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

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Arden company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back your favorite 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.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ambre de Delhi by Babani - Parfum de Hindou c1921

Ambre de Delhi by Babani: launched in 1921. Subtitled the "Breath of Love" and Parfum de Hindou.

It was a heavy fragrance designed to be used to perfume furs as well as cigarettes, and to be used in perfume lamps. It was also available in a face powder.

Pale moon that sends a silver shaft of light 
Into the scented dusk where lovers meet 
Into the garden where 
A thousand sleeping flowers 
Sigh in sweet sympathy 
And send up their fragrance 
To feed love's flame yet higher 
So much it seems the breath of love itself 
Precious as lovers half told dreams 
Such is 

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental fragrance for women with a very dominant ambergris note. I would need a sample of the perfume to tell you what it really smells like.

There are no published notes on this composition, but it is described as "a perfume of elegance, fitting the formality of brocade gowns, superb furs and priceless jewels. Ambre is the favorite perfume of Paris this season". It was also described as "a true Oriental odeur, a spicy fragrance with the hint of something smoky and mysterious."

I would say it is a blend of spices, smoky incense, amber and vanilla.
  • Top notes:
  • Middle notes: spices
  • Base notes: ambergris, incense, vanilla

It was suggested that you blend Ambre de Delhi with other Babani perfumes such as Ligeia. As well as another formula of Saigon, Ambre and Afghani.

Harper's Bazaar - Volume 57 - Page 114, 1922:
"Ambre de Delhi is loveliest, perhaps; it is becoming the smartest perfume of the season. But Babani has a fragrance for every mood—Afghani." Ligeia, Ming and even others. and pretty new bottles. $2.50, 56, $12, $20."

Vogue, 1922:
"Elizabeth Arden's haunting Poppye Perfume, in exotic-looking box. $10. Babani Ambre de Delhi, a famous Oriental essence in melon-shaped bottle and gold moire box, $10. French design, attractively boxed, $5."

Sketch, 1922:
"Each one is a rich uncommon odour— prepared by the famous Babani of Paris. AMBRE de DELHI An exquisite perfume with a characteristic, indescribable charm. Recalls the enchanted atmosphere of the Arabian Nights."

Harper's Bazaar, 1922:
"Ambre de Delhi: a perfume of elegance and distinction, in a flat gold bottle, hand decorated in black design. In a gold box, lined with black satin, $12. Ambre de Delhi, in other bottles, from $2.75, 7.50 and up."

Arizona Republic, 1924:
"Babani's Ambre de Delhi for occasions of magnificence and formality, for gowns of velvet or statuesque brocade. Ambre de Delhi is supremely elegant. In the crush outside the theatre the fragrance of Babani's Ambre de Delhi is quite noticeable, as women nestle into their sumptuous wraps. This fragrance is particularly successful on fur.  $2.75, $7.00."

The New Yorker, 1925:
"Blend two or more Babani perfumes to create a perfume entirely your own. Blend Afghani with Ligeia. Blend Chypre and Sousouki. Blend Ambre de Delhi with Ltgeia, varying the proportions to make a personal formula. Babani perfumes are imported by Elizabeth Arden in just the bottles and boxes in which they are sealed in Paris."

Arts & Decoration, 1925:
" L'Ambre Antique, or Ambre de Delhi, those exotic scents, petrified tears, found in the bosom of mother earth."

Home Journal, 1927:
"Ambre de Delhi, Chypre Egyptien, Sousouki, Ming, Jasmin, Yasmak, Saigon. $8.50 to $150."

Advertising to Women, 1928:
"AMBRE DE DELHI is for moments of magnificence, for frocks of brocade and formality. It is the perfume for the Opera, for other splendid gatherings. It is good on fur. $5. $7. $9. - SOUSOUKI is soft, appealing."

Harper's Magazine, 1930:
"Some of that Ambre de Delhi that I buy for Sarah?" "Not that melodramatic perfume!" " It puts me back a hundred and fifty a bottle," boasted Mr. Van Tile vulgarly, trying to place a proper value upon his bribe and upon his charming attentions."

c1927 ad


The deluxe perfume bottle was created by Depinoix and was clear glass with a gilded overlay in gold paint. The piece was further decorated with black enamel tracery of fantastical creatures. The sides of the bottle are lined with black enamel. It stands 5 1/4" tall. 

The other deluxe bottle was an oval shaped, shown above, its a flat bottle, also made of clear glass with a gilded overlay and black enameled designs. Presented in its box, wrapped in paper, carton, titled, gold, satin black interior. Bottle designed by Decor Auzi├Ęs of Paris. Bottle stands 7 cm tall. 

A rare deluxe bottle was the perfume atomizer for Ambre de Delhi, made up of  clear glass, completely gilded and further enhanced with an enameled dragon, it has the Babani label on the bottom, and the metal fittings are marked Vapo-Baby-Paris. The bottle stands 3" tall. c1920. 
Photo by Perfume Bottle Auctions.

Another, less pricey, but rare to find today, the melon shaped bottle was made up of frosted glass and had a stylized rose stopper enhanced with gold and black enamel. The bottle had a gilded foil label. This bottle was also used for other perfumes by Babani. The bottle stands 7.5cm tall.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Discontinued, date unknown. Still sold in 1939..

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