Starting in the late 18th century, the famed “Bully”, established in 1803 on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, made a name for himself (which he then wore with a double consonant). At the turn of the 19th century, perfumers were still the heirs of the craftsmen from the Ancien Régime, and the keepers of their trade secrets. The fervour of perfumes followed in the wake of a fresh openness to the world and to its novel, sometimes exotic flowers – as with Joséphine de Beauharnais, who imported to France and acclimatized new olfactory species and audacities. Bully welcomed the advances of science and cosmetics to formulate his own inventions in form of perfumes and scented oils. Among these, his remarkable skin care products achieved lasting fame. Throughout the Golden Century of beauty, which witnessed the invention of the first formulations of modern cosmetics and perfumery, the ‘officine’ gradually established itself as a trend-setter.
Today, Buly 1803 is reborn in Paris, on rue Bonaparte 6 in the sixth arrondissement, with a different spelling and a refreshed concept. Visiting their boutique was like entering a cabinet de curiosités, falling hard for the opulent marble furniture, antique illustrations on the walls, and Japanese porcelain flacons costing 3000 euros and up. The revamped water-based perfume line surprises and intrigues with compositions such as Peruvian Heliotrope, Kiso Yuzu, Sevillian Brigarade or Mexican Tuberose. Buly 1803 is a true gem and it’s quite unbelievable to find brands like this in our world of fast, mass-consumption.
Photos by Edward Kanarecki.