This Is the Fragrance House Behind Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn's Signature Scents
It's been in business for over 100 years, has been loved by stars like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Marlene Dietrich among countless others, and at least three bottles (so far) have gained permanent spots on almost all of the beauty team's desk over at InStyle HQ. This is the house that Krigler built.
Originally started in the 19th century by Albert Krigler, the Krigler fragrance range has become a staple among the Hollywood elite and royalty alike, with a history as interesting as the individual notes used in each scent. "The company was started in Russia—Albert Krigler was born in Berlin, and he was a chemist who was getting married to a French perfumer," says Ben Krigler, the fifth-generation nose of the house, who happens to be founder Albert's great-great grandson. "Albert wasn't able to buy an engagement ring at the time, so he created a fragrance called Pleasure Gardenia in 1879 for his wife." And like that, a legacy was born.
Since then, the likes of Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly, and even Jackie Kennedy have claimed one of the house's scents as their signature, so we spoke to Krigler himself to find out more about each fragrance, and the stars that love them. Scroll down to get your history lesson in the signature scents each star wore, as well as the interesting stories behind all of them.
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Pleasure Gardenia 79
Though the scent was originally made as an engagement gift for Albert Krigler's wife, Gabrielle Chanel—or Coco, if you will—took a liking to the floral mix, and through Albert Krigler, was introduced to the perfumer who ultimately helped her create the iconic Chanel No. 5 scent.
Chateau Krigler 12
As a nod to the Chateau Krigler property in the Champfleury village of Champagne, France, Albert Krigler created this elegant lily of the valley, mimosa, and rose scent for his wife, which was a refreshing departure from the heavier scents worn int he 1910s. "Grace Kelly lived close to the Plaza Hotel in the '50s, and she met my grandmother when she came there for teatime and fell in love with the scent," Krigler tells us. "She bought it, and even mentioned it on the red carpet when a journalist asked her where her luck comes from." Today, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is a fan, and was gifted a crystal bottle ahead of her coronation.
Lieber Gustav 14
"This scent was created based on love letters between my grandmother and her fiancée—she was living in Provence, he was living in Berlin, but unfortunately he passed away in WWI," Krigler explains. Albert Krigler paid tribute to their love in the form of sandalwood, black tea, tonka bean, leather, and of course, lavender from Provence as a way to bridge the two areas. F. Scott Fitzgerald began wearing the scent after his wife Zelda took a liking to it during a factory visit, and Marlene Dietrich was so touched by the scent's inspriation, she began wearing it as well. Currently, the Lieber Gustav candles provide the aroma in the air of the Plaza's Fitzgerald suite, and vials were gifted to the cast of The Great Gatsby. "It was pretty special because the movie came out in 2014, and the fragrance was created in 1914, so it was an incredible way to celebrate its 100th anniversary," Krigler adds.
English Promenade 19
While Audrey Hepburn was filming her first movie, Monte Carlo Baby, she picked up this sweet orange blossom and jasmine mix at the Krigler boutique in Cap d'Antibes. "She wore it on the set of her film Roman Holiday, and there is a very famous interview with her and Gregory Peck where he comments on how good she smells," Krigler tells us. "Today, a lot of people still refer to it as the Roman Holiday perfume."
Blue Escapade 24
Though the green blend of vetiver, ylang-ylang, and orange was one originally commissioned for a British lord, it was gifted to Cary Grant by Marlene Dietrich, and forever became known as the "Cary Grant fragrance," Krigler tells us.
America One 31
In 1931, Krigler opened up shop at New York City's famed Plaza Hotel, where the location (and labs) currently still stand. Ben Krigler's grandmother and grandfather created a bergamot, neroli, and mandarin-rich scent to commemorate the event. Ernest Hemingway, who ran in the same circle as the couple, was an avid user of the scent, and later on, so was John F. Kennedy. "He was a big fan of literature and actually wanted to become a publisher, so when Kennedy learned that Hemingway used to wear it, he got one to wear on special occasions, including when he became president," Krigler tells us. After Kennedy's death, fraternities at schools like Yale and Columbia would order boxes for their commencement date, and give bottles to each member as a graduation gift. The tradition has been running for more than 50 years at this point, and during a recent trip to the Plaza Hotel, George Clooney reportedly tried out the scent.
Lovely Patchouli 55
Clearly, the Krigler connection runs strong through the Kennedy family. When Jackie O was engaged to John F. Kennedy, he gave her this heady patchouli blend as an engagement gift. "It became even more of a phenomenon when the Jackie O movie came out," says Krigler. "We had a two-month long waiting list and it was very limited because we only have 2,000 bottles per year made in different sizes." According to Krigler, Princess Victoria of Sweden also became a fan during the time her sister Princess Madeline was living in New York City.
Extraordinaire Camelia 209
Launched for Krigler's 105th anniversary, Princess Charlene of Monaco started using the camelia, bergamot, lime, and peppercorn blend during her engagement. It was also gifted to Kate Middleton during the visit she and Prince William took to New York City. "The duchess was attending an event at the Plaza Hotel, so we wanted to offer her a gift and inquired with her entourage about what she liked. We were told she liked something light, fresh, and clean," Krigler says. "We thought this scent was perfect, so we offered it to her."
Charming California 215
The latest installment from the fragrance house, which is a lively blend of sunny citrus notes as a nod to California, is a top seller at Krigler's Beverly Hills boutique, and Jessica Lange is already a big-time fan.