Fragrance Retailing, 1981:
"LES PARFUMS DE MOLYNEUX (HENRY CALISHERI) VIVRE
- PERFUME 0.125 oz (3.7ml) $13.00
- PERFUME 0.17 oz (5ml) $21.00
- PERFUME 0.25 oz (7.5ml) $35.00
- PERFUME 0.5 oz (15ml) $60.00
- PERFUME 1.0 oz (30ml) $100.00
- PERFUME 2.0 oz (60ml) $165.00
- EAU DE TOILETTE NAT. SPRAY 1.5 oz (44ml) $20.00
- SOAP 3 CAKES 3.0 oz (88ml) $6.50
- FOAM BATH 6.8 oz (200ml) $16.50
- BODY LOTION 6.8 oz (200ml) $16.50."
So what does it smell like? It is classified as an aldehydic floral chypre fragrance for women. It begins with a secret spices sprinkled over an aldehydic bittersweet orange top, followed by a rich, elegant tropical floral heart, resting on a sensual, leathery and aromatic woody base.
- Top notes: aldehydes, bittersweet orange, tea blossom, coriander, leafy green note, coriander, angelica, bergamot, citrus zest
- Middle notes: Florentine iris, orange blossom, jasmine, hyacinth, Bourbon Island ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, Bulgarian rose
- Base notes: spices, leather, Mysore sandalwood, tonka bean, Tyrolean oakmoss, Java vetiver and myrrh.
Bottles Through The Ages:
- Parfum 0.125 oz (1/8 oz) - (3.7ml) stands
- Parfum 0.17 oz (1/6 oz) - (5ml) stands 1 1/4" tall (3.17cm)
- Parfum 0.25 oz (1/4 oz ) - (7.5ml) stands 2.4" tall (6cm)
- Parfum 0.5 oz (1/2 oz) - (15ml) stands 3 1/8" tall (7.8cm)
- Parfum 1.0 oz - (30ml) stands 3 1/2" tall (9cm)
- Parfum 2.0 oz - (60ml) stands 4 1/2" tall (11.4cm)