Our History

sign.gif New Orleans, the most romantic and least inhibited city in America, has never denied itself any of life's earthly pleasures.  The high-living, sophisticated Creole culture which came into its "Golden Age" during the 19th century here has given this city a reputation for sensuousness and appreciation for all the finer things.  Good food and drink, rich coffees, excellent tobaccos, exquisite clothing and exotic enticing fragrances are important ingredients of the good life in New Orleans.
August Doussan Certainly no French city worthy of the name would be complete without its own skilled "parfumeur," capable of blending the scents of flowers and spices into the subtle, alluring fragrances demanded by a discerning clientele. The first full-time parfumeur in New Orleans was August Doussan. Arriving from France in 1843, he established the "Doussan French Perfumery" in the Vieux Carre, catering to the city's leading families.
J.H. Tindel After some years Doussan was joined in his business by J.H. Tindel, a young chemist who had learned perfumery in Europe. Together, they very successfully marketed their secret formula Eau de Cologne and a variety of other scents - traditional ones brought from Europe and the Orient, and many new fragrances developed from local ingredients. Upon Doussan's retirement, the perfume shop passed to Tindel's care. Eventually, he changed the store's name to the Bourbon French Perfume Company.
Marguerite Acker The shop prospered; new and more exotic fragrances discovered in Louisiana and Central and South America were added and soon customers throughout the country and Europe were placing orders through the Bourbon French Perfume Company. The constantly growing business required more help, and 17-year old Marguerite Acker was hired to learn the art of perfumery. She quickly became Tindel's star pupil when it became evident that she had been blessed with "le nez" (the nose). Marguerite, who could correctly identify the ingredients of any perfume from its scent, was soon blending new scents as well as improving existing ones.

Several years later, Marguerite married Beauregard Caro, a prominent watchmaker, and the perfumes developed on Royal Street were distributed under the Caro label. Marguerite bought the business (on very favorable terms, in recognition of her years of faithful service) and the perfumery continued growing and attracting the attention of connoisseurs everywhere. In 1973, Marguerite's granddaughter, Alessandra Crain, inherited the Bourbon French Perfume Company.
Alessandra Crain Alessandra, it turned out, had inherited much more than a business from her grandmother. She had also been given "le nez." Alessandra's creations bear such names as Voodoo Love, Marguerite (named for her grandmother) Mon Idée and Sans Nom.
Eleftorea Behlar Mary Eleftorea Behlar, bought the shop from Alessander in 1991. She also has the gift of "le nez". She has continued the traditions of personal attention and imagination in developing new fragrances - traditions which began with Doussan in 1843. Some of Mary's creations include Sesquessence ~ created to celebrate Bourbon French Perfumes 150th year in business, La Pluie ~ the rain, Jardin de Cour ~ courtyard garden, Antonis ~ named for her father, and Eleftorea ~ Mary's Greek name.

Mary has trained all her employees to help the customers choose the best essence for his or her body chemistry. There is always a Custom Blend Specialist available to design a fragrance for men and women.

August Doussan's perfume business has changed very little over the years. Fashions in perfume, as in clothing, do change from era to era, but the methods used in manufacturing fine fragrances remain constant. The fragrances brought from Europe by Doussan and Tindel and the ones developed here provide an extremely varied selection ~ all with the quality that has won the Bourbon French Perfume Company a lasting place in the history of New Orleans.

The best methods are still the simplest, the most direct, the most natural. At Bourbon French Perfums, all recipes are still made this way, mixed by hand in small batches and judged at every step.


Come visit us at our Royal Street shop!

The best methods are still the simplest, the most direct, the most natural. At Bourbon French Perfums, all recipes are still made this way, mixed by hand in small batches and judged at every step.