Isabey was founded in Paris in 1924. Baron Henri James de Rothschild, a philanthropist, doctor and playwright who admired and generously supported the pioneering research of Pierre and Marie Curie, played a crucial role.
His appreciation of perfume as an ambassador of the French way of life laid the foundations for the creation of the Société Parisienne d'Essences Rares & de Parfums on 5 March 1924.
Influenced by the renowned French painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey, the company presented six perfume creations in artistically designed bottles and packaging at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Paris.
In 1924, the first perfume under the Isabey label was launched and named 'Le Lys Noir' (The Black Lily). The name was borrowed from a French sailing ship commissioned by Prince de Roquelyne in 1914 and built in Arcachon. This ship was confiscated by the French authorities because the owner was of German origin and his coat of arms bore the black lily of the same name.
Today, the Lys Noir is based at Granville in Normandy. The name was chosen not only to pay tribute to Henri James de Rothschild's passion for sailing, but also to the commitment of Vice-Admiral Charles Mornet and Commander Léopold Rebel, who were both shareholders in the company. The artists Julien Viard and René Lalique created two luxurious floral flacons for Isabey.
The Isabey brand has been around for almost a century. Working closely with renowned perfumers such as Jean Jacques, Luca Maffei and Marie Shnirer, Isabey launches fragrances, some of which are based on old formulas from the 1920s and then reissued in a modern form. One example is the Sir Gallahad fragrance, first launched in the 1920s and re-released in 2017. The perfumers behind it are Jean Jacques and Catherine Selig.
Maison Isabey Paris was acquired by Panouge SAS in 1999, who appointed Rania Barakat Naim as creative director, a position she still holds today.
Panouge was founded in Paris in 1947 under the name "Parfums Lavarenne" and changed its name to "Panouge" in 1984, which stands for "Parfums Nouvelle Génération" (New Generation Perfumes). The company wanted to be seen as a Maison de Parfums and not just a perfumery.
In most Isabey fragrances, white flowers such as lilies, gardenias, jasmine sambac and roses play a central role, creating a more feminine scent inspired by Parisian women.