Fun Historical Place to Visit in French Quarter in New Orleans
Nineteenth century New Orleans: a storied, thriving metropolis rich in culture, banking, trade, and a dash of debauchery. These aspects of this wonderful city still remain. Victorian New Orleans was in love with and in great need of perfume, as antiperspirant would not be invented until 1903.
Some stake claim to the title of “the oldest perfumer in New Orleans” but records indicate the first female perfumer was in fact Madame Aucoin. The Royal Perfume Co. was established in 1910 by the French perfumers Mr. J.M. Aucoin and his wife Madame Mamie O. Aucoin. Their shop was located on the corner of Royal and Bienville, and this distinct corner of New Orleans would become known as “The Paris of America.” Following Mr. Aucoin’s death, the name was changed to Aucoin Perfume Company and for over 80 years remained true to its distinction.
Madame Aucoin was best known for her Louisiana Magnolia, Ce Soir ou Jamais, Kus-Kus, Carnival, Southern Lilac, Nuit de Fleurs and Toujours Charmant perfumes. She was a pioneer of her time and recognized for her astute business acumen as well as her iconic style.
Following Madame Aucoin’s passing in 1962, her sister, Mary “Mimi” O. McHughes and Mimi's husband, Edward McHughes, assumed responsibility of the company and continued its success until mid-1980s when the doors closed on an era in the Vieux Carre. Mimi’s only daughter, Elaine M. McHughes, wed Lucien A. Caillouet of Lafourche Parish’s prominent Caillouet family in Thibodaux, Louisiana and was blessed with eight children.
The youngest child, Architect and Preservationist "Jay" Joseph B. Caillouet, has undertaken the journey of preserving and re-establishing of what was claimed in 1920 to be the “Oldest Perfumer in the South” as current owner of Madame Aucoin Perfume and her Historic Original “Collection.”
Through a kismet of a sequence of chance meetings and fateful convergences of like minds, the cosmic clockwork was set in motion to bring the reincarnation of Aucoin Perfume Company under the moniker Madame Aucoin Perfume from ephemeral dream to reality. Jay located an old building adjacent to the infamous Monteleone Hotel with boarded up windows, graffiti and no signs of life, apparently abandoned. Securing the cooperation of the Monteleone family, Jay was able to demonstrate his architectural preservation skills within the confines of the French Quarter preparing a path for the re-establishment of Madame Aucoin Perfume.
With Jay's Preservationist expertise and fierce determination the reborn Madame Aucoin Perfume has opened its doors on the very site of Madame Aucoin’s former French Quarter residence. The promising future is where it began...in the heart of the Vieux Carre, from the distinct area of Rue Royal and Rue Bienville in New Orleans known as “The Paris of America.” Jay offers Madame Aucoin’s original historic perfume bottle collection for display to our customers alongside the eclectic palette of artisanal perfume brands mostly from Paris.
Madame Aucoin perfume specializes in “indie” or niche, fine fragrances that are exclusive. A dedication to quality fragrances also includes a variety of sizes and price ranges. The atmosphere is fun, positive, relaxed and personalized. Your perfume discovery experience encompasses learning something new about fragrances without the typical sales pressure. Fragrance takes time to unwind and unfold on your skin; the process shouldn’t be rushed.
Madam Aucoin's mission is to elevate one’s satisfaction utilizing all six senses, discovering the uniqueness of Madame Aucoin Perfume in historic New Orleans French Quarter by coalescing the past and present with a positive divine decree.