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Monday, May 20, 2013

Katherine the Great by Prince Matchabelli c1935

Katherine the Great by Prince Matchabelli: launched in 1935.

In 1934, the Prince created a perfume in honor of stage star Grace Moore, who was known for her wonderful talent as much as her wildcat temper. The perfume was described as "feminine with a touch of a vixen" in a newspaper article. In another article from that same year he explains why he did it and why his rumored lover Katharine Hepburn was so jealous.

"My newest perfume was created for Grace Moore, always before I created perfumes only for those of royal birth. But Miss Moore - ah- she is the queen of the stage., so I make a perfume to suit her, a perfume, gay, vivid, like she is. Then one day I am driving in the motor of the greatest star of all. She asked me if, I myself had created Miss Moore's perfume. I had to admit I did it. Suddenly she stopped the car. "Get out!" she ordered me. Jealous you see?" 

He then went on to say that he didn't obey her, but made a promise after to sufficiently analyze her personality, that he would create a perfume for her, but added that it was going "to be difficult, very difficult.". From this promise sprang the perfume Katherine the Great, both named for the famous ladies of history.

Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 1939:
"...But Katherine never forgot . . . their love lasted as long as life. Two centuries have passed and another Russian steps forward with a gift in Katherine's name. Prince Matchabelli, prince and perfumer, from his flacons and formulae have evolved a perfume that embodies the warmth and inspiration of her love. A thrilling, powerful perfume called Katherine the Great."

Fragrance Composition:

So what did it smell like? It was classified as a floral oriental perfume for women.

 I have no published notes on this perfume. It was described as being "nobly scented — yet so utterly feminine. Bouquet fragrance." Also described as ""cool and barbaric like her foreign soul."  I have no published notes on this composition. I would need a sample to tell you what it smells like.

"If she is imperious, worldly, a little exotic, give her Katherine the Great." - 1947 ad


c1930s photos from ebay seller my*unique*boutique

c1930s Katherine the Great 4 oz eau de cologne, photo by ebay seller essencebouquet

Fate of Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown.

Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Prince Matchabelli company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Prince Matchabelli fragrances.  

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Prince Matchabelli company how much we miss the discontinued classics such as Katherine the Great and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back the perfume! 

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.

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